Turning Learning into a Game! (Blog 2 of 3 on student centered learning.)

gamification-educationHere at Siminars, we believe student-centered learning is the best way to deliver your online course. Why? Because it targets the interests of the student, and personalizes the learning experience. The three aspects we’ve incorporated into student-centered learning are:

Together, they create a learning experience that immerses students in your idea so they come away from it changed.

This is the second blog in a series of three focusing on student-centered learning. In it I’m going to discuss gamification, and the reasons for integrating it into your course. I’ll also show you how we do it.

In case you’re new to the term, gamification refers to using game-design elements such as challenges, rewards, and competition in non-game contexts. It’s being used in business, education, healthcare, and just about every walk of life you can think of. For example, actor Edward Norton uses gamifying principles on his Web site CrowdRise to encourage people to raise money for charity.

Adding the elements of game playing to an activity encourages competition. It also challenges and rewards the participants. The activity becomes more fun, and we become more invested in it. For these reasons, gamification has real potential in learning. Engaging your students in this way increases their enjoyment. Instead of just learning your material, they experience it.

How do we do this with Siminars?

  1. Then there are two core elements that we’ve built right into the Siminars course-ware:
  • Clicking

Video game players do a lot of clicking. So do Siminar students as they go from one item to the next. Each item provides them with the information they need to go on to the next one. There is an inherent reward in consuming a bite-sized pice of content, and moving forward when finishing. It’s a lot easier than reading a long 20 page article!

  • Progress Bars

As your student moves through the Siminar, they can monitor their progress along the top of the screen. They are also several “modals”, which are windows that pop-up congratulating them on completing steps and letting them know how far they’ve gotten through the course. (TIP: The percentages shown are based on how many ‘items’ are in the course, not steps.)


  • Challenge and Reward

For those of you that read part 1 of this blog series and are familiar with our ‘Storytelling’ approach towards mobile learning, there is a third element of gamification.

Challenges can be delivered in the form of quizzes, questions, or actions related to the content. They’re of your choosing. The skills needed to conquer each challenge are provided by your content. The master/conquer sequence gives students a sense of accomplishment and empowers them.

Rewards might be shared in the form of an insight they’ve gained or an “aha” moment they’ve had as a result of the challenge they’ve taken part in. Once students have completed the course, you can offer a reward in the form of something tangible. It could be a discount on your book or a service you’re offering, or a free course.

If it’s new to you, the concept of “gamification” may seem a little complicated. Once you start creating your Siminar on the Siminars platform, however, you’ll find it’s not. We already provide you with much of what you need.



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