Latest work: An infokit on gamification for Jisc Digital Media.

This infokit incorporates a wide range of viewpoints from across the spectrum, and demonstrates that gamification in education cannot be reduced to a simple good/bad binary. The text is divided into 9 chapters and 3 appendices, containing some 30K+ words, 200+ links to external resources, and an index of 40+ described gamified systems.

Jisc Digital Media gamification infokit

Can gamifying the classroom encourage the reluctant learner to be enthused? Can the lure of badges, the collection of points, and the chance to climb a leaderboard of fellow students, inspire the student to concentrate on their work, learn more, and achieve higher grades? Or will the reluctant learner become distracted by getting those badges, while the already motivated students lose interest, and the instructor struggles to manage the expensive piece of gamification technology?

This infokit takes an even-handed approach, opening with a few of the reasons why systems and processes are gamified, and exploring some of the more common mechanisms within these processes. The rationale behind badges, the most celebrated or notorious gamification element, is analysed, and several reasons why gamification can go wrong (with examples) are discussed.

The latter half of the infokit examines some of the psychological aspects of gamification, and some of the evidence for – and against – its use. The eighth chapter provides pathways for deciding if you should gamify some aspect of your teaching or lecturing, while the final chapter summarises the current trends, and possible future, of this high-profile topic. The infokit finishes with an offbeat reframing of academia as a gamified system.

The underlying research, and writing, were undertaken in the spring and early summer of 2015. The work was autonomous, though there were many conversations with around 30 educators and other practitioners which fed into the text. Initial feedback is generally positive [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]; the infokit is available at www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/infokit/gamification