Journal

BCPID 3240 February 2015

Week One

“Customization and gaming are changing the human condition and will change education too.” (p.52)

We live in a “microwave world” – I want it yesterday and in exactly the way that I want it. I don’t want to wait – 3 seconds is too long – it better get to me fast and it better fit into my existing plans. Online shopping on the go, have it FedEx’d and it will be there by the next business day; self-checkout at the grocery store, virtual physicians – really? This “instantaneous attitude” is prevalent – why wouldn’t we have this attitude when it comes to learning?

Gen Y and Gen Z have evolved in this online world. The Y and Z generations live and breathe in an electronic environment. Four-year olds take iPads to school and track playdates, nine year olds have smart phones. My generation, the Baby Boomer, while adapting to technology, do not have the same love affair that Gen Ys and Zs do and the generation behind me, struggle to keep up even more.

On line communities are the norm, whether that be Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr, and Twitter; communities in which to play together; work through problems, solve issues individually and in groups, plan, engage and inevitably learn. I have watched young CA students IM each other even though they sit beside each other and share a half-wall divider between them. According to (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_community) on line learning build a social and collaborative learning experience: People are best able to learn when they engage, communicate, and collaborate with each other. Online communities create an environment where users can collaborate through social interaction and shared experiences. Lesson learned (good or bad) in this this virtually world cannot help but transfer to some degree into the real.

Technology will play a vaster role in the actual delivery of the learning as the need to educate the masses increases. As stated by (Johnson, Estrada, Freeman, Ludgate, & Cummins, 2013) Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models. MOOCs and other forms of virtual delivery will become the most efficient way of teaching in a large scale format. Your smart phone gives you on-the-go training; you can learn a new language, a piece of software or time management skills during your daily commute. Pick the app, set your preferences and you’re good to go.

As a facilitators and instructional designers, we need to understand and embrace this “instantaneous attitude” and capitalize on the ongoing love affair with technology. We need to ensure that we incorporate the positive aspects of gaming within our e-learning deliveries. It is found that when gamification is embedded within eLearning units and Learning Management Systems, learner engagement increases. For instance, gamification of Deloitte Leadership Academy triggered a massive 46.6% increase in the number of learners returning to the LMS daily (Denny, 2015).

By embracing gamification, we will ensure that our learning is fun, adaptable, and customizable; that it supports, engages and challenges the Gen Y and Zs but while at the same time remains playful so that it does not intimidate or overwhelm the Baby Boomer or other previous generations.

Once you know something – you can’t “un-know” it; you cannot go back only forward and continue to evolve.

Because the delivery mechanisms are changing so rapidly and the sophistication and expectation of the learner is keeping pace, in order to meet the needs of the institute and the needs of the learner, learning design must also evolve. As both teacher and student, I know what does and does not motivate me; gamification desires to combine intrinsic motivation with extrinsic one in order to raise motivation and engagement (Viola, 2011). Intrinsic motivators can include challenges and virtual goods while extrinsic motivators can include points, levels, badges, or missions.

As with my language app, the more hearts I receive the more I want to try, and the more I try the more I learn, and the more I learn the more accomplished I feel, and the more accomplished I feel, the more I want to play and so on and so on with the overall objective of learning a new language being achieved and then used in the real world. Adding these components to e-learning, with the desire to create great e-learning, can only enhance the experience for the end user and provide satisfaction as a designer.

Teaching today incorporates a broad range of technology such as on line learning, virtual learning, app-based learning, MOOCs, simulations and game-based learning; I can only see this trend expanding in the future as the world grows smaller and the learners more diverse. I am currently learning Spanish on my phone using an application called Duolingo. I can spend 15 minutes every day, on the train or lying in bed, learning how to speak and write Spanish. The app provides me with rewards (hearts) for each new phrase or word learned or I lose hearts for each mispronunciation; get enough words wrong and lose all my hearts and I am sent back to module 1. By accessing iTunesU through my smartphone, I can take a course on digital storytelling, Ancient Greece, intermediate Algebra or any number of on-line courses or classes to learn about world affairs or basket weaving 101.

It is easy to measure success in competency based learning – you must master skill #1 (pass the test – get all the hearts) before proceeding to skill #2 and so on but for outcomes based learning the measurement of success is more of a challenge. How can you tell whether or not the e-learning module has connected the learner to a particular behavior?

