The gamification of the unit #ALC203 makes it a lot more interesting,interactive and encouraging for students of learn!
— Shivangi Sharma (@shivi2016) May 5, 2016
Episode 3 of Our Gamified World is probably an ‘outlier’ in some ways given that it’s possibly the one and only time we’ll chat about an example of gamification that doesn’t yet exist. The ‘interview’ was filmed when Adam was in the very early planning stages of the ‘Tiffit system’, which sought to enhance students’ online activity and engagement across a number of platforms. While the system was yet to be fully realised, it would come to include not only a virtual currency or points system, but also unlockable content, side quests, real-time feedback, digital badges, and various other kinds of achievements.
Of course, this is only one possible mode of gamifying undergraduate and postgraduate digital media units, and perhaps the first question that this episode evokes in most viewers’ minds will be: did it actually work? Well, the short answer is Yes. The slightly longer answer – given that Adam is quite talkative on Periscope and has necessitated keeping this blog post short for your sanity (this is Adam writing this, so fair game really) – can be found in the broadcast below…
— Our Gamified World (@Gamified_World) October 7, 2016
One key point worth reiterating from Adam and Tiff’s reflection is the importance of keeping a gamified system, for lack of a better word, ‘fresh’. Particularly in the context of this example, the need to stay innovative and ‘edgy’ proved essential after only several weeks. Very few people are keen to repeat exactly the same kind of ‘level’ in any game, and unsurprisingly a diverse array of experiences is often fundamental to success in the gamification of non-gaming contexts. User (or student) initiative and agency played a role in this, with the Tiffit system even seeing the birth of the ‘student only challenge’ mapped out in this blog post. The need for rejuvenation at issue here links back to our earlier discussion of the potential banalisation of gamification.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the implementation of the Tiffit system, and you’re not completely tired of hearing Adam’s voice, you might like to check out his very first ‘Teaching from My Car’ podcast, which outlined for students the ways in they could accrue Tiffits and benefit from this. Alternatively, the following excerpt from a teaching video I made provides a summary of the Tiffit system’s key features and evaluates its effect on online activity half-way through the course:
Next week, we’ll divert our gaze outward to look at yet another facet of our gamified world: the Pact app designed to motivate healthy living.
Until then, happy gamifying!