Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gamifying a MOOC 1 voluntary group wiki?

I have been reading "For the Win" by Kevin Werbach and considering how I could gamify my MOOC in some way. One big point that is made in the book is that the games or gamifying must be voluntary. So, I won't make the game aspects part of the assignment and official grading process. Instead, I can include game characteristics in the social side of the class experience. The first option that comes to mind is rewarding students for developing a music technology wiki. With so many pieces of software, and constant software development,  it is hard to collect all the important information in a single location and keep it up-to-date, but as a group maybe we can, if we all join in. This seems like a likely arena to explore motivating people with game techniques. ---One consideration is term gamifying, maybe crowdsourcing would be a better term? It seems that the two ideas are actually very closely related and maybe crowdsourcing usually(always?) contains aspects of game mechanics in motivating the crowd.

Intuitively, this seems like a good place to experiment with gamification, but is it really? 

--Hey Kevin, What does gamification do well?
Some of the things that games do well include encouraging problem solving, sustaining interest from novice to expert to master, breaking down big challenges into manageable steps, promoting teamwork, giving players a sense of control, personalizing the experience to each participant, rewarding out-of-the-box thinking, reducing the fear of failure that inhibits innovative experimentation, supporting diverse interests and skillsets, and cultivating a confident, optimistic attitude.
Werbach, Kevin; Hunter, Dan (2012-10-30). For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Kindle Locations 501-504). Wharton Digital Press. Kindle Edition. 
Developing a wiki is largely a challenge of: "breaking down big challenges into manageable steps."  
The completed wiki, as I see it, would easily include over 500 individual pages. As a whole that is a really big challenge, but for 30,000 people it seems a fairly small task. The first task for me as the "game designer" then is to create a structure for breaking the task into small pieces.

Designer task 1: Build the wiki pages, but allow the group to develop the content within the pages.


--Hey Kevin, do you think gamification might fit my needs?
Let’s define the process more systematically. To figure out where gamification might fit your needs, consider the following four core questions:
1.Motivation: Where would you derive value from encouraging behavior?
2.Meaningful Choices: Are your target activities sufficiently interesting?
3.Structure: Can the desired behaviors be modeled through a set of algorithms?
4.Potential Conflicts: Can the game avoid conflicts with existing motivational structures? 
Werbach, Kevin; Hunter, Dan (2012-10-30). For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Kindle Locations 556-563). Wharton Digital Press. Kindle Edition. 
1.Motivation: Where would you derive value from encouraging behavior?

Value would be in the future usage of a quality resource. All digital musicians could benefit from this resource. Future classes would benefit from the work of previous classes.

2.Meaningful Choices: Are your target activities sufficiently interesting?

This is a challenge. How can I make the activities(adding to a wiki) interesting. Hmmm, what if I mandated that a single person could only add a single sentence to any page? And that information should not be duplicated on any page. This puzzle/ruleset would lead to a set of brief  statements about the topic, each of which could be contested in the comments, and would stop a single person from dominating any topic. The rules of grammar would effectively control much of the game.

I will post now, but plan to edit the post to respond to Werbach's points 3 and 4...



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