A new buzz term has been making its way around the instruction design world: Gamification. Like all buzz words, the idea is not new, however, acknowledging that it is an instructional strategy is very useful, especially for someone like myself who has a strong interest in gaming.
So what is gamification?
Gamification is the act of applying gaming techniques, strategies, and principles into any type of training and/or process. For instance, putting an achievement system into an LMS to reward learners for taking courses and gaining certain scores on the assessment. Essentially its the idea of taking anything gaming and putting it into regular training. Thus we take the ‘part’ of games that make them fun while giving us a sense of accomplishment and put this into regular training which then increases learner motivation. Instead of developing an actual game, we take pieces of the game.
At this point, the literature on gaming is growing large but is not very experimental. Having said that, the idea of gamification can be measured via quantitative research and I would expect to see quite a bit in the next few years as we develop best practices based on gaming strategies.