Climbing a mountainLearners are like mountain hikers. They need to see how big the mountain is, how difficult it can be to climb it, what and how many resources they'd need for the journey, and how much time will be necessary to reach the top. Teachers can include this mountain metaphor in their online courses, using the right words, and the right rewards. Each journey begins with a single step and more steps take us closer to our destination: One step = a class activity. Any class activity is meant to help students learn, be it an article, a presentation, a video, an audio file, a game, a group interaction, or any other form. They must be short and interconnected. A trip = a class. A class is all activities from above, just like a trip means the sum of all steps taken from point A to point B. A camp = a learning module or chapter. Some learning modules may require just one class, while others need more time (and steps). When hikers set camp, they gather around the fire, tell stories of their journey so far, and plan for the next day. In the learning dimension, a camp is where a test happens. The top of the mountain = the final exam. After gathering as many steps and checking in at as many camps as possible, hikers get closer to their destination — the top of the mountain. The same is true for students, who need to face and pass the final test.
Gathering pointsAs a teacher, you can get as creative as you wish with the metaphor you'll use in your gamified online course. Go ahead and make your students pirates to find a hidden treasure, astronauts to go to the Moon, or gardeners who grow the most exquisite flower on Earth. What needs to be clear, no matter their avatars, is their journey through the learning process. You can use points, or stars, or flowers, to count for their progress, and let them know exactly where they are: what levels they've completed, what are their "work in progress", and how many more steps are there until the learning destination. Each class can have a short test at the end of it on what were the daily activities, and students earn points based on their knowledge. Each module should come with a serious test, and students should be able to plan for their results based on the points they already have. When the test comes with the real grade, they can compare themselves against their expectations. The same stands true for the final test, based on the points of the e-learning modules. What's more, the data that comes with all points helps teachers identify patterns in learning and knowledge transfer. Also, any problems that occur can be addressed immediately, for each student.
Making progress in learning with gamificationThe learning process may have a lot of destinations. But then again, there are many mountains in this world. From Mount Wycheproof to Mount Everest, students will have better results if they know their steps, camps, and mountain tops. The journey never ends. For more articles about this topic, please visit the Gamification category.
FREE Resource: How to make learning engaging with gamification