HomeUncategorizedAnother Take: Gamification in...

Another Take: Gamification in Education – It’s Not Always About Winning

This week, I’m completing our second “Take Two,” a back-to-back series of blog entries between me and  Shannon, with my take on gamification in education as part of our Olympic theme.  To see the first entry, check out Take Two: It’s Not Just About Winning in the Olympics – Lessons for Higher Education.

This weekend, the city of London opened itself up to the world and kicked off the 2012 Olympic Games.  I’ve been glued to my TV ever since.  (I also came across this handy website that allows you to find out when each event is being shown on your local network: Olympic TV schedule – enjoy).  The Olympic Games are such an inspiring example of international unity, and hearing the stories of Olympians are sometimes even more amazing.  Their journeys are full of discipline, passion, and learning.  There are so many lessons that can be applied to higher education, but I want to focus on one that has been trending up lately: gamification in education, specifically using social media.  Let’s take a closer look.

What is gamification?

Gamification is the use of game design techniques, game thinking, and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts.  If I had to translate that very formal definition into an educational framework, I’d say gamification is adding incentive or external motivation to promote action.

About gamification in education

Of course, since there has been a lot of hype about gamifying lately, there also comes some speculation, and some appropriate thoughts at that.  On the other hand, a recent whitepaper published by MIT called “Moving Learning Games Forward” makes a case for educational games and learning through play.  Below is an infographic that helps to highlight some major takeaways from the paper.  Some food for thought comes in the first quote mentioned: “Game players regularly exhibit persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail and problem-solving, all behaviors that ideally would be regularly demonstrated in school.”

gamification-education-infographic-knewton-2365576

A great visual summary of MIT’s whitepaper on gamification in education. Click the image to be taken to the original blog entry where I found this graphic.

About gamification on social media

In a recent study detailing why people follow brands, it was revealed that approximately 37% of people follow brands on Facebook for “Special Offers/Deals” and 43.5% have similar motivations for following a brand on Twitter.  Further, 70% of the respondents in the study reported that they have participated in a brand-sponsored contest or sweepstakes.  The motivation and evidence are there: people want to be engaged in “gaming” via social channels.

Examples of gamification in higher education

We’re all just getting started here, but there are some very interesting developments already taking place.  Here are a few:

  • Penn State developed an “Educational Gaming Commons” to bring games into teaching & learning.  Many examples there.
  • Educause’s paper, “7 Things You Should Know About Gamification,” discusses how Dartmouth used gaming to help students and archivists tag thousands of photos for researchers and offers another cautionary note about gamification
  • Seven of the Ivy+ alumni associations are currently engaged in the “Alumpics” where they’ll each post an alumni-related photo on their Facebook Pages.  The university with the most Likes on the picture will win the gold.

Personally, I think there’s potential to gamify with educational goals in mind when it’s done right, whether it’s promoting learning or growing an affinity to your university.  I, for one, will be experimenting with the idea more this year, and I think using social media is one fantastic way to do it.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts or examples of gamification in education in the Comments and let’s play!

By Kevin

Most Popular

More from Author

Awesome Article Alert: One Stat that Explains Why Instagram Is Adding Ads

Is your department on Instagram? If you’re not, you may want...

Higher Ed Marketing Journal Interview on Social Media

I’m excited to share that, earlier this month, friend and co-founder...

Read Now

To Pin or Not To Pin: The Debate Over Pinterest Use in Higher Ed

To pin or not to pin, that is the question many colleges and universities are asking themselves about Pinterest today. This platform, designed to organize and share things across the web, has taken off thanks to topics driven by images, such as fashion trends, wedding tips and recipe...

Awesome Article Alert: One Stat that Explains Why Instagram Is Adding Ads

Is your department on Instagram? If you’re not, you may want to consider joining because “nearly one in five adult cellphone owners uses the app”, according to One Stat that Explains Why Instagram Is Adding Ads, which came out yesterday. A colleague shared this stat, which comes from...

Awesome Article Alert: Know your international student – Global or glocal?

Over the past few weeks, I have found myself engaged in various dialogues about higher education on an international level.  This is largely related to the recent series I organized, How the Internet Changed Career, and working with schools on the other side of the pond.  Speaking...

Higher Ed Marketing Journal Interview on Social Media

I’m excited to share that, earlier this month, friend and co-founder of Circa Interactive, Clayton Dean, interviewed me for an article published on the Higher Ed Marketing Journal.  The article, Social Media and Higher Education: Interview with Kevin Grubb, is live now, and my 3 key takeaways...

Social @ Edu: 2013-14 Edition

Happy New Academic Year! Here at Social @ Edu, Kevin and I are looking forward to the academic year ahead. Today, we want to share a few things we’re excited about, and more importantly, find out what you are looking forward to for the 2013-14 school year. The Career...

Guest Post: The 21st Century Study Abroad Student and Technology

We’re excited to welcome Tiana Tucker as our first guest blogger for the 2013-2014 edition. Tiana is the community manager for an online masters in nursing program, [email protected], from the Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences. She previously worked for the Danish Institute for Study Abroad as an...

About Facebook’s IPO? Nope – About LinkedIn’s ROI

It seems like every major media outlet can’t get enough of the buzz about Facebook’s IPO.  With some good reason: it was one of the biggest IPOs in history.  Many kudos to Zuckerberg and his team, but that’s not where I’m headed today. Recently, I attended an event...

A Year’s Worth of Social Media in Higher Education

It’s been exactly one year to the day since “social @ edu” first set out to explore social media in higher education.  Call us sentimental, but we can’t keep ourselves from thinking about all that’s happened during this time – on this blog, in social media, and...

Take Two: Seeds of Possibility in Higher Education

This week, we’re excited to introduce a new feature here on social @ edu, Take Two.  Take Two is a series where Kevin and I will present each of our own perspectives, or takes, on a particular topic at the end of each month. It’s an opportunity...

If Video Killed the Radio Star, Has Mobile Killed the Blogger?

Do you like sequels?  We do.  Especially this one: guest blogger, Megan Wolleben, returns to Social @ Edu.  Do you want to write a guest blog for Social @ Edu?  Tell us about it! Megan is an Assistant Director at the Bucknell University Career Development Center and the...

Conferences & Social Media: Amplified Professional Development

Yesterday, I returned from a trip to Orlando and an energizing conference where social media was ever-present.  I served as a guest blogger for the event, and doing so really got me thinking about social media’s role in conferences; how all of these ways to communicate amplify...

3 Ideas for Your LinkedIn University Page

LinkedIn recently launched a new product for higher education, University Pages.  I was very excited to a be a part of the beta test of this product at my university, and I think this page will be an important part of any institution’s social media strategy going forward....