A. Zabor, MSc
Wroclaw University of Economics and Business,
Gamification is one of the hotly discussed topics in the current literature on management [Borkowska, 2015]. This is evidenced by the latest foreign compact publications on this subject [Herger, 2013; 2014; Kuma, 2013; Zichermann, & Linder, 2010; 2013; Zichermann, Cunningham, 2011; Burke, 2014; Kapp, 2012; Kappet al., 2013]. The term "gamification" was first used by British computer game programmer Nick Pelling in 2002. The success and flourishing of computer games contributed to the willingness to use the same mechanisms outside the areas of games. The development of gamification falls on 2010, when American companies started to use it in management.
Criteria for gamification:
1. Goal - gamification is used to help the company achieve predetermined goals
2. Emotions - gamification has a favor the task of arousing greater involvement of recipients, which is why it must affect emotions, and first of all, it should lead to satisfaction.
3. Game mechanics - gamification must use elements known from games.
4. Life - gamification must be embedded in reality, concern activities that are likely in everyday life.
5. Motivation - gamification is to encourage specific actions.
6. Feedback - participants must be kept informed of their achievements.
Gamification can be an alternative to traditional methods of education. It is slowly beginning to be used in academia. For example, at the Indiana University in Bloomington, prof. L. Sheldon has changed the course to be as game-like as possible. Students created their own avatars (graphical representations of users used in thevirtual world) and formulated guilds (groups of players sharing common views or goals). Instead of traditional work, students performed "quests" (tasks that players must perform to receive a reward) and "raids" (of players must work together to defeat a unique and particularly demanding opponent, called a boss in games). The most important change was rewarding players with experience points. Players started with 0 to consistently increase their experience points, which then translated into ratings. Sheldon's superiors had different opinions on the idea, but it was not banned because the course curriculum was not changed, only the way it was taught. The use of gamification not only increased the average grade obtainedby students, but also significantly increased the attendance [Badzińska, 2014]. Prof. Sheldon describes his methods in detail in The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game [Sheldon, 2011]. Game mechanisms are also starting to be used in universities, during classes for students and training for students. An innovative educational program is the Brainscape educational platform, enabling learning from stationary and mobile devices in various areas of knowledge. Certain elements of gamification can also be used in e-learning, taking into account different types of participants [Swacha, 2015]. Duolingo deserves attention - a platform for learning languages, thanks to which users can learn over seventy foreign languages free of charge. Duolingo offers lessons aimed at practicing pronunciation, listening and translation in each course. For each completed lesson, the user receives experience points, and obtaining a certain number of points guarantees reaching the next level. In addition, inside the platform there is a virtual currency lingot, which is obtained for reaching new levels and for maintaining the so-called strike, which is the number of consecutive days spent learning. For lingots, users can buy additional lessons or take language level tests. In this way, the creators of the platform took care to maintain systematicity in the process of learning foreign languages. Importantly, Duolingo is available both for beginners - who want to start learning the language from scratch, and for intermediate students - who want to improve their skills. In addition to the typical gamification phenomenon of rewarding for completed tasks, there is also an element of competition in the form of a scoreboard showing the results of the user and his friends (it is possible to connect the account with a Facebook account). The user receives badges for flawlessly completing the lessons, completing the course, spending the right amount of ropes and various challenges. Interestingly, the application is also used by teachers who delegate certain tasks to students. For example, in Guatemala and Costa Rica, governments of these countries have launched a Duolingo language teaching pilot in public schools. The Duolingo platform was established in 2011, and in 2013 it was chosen the best mobile application available for Android. In 2012, R. Vesselinov from the City University of New York and J. Grego from the University of South California examined its effectiveness. The results of their research showed that an average of 34 hours spent learning a language with Duolingo corresponds to one semester of learning a foreign language at the university. By comparison, the time equivalent to one semester at a university for language learning with the Rosetta Stone program, currently one of the most popular foreign language learning programs, is 55 hours.
This concept is also widely used in the area of employee training. The inclusion of game elements is not didactic here, it usually serves to break away from the substantive part of the training and integrate its participants. Gamification can also be used as a form of summarizing or checking the participants' knowledge, e.g. by means of quizzes.
1. Borkowska S. (2015), Od redakcji, Zarządzanie Zasobami Ludzkimi, nr 1 (102) Herger M. (2013), Enterprise Gamifiaction – Exploiting people by letting them have fun, CreateSpace.
2. Kumar J. (2013), Gamification at Work, Designing Engaging Business Software, Springer.
3. Zichermann G., Linder J. (2010), Game-based marketing: inspire customer loyalty through rewards, challenges and contacts, Wiley.
4. Zichermann G., Cunningham Ch. (2011), Gamification by Design, O’Reilly.
5. Burke B. (2014), Gamify: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things, Brookline, Gartner.
6. Kapp K.M. (2012), The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-Based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education, San Francisco, Pfeiffer.
7. Kapp K.M., Blair L., Mesch R. (2013), The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook. Ideas into Practice, Wiley.
8. Badzińska E. (2014), Potencjał urządzeń mobilnych i gamifikacji w usługach edukacyjnych, http://www.dbc.wroc.pl/Content/27063/Badzinska_Potencjal_urzadzen_mobilnych_i_gamifikacji.pdf.
Sheldon L. (2011), The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game, Cengage Learning.