Negotiate The Level Of Gamification In The Digital Materials You Develop!

Why You Need To Negotiate The Level Of Gamification In The Digital Materials You Develop

The naughty element in material development seems to have experienced a mutation at entering the new serious ecosystem of pedagogy – digital-oriented learning. Gamification has always been accused of distraction in and disruption to the logic behind a piece of material; by the same token, many material writers now blame this fundamental element in material design for the failure their digital products are doomed to. Is it fair?

Position Of Gamification

My experience and learning in material development on digital platform tells me a piece of material: Interactive handout, quiz, TED-Ed lesson, etc. must enjoy 4 basic features to later be able to function the way they are hopefully expected. First, they must do the click. It is all about the connection between the material and the language learner; you make it or you fail! You too might have encountered this a lot of times when the PDF file our students are filling in; for example, it does not manage to give good task instructions, and it eventually leads to a confusion with the learners which leaves no space for an appropriate user experience. The second feature is simplicity. A fine digital product or material is simple but deep. I remember once I read a really nice blog article on Chalkup about the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and how masterfully they exhibit these two factors.

While designing and then developing a digital material, be careful to make it as flat as possible. A flat material is the one of maximum delivery in minimum size: Flat graphics, flat file types, and flat engineering of ideas. Days are gone when heavy animations in PowerPoint slideshows, for instance, added to the value; such things now oppose the connection and simplicity of the designed material. Vectors and icons replace 3D pictures just as smart concept checking questions substitute for long and boring explanations of a grammar point; ‘flat’ is the keyword.

Connection, simplicity, and flatness. Last but not least comes gamification. You want your digital material to do the very click with your target operator? You would like the simplicity you have applied to your material to offer the learners a memorable user experience? You have been careful to produce a piece of material which delivers as much as possible in the least number of bits and bytes? Now take care of a slippery feature – gamification.

Gamification In Action

Gamification is a must-have. This is the overuse or misuse of this material design element which leads to the failure of the digital product we generate. Gamification, in fact, is the fluid lubricant within the material design which takes care of the successful user experience with the product. Let us go behind the scenes! Gamification is that extra question you fit in at the end of the Reading Comprehension task which makes the learners read between the lines, that vertical word-code you elicit on completion of the big crosswords which triggers the students’ sense of discovery, and that time hint you insert to help them with where to focus on the video clip to answer the close-watching questions! They all mean that gamification is there to fight boredom and rear perseverance with the digital material, app, or game.

Negotiation On Gamification

This is not always easy to achieve the balance. Low gamification means a collapse, and high gamification means a disaster! So where is the balance lying? Where the digital material you are developing is interesting enough to still get followed by the learner, and where it is still serious enough to deliver its content – language. Negotiate gamification for its presence in the digital materials you develop. Invite it to frequent what you are designing just as the 3 other elements do: Connection, simplicity, and flatness. Ask it to act humble and not to try to sit at the center of attention. And remember, this playful element gets very touchy when you ignore it. Do not ever ignore it. Negotiate with it.

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