Learning is hard work that requires persistent effort and dedication, and finding the motivation to engage in that work is particularly challenging for students when they don’t have evidence that they are capable of success and have no aid on how to overcome their barriers to success. The language that is used in teaching, the structures that are built into the normal classes (including use of technology), and the scaffolding that is chosen to use (or not), all signal to students whether they are moving toward mastery or not.
The Octalysis framework provides techniques for supporting students’ sense of competence by assessing the eight cores of human nature with regards to motivation to do something. It is closely linked to the ideology of gamification of some non-game context.
The Octalysis framework can be utilized in fabricating the mechanics of a gamified system based on motivational theories.
The eight-core notions of the Octalysis framework are:
Being a part of a big team increases your sense of apparent worth of the self and the person believes that their prospects of learning and growing are enhanced by being a part of something bigger in value than themselves. The act of volunteering in a big endeavor, even though does not fetch any extrinsic rewards, makes them see themselves as makers and preservers of human knowledge.
The topic of differentiated pedagogy can also be linked with Gameful learning and teaching. Gamifying the instructional coursework amounts to providing differentiated instructions and assessments to the students, where the idea is to set different expectations for task completion for students based upon their individual needs. AI can be incorporated in the design of the digital Gameful platform which can group students according to a set of needs and calibers, and establish and construct the performance metrics accordingly.
Differentiated instruction is the process of ensuring that what a student learns, how he or she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he or she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning.
Differentiation can be achieved in the following four ways:
Differentiation is thus an organized yet flexible way of proactively adjusting teaching and learning methods to accommodate each child’s learning needs and preferences to achieve maximum role as a learner.
The technology of machine-learning can enable us to know how students learn and what do they know, and how they use what they know on the basis of their performance metrics in the pre- and on-going assessments provided to them.
This knowledge database could then be used to ensure that the structure of the said program achieves the desired outcomes.
There are three major domains of learning which can be identified:
Every domain begs different types of instructional medium for the learner. Thus the existence of domains of learning requiring different approaches to teaching them exhibits the inherited differentiation in the learning process. This type of demarcation is not so evident in the traditional instructional teaching but can very well be designed in Gameful learning, which shall highlight and demarcate these domains. Each domain skill can have a number of learning episodes, and after each episode, the learner would acquire a new skill or appreciate in value of some performance metric (such as level or points), knowledge or attitude changes.
One of the ways that a gamified learning system can be structured is to make six major levels of difficulty, corresponding to the six categories of cognitive processes, starting from the simplest to the most complex-knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation- arranged as a series of difficulties in series, where one must be mastered before the next one can take place.
The mechanics that would follow would include the four main levels of the cognitive dimension of learning as below:
The above 4 by 6 matrix s formed by levels of cognitive-learning dimensions – factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive, as rows and the categories of cognitive processes: remember (knowledge), understand (comprehension), application, analysis, evaluation and creation(synthesis), as columns. There are 24 combinations that can be used in creating game elements for learning, learning objectives and their resulting performance metrics and scoring.
A classic example of a simple gamified approach is seen in Microsoft Lab’s Ribbon Hero 2, which was built to help people explore some of the new and useful features of MS Office, and learn them in the process. The game follows the story of Clippy and his journey through time as he explores different time periods and tries to get back home. With each time period, the player gets to explore a new game-board with challenges that they must complete to get to the next level. Each challenge takes the player through Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote to complete a task. It allows the player to discover new office features by actually using them, with a hint button to fall back on in case one gets stuck. There are a ton of features in the office that can help the player/user learn to become more productive, organized and creative by exploring these new features in a fun way.
Much instructional coursework follows the tradition of laying out the Program Outcomes and Course Objectives (PO’s and CO’s) for the students to navigate through the coursework, but most often than not, instead of being seen as a help, they are seen as another piece of text to be read and are mostly ignored unless mandatory. Enlisting PO’s and CO’s can be helpful to set appropriate learning goals and objectives that help them navigate through the syllabus and study material if presented in a form that is engaging, which is possible in the Gameful framework. In fact, the PO’s and CO’s can be used directly in designing the performance mechanics and metrics through the gamified coursework. Giving the PO’s and CO’s as checklists to the users in notification pings at every level advance will help them keep track of their progress and give them a boost to checkmark the next task as complete. In other words, more often than not, most of the things we need for gamified design in the area of education are out there in traditional paper and textual formats among others, and we simply have to tap into these resources, compose them into one big Gameful system with appealing audio-visuals and game mechanics.
As another example, goal-oriented filling up of a virtual bookshelf inventory in a Gameful learning application is more motivating than simply reading for the sake of coursework. We need objectives within objectives. The player can set tasks about reading certain amounts of books or certain authors or genres in a set time period and the gamified module can be designed around it to help them achieve that in a fun way, by maybe turning certain portion into audio-visuals, relevant video-clip embeds, or infographics or facts from the wild, etc. Yet another instance is about developing more engaging mind-maps, which are an amazing tool for special organization of content and aid to memory. Instead of just using texts connected with branches around the main idea, we use the visionary power of the brain. The mind thinks in pictures, is a well-known fact to all of us, which again is a good opportunity for us to evolve game elements around this ideology. Every mind map summarises a concept, which can be seen as snapshots embedded graphics or audio-visuals, instead of words and text, so that the learner is able to recognize those words instead of passively reading them. One can show the relationships among these snapshots and in showing them, a timeline or some other constraint can be added to make it challenging, and evaluable using time or something else as a performance metric.