Resources and references from my #lt13uk workshop – game-based learning

Thanks to @KimSGeorge for the image

Thanks to @KimSGeorge for the image

On day two of the Learning Technologies conference I ran a session on game-based learning, with a specific focus on application in the workplace, impact and cost. I was (and still am) of the opinion that it is something of a fringe subject for the Learning Tech world, but the size of the audience suggests otherwise. It looks like game-based learning and gamification are perhaps on the verge of a tipping point in to the mainstream…

Anyhow, throughout the talk (and one I did previously, Playing Games with Quality, in the exhibition hall), I littered the place with references, many of which might have got beyond the eager tweeting. So here’s a list of things I referenced. If I miss any, let me know…

Research on the efficacy of game-based learning:
Sara de Freitas – Learning in Immersive Worlds report
Simon Egenfeldt-Neilson – Overview of game-based learning research
Traci Sitzmann – Analysis of the research in to effective instruction using games. or see: PixelLearning
Tom Malone – Toward a theory of intrinsically motivating instruction (1981)
Sara de Freitas – Literature Review of gaming practices for learning
Sara de Freitas & Martin Oliver – evaluating exploratory learning in games

Research on wider theories:
Deci & Ryan – Self-Determination Theory wiki plus academic papers
Benjamin Bloom – The Two-Sigma Problem
Garrison et al – Cognitive Presence
Dan Pink – Drive
Thaler & Sunstein – Nudge
James Paul Gee – Affinity Spaces
Marc LeBlanc – Eight types of fun

Game Design and Gamification books:
Jesse Schell – The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses
Karl Kapp – The Gamification of Learning and Instruction
Raph Koster – A theory of fun for game design
Jane McGonigal – Reality is Broken
Bernard Suits – The Grasshopper: Games, life and utopia

America’s Army
Manga High
Portal 2 – Teach with Portals
Campden Springs – ARG
Curatr – gamified learning platform
Zombie’s Run
Stack Overflow – Gamified Q&A

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  1. #1 by Mohit Garg CoFounder MindTickle at March 4th, 2013

    Hi Ben,

    I came across your blog. Thank you for putting all the content systematically.

    I would be happy to know why you say “It looks like game-based learning and gamification are perhaps on the verge of a tipping point in to the mainstream…”

    What is your view on linking gamification to change in behaviours?

    Thank You

  2. #2 by Ben at March 4th, 2013

    Hi Mohit

    Thanks for your comment. I say we’re on the verge of a tipping point for two reasons:

    1. Video games in mainstream entertainment are hugely popular and, as such, are creating a shared language amongst users that means a growing proportion of the population understands the language of games and gaming. We start to know that things like “experience points” are good, desirable things for example.
    2. Gamification is being used to good effect in some more mainstream education websites – think Code Academy, Khan Academy etc…

    I think Gamification is entirely behavioural. I’ve got no evidence as to the long-term effects of habit forming using gamification, but there’s a lot of information about habit forming that would seem to align with some gamification literature. The issues arise when you shape the wrong behaviour; going for quantity, not quality of contributions for instance.



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