As an elearning developer / designer, It is important to distinguish between these two types of motivation:
extrinsic motivation – where you are engaged because of a goal or reward;
and intrinsic motivation – where the activity itself is fun and exciting, with or without a reward.
Extrinsic motivation has it’s place in gamification and learning however the goal of any designer should be to tap into the intrinsic motivation – it lasts longer and ultimately is more productive for the designer, the game and the learning.
Week 1 will be our ‘defining week’ for the elearning developer to begin work. We will identify a problem that we need to solve with some kind of elearning game. We will also define the motivation of the ‘players’ as without motivation they will not play and consequently they will not learn. And finally we will decide on the two main game elements 1) the fun aspect 2) how learning will occur as a result of playing the game.
bespoke elearning problem
So let’s invent a potential bespoke elearning problem and then see how we can develop a game using Storyline to resolve it…
Problem: Staff in a business (let’s call it Rob’s Carpets) have recently received training on a new system that allows them to log how new customers made first contact with the business. However many of the staff are making mistakes and need some kind of refresher training. So to provide the extra training the staff need, we will create a game. This game will provide the refresher training in order to reduce the mistakes made.
Let’s give the game a name: Customer Quest (it’s probably a good idea to keep the name in the positive sphere – I wouldn’t recommend for example calling it – ‘Stop making bloody mistakes!’. The trick is to train staff without them realising it) Fun element: The game will be created as a simple quest type game. Learning element: The game will introduce questions and feedback which will help the ‘players’ to learn as they progress through the quest.
Gamification, wow! – where has this been hiding for the learning designer for the past twenty years? Well, like me, if you’re an elearning developer, you’re probably thinking it hasn’t – now it just has a name (although I get the impression that many gamification designers don’t actually like the term ‘Gamification’ and prefer alternatives such as ‘Applied game design’ or ‘Motivational design’ or many more alternatives). My personal preference is the one devised by Amy Jo Kim (founder and CEO of the game design consultancy ShuffleBrain – http://www.shufflebrain.com/) – ‘applied game design’ and so that is what I will use from this point forward.
Note: However I am also a massive fan of the work of Yu-kai Chou (http://www.yukaichou.com/). His alternative to the term Gamification is Human-Focused Design. Again this type of design has been around for a long time (student-centred design). Yu-kai Chou argued that the reason we call this design principle Gamification is that the gaming industry was the first to master Human-Focused design. I think he has a point!
The name however is incidental and this series of blogs will concentrate on a practical approach to applied game design. In essence I will design a serious game (one that is used for learning and not just for fun) using Articulate Storyline. I’ll start from the beginning, define the pedagogy and learning design and then explain how to build it. Hopefully you will find it useful and can incorporate some of the approaches I use into your own projects. Feel free to offer suggestions and even correct me if I don’t get it quite right. No-one’s perfect!