Gamification in Education: Top 10 Gamification Case Studies that will Change our Future

Education Gamification

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

Education Gamification in Action.

There’s a lot of potential in the field of Education Gamification. I believe that humans have an innate Desire to learn. However, much of the school system these days “gets in the way of our education.”

If you ask children, “What is work?” They will say, “School and homework!!” But if you ask them, “What is play?” Many of them will say, “Video/games!!”

Clearly there should be a way to help kids learn from what they do best – play. This is why many educators are looking into a variety of new tools and techniques in Education Gamification.

No longer viewed as a mundane process for presenting information while testing for retention and understanding, the modern educational challenge involves tasks of engaging students, stimulating their interests, retaining their attention, and maintaining a positive attitude in a nurturing environment.

Key to these goals is the effort to maintain a rich communications environment that encourages feedback and reinforcement, not only between the instructor/teacher and students, but also between the students themselves.  These socially interactive mechanisms, with the proper level of control for encouragement and discipline, can be designed in effective ways to create “fun” learning situations.  The following examples reveal a number of ingenious approaches for not only improving the learning process, but also producing more effective educational environments.

 

Education Gamification Example #1 – DuoLingo:Learn a language while translating the Web

Duolingo is a massive online collaboration which combines a free language-learning website with a paid crowdsourced text translation platform. The service is designed so that students can learn a given language online, while helping to translate websites and documents. Beginners start out with basic, simple sentences from the web, while advanced users receive more complex sentences. As one progresses, so does the complexity of the sentences they are asked to translate.

In each case Duolingo provides the learning and translation tools to help the student to properly understand and memorize the words that they encounter. Each student can also vote on the quality of the other students’ translations, providing valuable feedback for comprehension and learning. The top rated translations for each sentence are made available for public viewing and collection.

As students learn a language, they earn skill points when lessons are completed or web content is translated. Lessons associated with a skill are successively completed when a give number of translations are completed. Since web content is inherently more interesting than “made up” sentences, the translation assignments are more engaging.

The site also includes time-based elements, such as skill points and time bonuses when questions are answered correctly within a given time limit. Incorrect answers result in a loss of points and “lives”, as well as the delay of leveling up. Since the system is adaptive, it tracks each completed lesson, translation, test, and practice session to provide feedback to the student and plan future lessons and translation assignments to better address their needs. All this adds up to a great Education Gamification experience.

 

Education Gamification Example #2 – Ribbon Hero: Epic game that teaches you how to use Microsoft Office

Ribbon Hero is an add-in game, available as a free Microsoft download, to help educate users of Office 2007 and 2010 on how to use the tools available in the new ribbon interface. Wow, what a creative use of Education Gamification!

Once installed, the game can easily be initiated from any of the key Office programs, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Once in the game, the user (player) is presented with challenges which can yield points if completed.

The challenges are grouped into four sections: text manipulation, page design and layout, artistic presentation, and a more generalized quick points section. With the first three sections, each challenge is designed to introduce users to a key feature and have them edit a sample document using that feature. The quick points section doesn’t offer specific challenges, but lists features instead, which can be used outside the game to accumulate points. Half of all available points can be earned through the game challenges offered in the first three sections, while the remaining points must be earned from implementing the same features outside of the game.

Microsoft has taken great care in designing the challenges by creating short, relevant tasks and providing immediate feedback and reinforcement to help keep the user engaged and interested. Also, by keeping the the difficulty level manageable, yet challenging, and providing enough support to insure reasonable success, the game encourages further play and development of Office skills.

Another feature of Ribbon Hero is it’s ability to track the progress of the user in learning to use the Office features and tools, and adjust the challenges accordingly. Not only by following the game progress, but by monitoring the features used outside of the game. The game can then adjust the order of training content to ensure that users see only features and tools that they haven’t seen before.

Because Ribbon Hero can link to Facebook, each player can share their scores and compare their progress with friends on Facebook who also play the game. In essence, Ribbon Hero is a software tutorial within a game that can be socially connected. This is one of the best corporate education gamification examples out there.

Note: Ribbon Hero was followed by the sequel, Ribbon Hero 2: Clippy’s Second Chance. This sequel adds a time travel element to the original game, where the user can follow the in game hero, Clippy, into different periods in time. The featured periods are Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 1960’s, and the future. In each case there are several Office-based tasks that must be completed before a move to the next period can be made.

 

Continue reading Gamification in Education: Top 10 Gamification Case Studies that will Change our Future

Marketing Gamification: Old Spice launches the Game DIKEMBE MUTOMBO’S 4 1/2 WEEKS TO SAVE THE WORLD

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

Old Spice Does it Again

(Note: to play the actual game, scroll down until you find the source of the thrillingly annoying music, and then fullscreen it.)

