We had a great webinar earlier this week with Misty Harding, Instructional Designer extraordinaire. During that webinar Game-Based Design, we had lots of questions that we ran out of time for. Misty kindly answered a few afterward for us. You can check out her thoughts on building accessible games here. Today, let’s find out her advice on persuading your stakeholders that gamification is the way to go. (Plus, another bonus question because there were just so many!)
How to get sponsors/leaders on board with gamification?
I think this depends on your sponsor, the initiative, and your relationship with that sponsor. Have you earned their trust over time? Do they consider you a trusted advisor? What speaks to your sponsor/stakeholder in terms of making decisions. Do numbers/statistics speak to them, for example? Emotional appeals? Visuals? Consider that in how you might persuade them. How can you align your goals for gamification with your sponsor/stakeholder’s business goals? What would be the most effective way to show that to them and gain their approval?
Generally, the road to gamified solutions is going to be paved with small steps. It will start by creating more experientially designed programs. Then it might move to thematic quizzes or gamified interactions. If your audience likes it and it’s proven effective, you can start to build the case for a gamified solution. But before you pitch it, make sure you’ve done your due diligence. In the webinar, we talked about a checklist you can use to determine if gamification is the right solution. Are you being honest with yourself about the need for a game versus another solution that would work just as well?
Get your facts/reasons straight, build your case, build your trusted advisor relationship, and then appeal to your stakeholders in a way that speaks to them. If you get the chance to implement a gamified solution, track your results and make sure to show them what happened to reinforce the decision for the investment.
Can a game be used to teach software, another language, boring content, etc?
Games can be used to teach almost anything. A lot of the examples we looked at in the webinar could be repurposed to teach a variety of topics. For example, we’ve used a story-based approach to teach software many times: creating a story set up and including a problem, asking the user to help a character correct the problem through tasks performed in the software, having consequences if it’s not done right, etc.
Gamified interactions can be a great way to teach something like language. I’d suggest going and looking at K-12 educational software for inspiration. Simple ways to teach math and letters can also apply to language. There are companies out there that specialize in teaching language through online means and they’d be a great source of inspiration too.
We have two more gamification webinars this week. Head to the eLBX Online page to register.