Gamified education set in pilot by Kaplan University

Kaplan University, a well-known for-profit, predominantly distant-learning institution started this year to have a pilot course to motivate students by applying gamification. Kaplan is one of the first to become a gamified education offerring courses in their online programs with the aim of creating higher motivation for students.

Finding that adding game elements to online education makes students work harder and achieve more, Kaplan University is making gamification a standard part of its information technology degree program, while also beginning to introduce it to the business school. – David Carr, article on Information Week

In the first phase of the gamification program, the Kaplan University aimed to reach at the non-obligatory courses which they were having troubles with the drop-out students. So, they brought in social and behavioural dynamics to the course. They collaborated with Badgeville, a Software-as-a-Service company focused purely on gamification; so to say, badges, leaderboards, points and also tracking of these information.

Implementation strategy for gamified education

„Working with Badgeville, they came up with a series of badges to recognize productive behaviors, including some that the system awarded automatically, based on metrics such as time spent in class, and others bestowed by the instructor or by peers, DeHaven said. As a result, students who are doing the right things get a constant stream of reinforcement, he said.“

After the first semester, they extended the system towards other core courses and noticed that the „unsuccessful rate“ (failed and/or drop-out students) decreased by 15.76%. The assignments which required additional challenges were attempted by the students with an 85% increase. All of this success appeared with the deep engagement strategies and motivational elements embedded to the courses.

„One difficulty with education — at least with deep engagement with education — is that feedback on learning is kind of loose,“ said Zach Bodnar, a producer from Badgeville who worked with Kaplan on the design of the program. „Typically, feedback that you’re successful or not successful comes in the form of exams or papers.“ Gamification techniques help break up the long-term goal of success in the course into many smaller objectives, allowing students to focus on the next step in the series and get immediate feedback as they complete each activity.“

Kaplan University’s method was far from the traditional systems. The Dean was eager to state that the older generation who are returning to school after a long break had higher confidence and better engagement with the new system of education. In addition to that, there is a common opinion that the online education, which is the dominant learning method in Kaplan University, breaks the feedback and social aspects of a classroom environment. The efforts and analysis to assemble a gamified course became successful to bring these lacking social patterns in forms of badges, leaderboards and points that in the end have a direct effect in the final grade.

Future of gamified education

The last word on gamification and the path to achieve a gamified education comes from the Dean of Kaplan’s School of Information Technologies, David DeHaven:

The effort required to gamify a course includes analyzing patterns of successful behaviors and designing the right system or badges and rewards, as much as the technical integration, DeHaven said. „It isn’t something you can just throw into a course and say it’s going to work.“

Further reading:
Accenture & Kaplan University on Keys to Designing Gamification for Learning
Elevate Enterprise Learning: Answering Key Questions
Kaplan Expands Gamification Of Online Courses

Bildquellen: Badgeville-Kaplan Webinar Screenshot

Bildquellen: Badgeville-Kaplan Webinar Screenshot

Dieser Eintrag wurde veröffentlicht in Gamification, Theorie zum Spiel und verschlagwortet mit , , von Safak Korkut. Permanenter Link zum Eintrag.

Über Safak Korkut

Safak Korkut is a creative who is interested in the latest technologies, new communication concepts, and social media development. He is also a professional filmmaker, project developer and MSc co-mentor in FHNW IWI; as well, a researcher and a documentarist in FHNW IVK. Apart from this, he is Narrative and Interactive Visualization Specialist, Designer and Co-founder of YAAY which is located in Basel, Switzerland. YAAY is a devoted interdisciplinary team which is aiming to have an impact on today's visual communication.

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