Introducing Gamified Activities to Energize Online Learning

As we are standing at a critical time of accepting the significant change in the educational environment, there are a lot of opportunities in online teaching and experiential pedagogical approach.

Dr. Mina Rohani creates an atmosphere of collaboration and encouragement in her digital marketing and marketing analytics courses by infusing thoughtful gamification techniques into the curriculum that widen the lens to course material. This powerful pedagogical method creates an environment where students and faculty work and learn together. Leading to a learning goal met by using real-world examples in a gamified approach. It also keeps interest high by offering rewards and points for successful work done independently or in a group.

Last spring, when all classes shifted to online modality, Dr. Rohani reached out to her colleagues and provided two workshops to share the philosophy of gamification and ways to implement it online.  Developing a curriculum to engage active and experiential learning is imperative to keep online engagement high. The feedback from her students reflects the spark ignited when thoughtful and real world-based play is incorporated into the classroom.

"The class was wonderfully engaging to begin with, and she further demonstrated her commitment to her students through the constant line of communication that she maintained once the course switched to an online format.  Professor Rohani clearly put immense effort in ensuring this course would be equally enriching online as it would have been if the entire course were conducted in-person."

-- Digital Marketing Student

Dr. Rohani keeps basic principles in mind when developing games for her classes.  They must be S.M.A.R.T.:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Based.  As well, they must define a progress path, be collaborative and competitive where groups may compete for extra credit points.  

Most importantly, she commits to designing a fair and robust grading system on challenging, but achievable outcomes.  Of course, she herself must be able to master the game and have a realistic understanding of how long it will take students to do the same. 

In the current age of the virtual workplace, gamification is a concept that can be woven into the business world.  While we are all adapting to the daily meld of Zoom fatigue and numbing conference calls, inserting gamification into the work day can infuse meaningful connections, outcome oriented teamwork… and some fun.