Learning in a tradition environment with conventional methodologies can be an inefficient and time consuming process.
The human mind is programmed to engage and explore, which hardly happens in a traditional setup. Game based learning uses methodologies that induce and encourage the elements of engagement, exploration, positive reinforcement, curiosity and fun.
The whole learning process should be enjoyable and not a painful one. We should not need to worry about understanding and then retaining what we have learned, rather the whole focus should be on the positive outcome of learning.
We eat food with the purpose of sustenance but we do not worry whether we will gain energy and sustain ourselves as a result of what we eat, it just turns out to be a good experience or at least not a painful one.
The extent and type of gamification depends on the natural interest the person has on a subject.
I have identified 2 elements in game based learning, the ‘independent game component’, ( entertainment (engage), interactive element, exploration element, the social elements factors) and the ‘subject content component’ itself. When designing a game based learning course we need to understand many factors and elements that best suit a particular scenario. If a person is not interested or resists a subject but needs the information (Indian tax system for example) the independent elements of the game itself should drive the person to the acquisition of knowledge. If the subject is really boring the the ‘entertainment element’ and ‘curiosity element’ of the ‘independent game component’ needs to be a major driving force. The best analogy for this takes us back to when we were children our mothers would prepare a dish we dint like (but had nutrition required for a healthy child) and mix it with something we liked (cocktail) and present it in a way a child would enjoy eating it. The food industry has been using these methods for so many years (remember the biscuits with a smiling face)If a person already finds the learning subject interesting the other elements like exploration and social elements need to be emphasised. So a single course can have different formats, structures, and game element ratios to address the learning needs of different categories of people. The information could be gathered through a wizard, below are a few examples of the types of questions put forth to the person taking the course. How much do you know about area of learning? (basic level, intermediate level)What is your interest level in the course? What is the objective of the course for you? How much time are you able to sit and focus on a single topic.
The purpose of these questions is to address the needs of every individual and draw a good balance of the factors that effect the course participants and the type of course delivery. The output of this wizard can be a source of analytic which could in turn be used for one general course design or many specific course designs.