Gamification – Creating Attractive Quests

One of the aspects inherent in gamification is choice. Providing learners with the option to ‘choose their own path’.  In the design of my gamified module on Business Operations for the college course in Entrepreneurship that I teach, I gave students lots of choice.

Overall quest “attractiveness” is defined as the operational relationship of three components: capturing one’s interest, sustaining one’s effort, and resulting in a meaningful, personally relevant (highly rated) learning experience (Haskell, 2012). Students have been participating in the gamified version of my unit for one week now at varying levels of participation however a few quests seem to be chosen over and over again.  This may be because students find them interesting to begin with, their classmates have highly rated these quests, or maybe they are talking about them in class.

The skeptic in me believes that students may also choose quests based on perceived level of difficulty, ie. this one is easy so I will do it. The perceived easiness of a quest is also related to an individual learner’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if a learner is very good at internet research and summarizing, they may be more inclined to choose quests that allow them to do this. If a student is creative then they may be more inclined to choose quests that allow them to be creative and express themselves such as creating movie clips or designing cartoons. Designing attractive quests requires that I consider all learning styles and preferences and provide something for everyone.

A few interesting stats on my gamified unit to date:

In one week, 10 students have completed a total of 91 quests. Of these completed quests, 23% or 21 of 91 have involved watching TED Talk videos and completing reflections on these videos. Nine quests which involved being creative by designing a cartoon have also been completed. The majority of the quests completed involved researching a question and building their own knowledge.

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