Many of us are challenged to convert our linear content into something more interactive and engaging. I was digging through some old workshop files and stumbled upon one I built a while back but never ended up sharing it outside of the workshop. In the workshop activity, the objective was to not build completely from scratch. We started with an existing template that was shared in the community, and then we explored a few ways we could add some gamified elements to create something that is a bit more effective and engaging.
Here’s a breakdown of some ideas from the workshop activity.
From Linear Content to a Gamified Experience
We started with a nice clean template designed to meet the team. It’s interactive, in the sense that you click to learn about each team member. This is great for an exploratory interaction where you need to collect information.
Original Template Example
In our activity, we used the template as a mechanism to interview team members and collect information to make the right decisions. We also added some other elements to gamify it a bit.
Gamified Template Example
Gamified Learning Challenge
The assumption is that there is some sort of challenge and the learner has to determine what to do. But first they need to collect information. They do this by interviewing the team members.
- Each team member has something to say. Some of it is relevant, some not. That’s part of the learning experience. The learner will have to determine what’s what and whether the information is useful.
- Each team member is assigned a point value. Some are low points and some higher.
- You can only collect a specific number of points before you’re asked to stop. Thus, who you ask is important. You don’t want to waste time or opportunity. Another part of the learning experience.
- The information you collect is added to a notebook and you’ll be able to review it later to make a more informed decision. Thus, the more information you have the better.
Gamified Template Modifications
Here’s what I added to the template to go from the original meet the team structure to the gamified interaction.
- There were ten possible interviews. We added a progress meter to track how many were interviewed. We used a number variable and added 1 for each interview.
- Created a disabled state for each character so you can interview only once.
- Collected information by clicking the star. This is tracked with a T/F variable that we use in the notebook to determine whether to display the interview content or not.
- Added a notebook that shows which answers are collected. The notes have hidden states and the T/F variable is used to show the information that is collected.
- Each character gets a point value. Too many points collected and you’re cut off. Used a number variable to track total points. Each interview adds X points to the variable. Once it exceeds 12 points, the interviews are stopped.
- Here’s a video tutorial where I walk through some of what I did to modify the template.
Gamified Learning Opportunities
There are a number of ways to create gamified learning experiences. Of course, this mock up isn’t complete, but here are a few things that I added to the template to increase engagement:
- Put the content into a relevant context. Instead of just sharing information, frame everything around an event where the learner would use the information in real life.
- Challenge the learner to make a decision. For the demo, it’s assumed something happened and the person needs to make a decision. To do so, they need to have all of the information. The more information, the better…maybe. Some of it could be false or irrelevant.
- Create a means to explore and collect information. They can choose who to interview and what information is relevant and add it to the notebook for use later in the course.
- Add risk and pressure. Choosing the wrong people means they collect less information and may not be able to complete the task. This is all part of the learning process: knowing what’s important and what’s not, and where to get the resources or correct information. Again, the demo isn’t completely developed, but you can see how this is important to decision-making opportunities.
- The person gets to demonstrate their understanding of a given topic through the decision-making process and how they use resources. The decisions made produce consequences which create opportunities to add feedback and additional instruction.
I love doing this activity in the workshops. It forces us to work with the constraint of existing templates and find a few simple things we could do to make it a more meaningful and engaging learning experience.
Take the Gamified Template Challenge
Find a template (or a slide with content) that is mostly static or linear content. Convert that linear content into a decision-making interaction. What do you need to do? How do you do this at the speed of business where you don’t have the luxury of working from scratch or building the most complex gamified experience?
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