In 2010, Old Spice swept across all media channels with their “Hello Ladies…” campaign. That was shared and spread on every platform possible, and was one of the most common conversation starters during the time (Of course, those conversation starters later moved on into Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and the wonderful Korean dance Gangnam Style).

Old Spice got men here and there to smell good for some time, but men being men, got back to their good old habits of NOT smelling like an adventure, baking gourmet cakes with the kitchens they made with their own hands,  and definitely NOT swan diving.

Old Spice needed to come up with something more epic for the manly men, not just for the women’s men, and so they again put together the smart minds of Wieden+Kennedy Portland to figure out something that would spread like wildfire again.

The WK folks thought….so what do men like? They like basketball, they like to be the hero and save the world, they like random humor….and, they like video games.

Mix Basketball, a World-saving Hero, Random Humor, and Video Games together, and what comes out of the blender is their newest masterpiece: DIKEMBE MUTOMBO’S 4 1/2 WEEKS TO SAVE THE WORLD (yes, it has to be all caps).

Marketing Gamification through a game to save the world

DIKEMBE MUTOMBO’S 4 1/2 WEEKS TO SAVE THE WORLD is a 8-Bit styled game where users control the Basketball Legend Dikimbe Mutombo to prevent the 2012 end of the world (according to the Mayan’s calendar) from happening by accomplishing small quests that eventually leads to carving up more dates on the Mayan calendar so we can delay humanity’s extinction. At least until the day we invent self-combing hair.

Actually, I’m not sure how the small quests have anything to do with carving the Mayan calendar, but those quests are always relevant to the times: from getting people to stop dancing Gangnam Style so they can vote (with the boss fight being the State of Ohio), to getting rid of a fluffy toy called Blurgies while playing It’s Thanksgiving by Nicole Westbrook, a successor of Rebecca Black).

Of course, we don’t know what will happen next because each stage only unlocks one week at a time (explained later).

Running Octalysis on DIKEMBE MUTOMBO’S 4 1/2 WEEKS TO SAVE THE WORLD

Below is the analysis of the campaign through my Complete Gamification Framework called Octalysis:

Dikimbe Mutombo Gamification from Old Spice

 

As you can see, DM4.5WTSTW (this is my new abbreviation) has a strange rocket shape, as it scores incredibly high in Epic Meaning & Calling, Unpredictability & Curiosity, and Scarcity & Impatience, but very low on most others. Because of that, it earns itself an Octalysis score of 260 (which is almost as high as Twitter!) Continue reading Marketing Gamification: Old Spice launches the Game DIKEMBE MUTOMBO’S 4 1/2 WEEKS TO SAVE THE WORLD

Gamification Research: How Diablo III uses Game Mechanics to become Winning & Addicting

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

Blizzard Entertainment, a company that knows how to do gaming right (though not perfectly), has hit it big with their latest game Diablo III, launched in May of 2012. Within a week, they already sold 6.3 Million Copies, and as of September 2012, already made it to the Top Selling PC Games of all-time. Its success not only rides on the popularity of its predecessor Diablo II, but also stems from the utilization of a great amount of smart game mechanics to make users engaged and addicted.

This article analyzes the techniques and game mechanics that Diablo III uses to achieve the status of Winning & Addicting.

Basic Game Mechanics

1) High Quality Graphics and Sound

This is required for most games, and Blizzard is one of the best at it. Unfortunately, we won’t be learning too much from this because Gamification only applies to gaming elements that are still there after you strip out all the graphics, sound, action and apply them to professional activities.

2) Leveling Up System

Pretty basic too. Pretty much all RPGs (Role Playing Games) have a leveling up system. When a player kills monsters, he gains Experience, which allows his character to level up and become stronger. A leveling system makes players feel that they are having progress and are improving themselves, even though the tasks they do are very mundane. A sense of improvement and accomplishment is key here.

3) Progression through a storyline

Again, like all RPGs, there is a storyline that makes players want to continue to play and find out what’s next. This is similar to wanting to finish a book or movie. Unfortunately, Diablo III’s storyline isn’t that great, and it makes you play through the same storyline in 4 different levels to beat the game (not to mention “farming” the same area/quests over and over), so this factor is not strong in Diablo. It does, however, get first-timers to want to finish the level 1 difficulty once.

4) Points/Money Accumulation

A solid presentation on Gamification by Sebastian Deterding

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

Gamification presentation/research from Sebastian Deterding

I recently stumbled upon some Gamification Research by Sebastian Deterding and I think it is a great piece of work in the industry. It shows a heavy amount of research and utilization of Gamification.
As you know, I have always been saying that Gamification is not really a good word to use (sounds very gimmicky and suggests it is created from games), but it should really be called “Human-Focused Design.”
Sebastian calls it “Gameful Design” which I think is appealing but difficult to gain significant traction.
I strongly recommend going through the entire thing.