The Top Five Things You Want In An Online Gamification Course

Being a PhD graduate I'm a sucker for undertaking research to support any crazy ideas I might have.

Which is a good thing, because I have a few. 🤔

My latest idea is to create an online gamification course. 🎉

I know there are some great online courses that already exist, but I believe being both a gamification researcher and industry consultant (not to mention lecturer) means I can provide a unique perspective.

But, like any good gamification design you make... you should first justify the idea.

So two weeks ago I shared a survey link via my newsletter asking for those of you interested in an online gamification course to give me some feedback.

So far the response has been good!

Thank you to the 55 people who shared with me what they would like to see in a gamification course (psst... it's not too late to provide some feedback).

I thought I'd share the results with you all as they provide an interesting insight to anyone thinking of teaching gamification.

So let's see what you said...

What topics are you interested in?

First up, I was interested in learning what topics you were keen to learn about.

Did you want a general introduction to gamification or something more specific?

For this I let you pick multiple responses and the response with the most interest was General Gamification Design (42 responses), followed by User Experience (36) and then Education & Learning (28). 

 
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Other topics with less interest included Enterprise & HR (12) and Fitness & Health (5).

Have you tried another online course?

I was keen to see if you had tried another course and if so, which one in particular you had tried?

The answer? Only a third of you have tried an online gamification course before. 

 
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The online course that was tried the most was the Coursera Course by Kevin Werbach (10 responses), followed by Octalysis Prime by Yu-kai Chou ( 3 responses). 

1 person had tried an edX course and the others had tried different online university courses that were either in Spanish or a course I couldn't access. 

 
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This is interesting data, but more importantly I wanted to know what you liked about these other courses, and what you thought could be improved.

So what did you like?

I grouped responses into 5 different themes. These included:

  • Content: Five of you mentioned that the content was interesting and was well structured. Also mentioned was the good delivery and knowledgeable instructors. 
  • Examples: Another five responses mentioned examples, particularly that good examples were used, in particular to explain theories.  
  • Theories and research: Three responses mentioned that content was tied to theories, and backed by research. 
  • Practical: Another three mentioned that the course they tried provided practical ideas and processes. 
  • Building: Two mentioned that they actually built something by the end of the course.

What could be improved?

In terms of what could be improved, I grouped responses into 2 main groups:

  • Content: Nine of you mentioned that content could be improved. Either by providing more in-depth content (5 responses), or more interesting, visual and up-to-date content.
  • Practical: Three of you mentioned having more practical examples and case studies would be good, as well as more concrete examples of applying gamification.

Anything else you want in an online course?

There sure is.

Again I grouped responses and came up with 3 main groups:

  • Gamify the course: Ten of you said I should gamify the course. Very meta!
  • Tools: Four of you mentioned that having useful tools, documentation or how-to guides would be incredibly useful. 
  • Community: Three of you mentioned that being able to chat and interact with other students is useful. I agree.

Other things mentioned included having good examples, working through a real project from start to finish, and making it accessible is incredibly important.

Interestingly, one of you mentioned that hopefully the course is intrinsically rewarding enough that I don't need to rely on gamification to motivate students.

The Top Five Things You Want

Okay! Let's wrap this up. What are my five big takeaways from this?

  1. It looks like a General Gamification Design course is the most requested course, followed by a course on User Experience and Education & Learning.  
  2. When it comes to current online courses, you liked the content, examples, research, practical ideas and processes they provided.
  3. However, some of the courses could provide more in-depth, interesting and up-to-date content. As well as having more practical examples and case studies.
  4. Some of you want me to gamify the course. This seems obvious right? Or does it? This will depend on a few things, but never fear! I will be inspired by games as much as possible in order to make a more interesting course.
  5. Practical tools and a community aspect would be nice to have as well.

What's next? 

I'm going to start planning the curriculum for a General Gamification Design course, which will likely be followed by two 'side-quests' or 'expansions' that focus on User Experience and Education & Learning.  

I'll focus on making a course that has great content, is backed by research, includes practical examples, and useful tools to get you started quickly. I'll look at how to make it interactive as well, and with a community aspect.

Don't worry, I'll also look at how games can influence the course design too. 😉

I'm looking at platforms for delivering it too. At the moment I think Teachable might be the best, but if you have any other suggestions, drop me a line.

I'll keep the survey link open for the time being in case any more of you want to provide feedback.