Interactive Learning Content at Professor Game

This blog post is contributed by Rob Alvarez, creator of Professor Game.

During my work at IE Business School Publishing, we regularly create interactive learning content. We have our own processes and ways of doing things, but today I want to talk about ways I’ve used of Octalysis to improve my designs. First, let me clarify that when I say design I’m specifically referring to learning experience design and gamification design.

As with any project, we have an ideation phase, where we come up with ideas on what to do and how to take the learning experience and results to the next level. During this phase, I’ve seen a significant improvement since I’ve been studying Octalysis and drawing from its ideas for projects. I’m not changing the whole internal process that we follow in our department, but rather using many of the things I’ve learned. As you might know, the Octalysis Strategy Dashboard offers five critical elements:

  1. Business Metrics, leading to Game Objectives
  2. Users, leading to Players
  3. Desired actions, leading to Win-States
  4. Feedback Mechanics, leading to Triggers
  5. Incentives, leading to Rewards

If you want more information on these, go to Yu-kai’s post on this topic, or, if you want to go deeper, read Actionable Gamification by the same author.

After completing the dashboard mentioned above for a project, Octalysis moves into the ideation phase. This is where the 8 core drives come in especially handy, and where I’ve found a lot of value in coming up with new ideas and balancing out the different motivations for our students. Often, you will see that towards the end of any regular ideation phase for the creation of a learning experience, even if you don’t follow the previous process it can be very useful to analyze your conclusions using the Octalysis lens, to figure out what core drives your idea is tapping more into. You might also want to reflect upon whether you also want to include other drives you might want to reinforce. It’s also useful to even take a step back and, if you haven’t taken a look at your user with the dashboard, to think about that person now, what are the main motivational drives present in this type of person and if you are using elements that tap into those main drives.

The more I use loose ideas from Octalysis, the more I realize how well they tie in together and how useful it can be to go through all the steps and phases. My daily work and discoveries in gamification have led me to get to know world-leading gamification gurus like Yu-kai Chou and other experts from around the world. All that I’ve learned and found useful led me on a journey to look for the best way to share my regular discoveries and applications of gamification in education with others. That’s how I’ve arrived to a new project, the creation of the Professor Game Podcast where I interview experts and practitioners to inspire teachers and professors to make their jobs even more amazing! If you want more information, look for it on iTunes or Stitcher, or go to

Rob Alvarez Bucholska


This blog post is contributed by Rob Alvarez, creator of Professor Game.

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