Lessons learned from a gamified course experience

Yesterday I published a review of a paper on gamified university-level education. Today, I am going to present some lessons learned from my own experience gamifying a university course. Last Spring I had the opportunity to teach a course on Business Systems Analysis at the University of Waterloo and I took the opportunity to gamify part of the course. Since I was only a sessional instructor for one term, I did not want to change the course structure too much, […]

student

How do students differ in gamified education? 1

Originally published in the ACM XRDS blog. Gamification of University-level courses is becoming a common practice, as many professors decide to try offering their students a more engaging learning environment. Nevertheless, we still do not have a clear idea on how individual students engage differently with a gamified course. But now a detailed, long-term study from the University of Lisbon has presented some insightful observations on this topic. During the course of their study, the researchers observed three editions of […]

education

12 Findings for Gamification from CHI PLAY 2016

CHI PLAY 2016, the ACM Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, happened last week and made available a lot of interesting research in games, play, and gamification. I have made a compilation of 12 of the relevant findings for future Gamification design and research. Check them out! Design Applications can be designed to support different user types of be personalized to specific target users. In The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale, researchers showed which game design elements users of each one […]

Hexad presented at CHI PLAY 2016

The peak-end rule influences enjoyment of games

The peak-end rule is a psychological heuristic that explains how people judge an experience largely based on its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and its end, rather on the whole experience. A research from the Universities of Saskatchewan and Canterbury and Autodesk sought to verify if this effect would influence player’s enjoyment of (casual) games. They manipulated the difficulty or balance of three simple games to vary the peak and end experiences, keeping the playing experience otherwise unchanged, and […]

mountains-nature-sky-sunny

Understanding How the Context Supports Autonomy

Self-determination theory posits autonomy as a basic need that fuels intrinsic motivation. Thus, we consider it an important characteristic of intrinsically enjoyable tasks, including games. We often say that game playing is a voluntary activity. However, when we think about serious games or gamification, there is a risk that the seriousness of the context and the obligation to interact with the system may thwart the user’s autonomy. Several gamification scholars and designers have pointed out that good gamification must be […]

Playing games

Defining Clear Goals in Gameful Applications

I have previously talked about the prominent role of challenges in games and gameful applications. Challenging oneself to overcome unnecessary obstacles just for the fun of it is at the heart of a gameful experience. Moreover, good challenges only work together with clear goals and clear paths, i.e., the player must know what she wants to achieve and how to do it. Games and gameful applications must always support the player in defining goals and immediate objectives. This can be […]

Minecraft

The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale 2

Several studies have indicated the need for personalising gamified systems to users’ personalities. However, mapping user personality onto design elements is difficult. To address this problem, Marczewski developed the Gamification User Types Hexad framework, based on research on human motivation, player types, and practical design experience. He also suggested different game design elements that may support different user types. However, until now we were still lacking a standard assessment tool for user’s preferences based on the Hexad framework. There was […]

Hexad and Personality

Positive Computing: a novel research field to promote human wellbeing

Originally published on the ACM XRDS blog. Technology has undoubtedly improved at vertiginous speeds in the last decades. However, there is no evidence that all this technology is helping increase the people’s general wellbeing. Calvo and Peters have attributed this to the fact that most technology professionals keep a machine-focused view of their work, avoiding to look at anything related to the user’s’ wellbeing. Nevertheless, recently there has been a growing body of efforts related to using technology to improve human […]

Children happy

Personality-targeted Gamification 3

Recently, a number of research studies have been investigating how to personalise gameful applications to each different user. One of these studies was presented at CHI 2016 and investigated how different people respond to various gamification approaches in health-related habit tracking applications. The researchers asked 248 participants to rate how helpful and enjoyable different game design elements seemed to be. Additionally, they seek to understand if there was any relation between the participants’ preferences and their personality traits, measured by […]

Personality-targeted Gamification

Gamification of Cognitive Assessment and Training

The JMIR Serious Games journal has recently published an article in which researchers reviewed 33 studies reporting results of the use of gamification and serious games for cognitive assessment or training. The review identified 7 reasons that led researchers to apply gamification in the reviewed studies: to increase participant motivation; to increase usability or intuitiveness for the target age group; to increase long-term engagement; to investigate the effects of game-like tasks; to increase ecological validity; to increase suitability for the target […]

Chess game