Gamification: The Most Important Components of Gamification

One of the most important steps to gamify (apply the logic of games to a non-playful learning context) is essential to know its dynamics well and thus select and adapt those that are relevant. Some of the dynamics are usually applied are:



Reward


As its name implies, the reward is a benefit that is granted once a certain result is achieved. This plays an important role in the participant's loyalty process, since it invites them to complete certain activities, actions or achieve a certain performance based on receiving said reward. Generally, the reward is associated with components of game mechanics such as points and levels. These help determine student progress and their proximity to certain rewards. Additionally, rewards tend to have a tiered structure and become more attractive as the process progresses.



Achievement


Achievement is also a response that is reached by obtaining a certain result in the course, but, unlike the reward, it does not necessarily represent a benefit. It is only a determinant that testifies to the fact of having achieved the goal. A personal response that the course gives the student to assure him that he has completed a certain task, allowing him to mentally close that pending situation and focus on other things.



Status


Status is associated with rewards, but instead of becoming a specific event, it is usually a permanent public adjective that the student reaches after meeting a series of objectives (sometimes with a certain performance). In this way, status is considered as a differentiating instrument that usually highlights some aspect of the student's profile. Also similar to rewards, the ability to achieve a certain status motivates students and helps them strive for certain results. To design the names and characteristics of the different statuses it is important to base yourself on the content and nature of the course in which you are working. For example, a gardening course could have status such as: seed, leaf, branch, tree, etc.



Competition


Perhaps the component most commonly associated with games. It does not have to be designed as a competition between the participants because there are also cooperative games or those where you compete with yourself. But without a doubt that competition is one of the main motivating factors. This phenomenon is enhanced when the competition includes other people because the social factor, comparison and the desire to improve the results obtained by others enters.



Altruism


It could be considered as the opposite of the competition. Altruism is the sense that some of the participants feel for helping others. They are motivated to collaborate with others to achieve their goals. The peculiarity is that this altruism does not only occur between members of the same team where collaboration could be considered a natural phenomenon that benefits everyone, but also occurs between participants without any relationship where the altruist does not receive another benefit for their actions more than the pleasure of helping someone else.



Entertainment


Although gamification is basically understood as the application of the dynamics of games in non-playful environments focused on learning, entertainment is still present and strengthens the interest of the participants. In other words, it is not considered as one of the objectives of this methodology. A line of thought predominates that does not welcome the fact of talking about entertainment when designing gamification dynamics, but this is a point that should be demystified since entertainment can become the key to the success of the experience.



Feeedback


When interacting with the activity, the participant needs indicators that let him know if he is on the right track, if he should make changes or consider other options; this is what feedback is all about. In addition, this type of information allows you to determine your progress or position with respect to the objectives set, the effectiveness with which you respond to the different questions and other variables that help you to know details of your progress.




Gamification as a key to learning. Drawing by the author.


Gamification is common to all of us, so their application for training purposes should not be a complicated task, it is enough to follow the logic of each one and organize them within the activity that you want to develop. Perhaps the most important aspect to bear in mind is that these dynamics should serve to connect and motivate the participants. In this way, if contrary responses are observed, it will surely be necessary to make adjustments in the variables that have been put into practice.

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