Setting Gamification Objectives...Why Bother?
If you’ve been in my world for a while you know I bang on about how simply adding some games to your course and saying "Tah dah!" then keeping your fingers crossed and hoping for the best is not what gamification is about. We want to make sure the time and effort we put into designing our gamification system and then helping our users follow the plan, is worth it. And the objectives ideally will be measurable. Something we can look at before we add gamification so we have a baseline to work from and then measure again at some point in the future.
Gamification can be used all through our business but for the purposes of today I’m going to focus on course creation and communities specifically because as course creators most of us have some kind of community where we support or audience, and then we’ll talk about why Gamification Works for Course Participants, what are some of the things they get as a result of gamification.
Once we’ve decided what our objectives are we can then think of the ideal way for our audience to achieve these objectives with player types in mind.
Firstly we need to take a look at what is happening now
Questions we might want to ask ourselves are:
- Are there any lessons or modules in my course that students are skipping?
- Is there a lesson that I get more comments than usual?
- Is there a lesson where I get asked more questions?
- Do I have a drop off point where it seems students fade out or become more selective with the lessons they're completing?
- Are my videos roughly the same length? Are there any super long one’s that aren’t being watched or have a drop off point?
- Do my students engage in my community?
- Are my students helping others in the community
Asking ourselves these questions can help us determine what we might need to do to encourage the behaviours we want and turn them into objectives.
So we might say "hmmm actually no, people aren’t engaging in the community" so our first objective would be “Get people in the community to support one another”
By looking in detail at our course, and community if we have one, we can identify areas to add gamification to get our students past that sticky point.
As humans, it’s really easy for us to procrastinate and it might mean that someone doesn’t come back to your course at all, saying "I’ll look at that again tomorrow" or whatever and quite often if we procrastinate once, we’ll do it again because it’s usually a sticky spot that we don’t have the energy to work at at that moment in time… so potentially identifying that there’s a really long video that students aren’t watching but we really need them to watch it to help alleviate questions further down the line, can help us add something in to make it more desirable to put in the effort, like maybe they unlock a bonus once they’ve watched the video or they get free access to another mini course, something that is good enough to make them want to do ‘the thing’ that isn’t being done.
Here are some examples of objectives and what we might implement to help achieve those objectives.
Once you’ve decided on your objectives you can look at the different types of rewards you want to add to your course to incentivise your audience to take part. For gamification to work well we want to make sure the effort we're putting into our gamification strategy is useful to both us, as course creators, as well as our learners!
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