Are you trying to gamify your course? Are you trying to introduce game elements into your course but you don’t know where to start? Here are some thoughts or rules about how to gamify your course.
Rule #1. Convert your syllabus into a story
Break the rules of being too formal and create a story as a guiding thread along your course. At the beginning of the game there’s a warm up screen where it explains the game (course), who the gamer is and what is expected from his/her side (the student). It explains the rules of the game (how to participate, how to pass the course, etc.) the challenges that the player will encounter along the game (tests, deliverables, collaborating activities).
Rule #2. Turn the goals of the course into tasks or challenges
Convert the goals of a specific topic into specific tasks or challenges. Turn them as a mandatory to achieve a new level or gain experience. Don’t forgive provide a motivational feedback to foster participation to the new level. The feedback can be a badge, by rewarding them with a new power (for instance a new content useful for new upcoming topics).
Rule #3. Instead of “units” or “modules” use levels
As it happens in a game, the courses start from a low level and advance to a difficult one gradually. To make your course more game like use “levels” to refer the different levels regarding its complexity.
Rule #4. The student as a player
When we are in a game context the user is always the player. So if you’re referring to the student bare in mind to use the proper word to keep the game context on.
Rule #5. The tasks as a challenges or battles against the villains
In a course we have different ways to evaluate the knowledge of our students: some are for selfassesment whereas other are for grading. To make them more game like turn the selfassements into quests to solve a puzzle, or use the tasks as a challenge to achieve a new power, to pass a new level, or even turn those challenges into a battle against the villain.
Rule #6. There are no more “Retakes” instead we have remaining lifes
In a game environment we have lifes until we die and we start over the game again. Erase the concept of retaking tests, instead tell them their remaining lifes (attempts) to answer correctly.
Rule #7 Discussion forums as a non playing characters
In some games, the player is able to interact with other players for different purposes: for socialising, for ask questions, or just for the god sake of talking. We can use the same analogy by using the forums discussion as a place for them to interact. Don’t forget a place where players can interact maybe not eveybody will participate but don’t block the chance to do it.
Rule #8. The profile page as the player statistics
If your are the instructor of a elearning course or your course has an LMS you can take advantage of the profile of the students. If it’s possible, turn their profile into a kind of player statistics where they can see their progress inside the game, their badges, their achievements and so on.
Rule #9 Learning outcomes into experience points
Through the learning outcomes students are able to see their progression within the course. Turn this learning outcomes into points of experience inside the course. Try to eager the players to gain more experience by linking the total experience with the final points.
Rule #10 The gradings as a points
Students know that you are going to grade them but, what about talk about points instead of gradings? Assign a meaning of achieving those points. As it happens in a regular course A, B and C are different for D or E. Link points with levels of mastery for example: Level 1. Newbie, Level 2. Advance, Level 3. Master.