By including gamification in your e-learning design, you make the content more attractive and engaging for the user. Gamification also implies a social game and interaction with other participants. Fogg explains that when people perceive a social presence, they naturally respond in social ways and have feelings like empathy or anger… (Fogg, 2009).

Emotion has long been known to influence what we remember. On the basis of the reviewed literature, it is clear that emotion can exert effects at the time of encoding, during retrieval search processes as well as during the experience of recollection (Buchanan, 2008). As there is a distinct link between emotion and memory, and if gaming can connect a learner emotionally to the content, isn’t it more likely that the learner will remember the lesson and make the connection at the right time and in the right place; and really, isn’t this what learning is all about – constructing new knowledge with the old?

References

Buchanan, T. W. (2008). Retrieval of Emotions. National Institute of Health, 20.

Denny, J. (2015, January 17). eLearning Industry. Retrieved from http://www.elearningindustry.com: http://elearningindustry.com/fall-love-elearning-gamification-personalization-clear-pathways?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Felearningindustry.com%2Ffall-love-elearning-gamification-personalization-clear-pathways&utm_content&u

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_community. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_community

Fogg, B. (2009). A Behavior Model for Persuasive Design. Persuasive Technology Lab – Stanford University.

Johnson, L., Estrada, M., Freeman, V., Ludgate, H., & Cummins, S. (2013). The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition. The New Media Consortium.

Viola, F. (2011). Gamification I videogiochi nella vita quotidiana. Arduino Viola.

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June 5, 2013
Assignment #2 is almost done. Just need to post the two articles in the glossary and then submit my blog for marking. This has been a fun assignment. I’ve never blogged before and really never had the desire to–not really understanding what it meant to “blog”.

I like my blog lol – I think it is creative and a good representation of what it is I am doing it for.

I spent time with a friend of mine, Andrew, who blogs on a regular basis to get an understanding of posts, pages, widgets, tags, and stats – all Greek to me 🙂 Andrew’s blog is about cartoon heroes and comics – I’ll have to ask him to send me the link.

I’ve learned a lot about educational trends and teacher roles in this assignment and it’s given me a lot to think about. When news of the teachers needs and wants surface and they talk about striking I’ve always maintained a “stop complaining and get on with it” mentality.  After having researched my first assignment and now my second, I’ve come to realize there is a lot more to it (being a teacher) than I ever gave thought to. Doing the assignments, spending time investigating different models of learning, gaining a better understanding of the role, the incorporation of technology, how all the components integrate together, while at the same time understanding the politics that drive it, has changed my perspective on it and I am much more willing to “hear” what teachers are saying and what their needs might be. I think there is a general lack of understanding on just how much goes into the making of a “teacher”. Maybe we all need to do a little research to gain a bit of perspective – the proverbial walk a mile in someone else s shoes.

I’ve also learned how to blog. This is a new piece of software that I can add to my personal arsenal of skills.

I’ll keep working this, adding to it, enhancing it and watch it grow….

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April 28, 2013
Started my research for the Learning Theory assignment. It has been difficult to choose a theory that resonates with me without understanding the basics of each theory. This has been a long process and I’ve done a lot of reading on the “Big 5” and watched a lot of YouTube videos trying to get a sense of what lies underneath each theory. I wanted more of a “Learning Theory for Dummies” rather than the text book we are using as a reference – I needed something that gave it to me in plain English.

I at first thought I followed the humanist approach, and I do to some degree, but cannot relate this sort of free-for-all structure (contradiction) in a classroom. I think that the facilitator’s role is to provide substance from which the learner can draw from – without a frame of reference or example from which to begin – how can the learner begin to relate it to self? I think that it is the facilitator’s role to provide information on the subject, and then provide the learner or participant with a exercise or discussion in which to link this back to their own experience and help them to cement in their brains and link it to their own behavior and with what I’ve read and watched tonight that seems to be Constructivism. So, the Learning Theory assignment will be on constructivism and if I can find a sub-theory that perhaps brings into play some of the humanistic aspects such as that which aligns with a human’s natural desires and tendencies to do the right thing I think I will have captured a theory that works for me.

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