Learning is always hard work, but sometimes it feels easier and we’re more motivated to persist if there’s an element of play involved. What can we learn about learning in the context of games that we might use to foster student learning in higher education?
That’s a topic we’ve explored several times here on the podcast, and I’m glad to share another discussion of this topic in today’s episode. Miguel “Miko” Nino is the director of the Office of Online Learning at the University of North Carolina Pembroke. He is also chair of the UNC Online Leadership Collaboration and serves on the review boards for the Journal of Online Learning Research, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, and the Journal of Technology and Teaching Education.
He’s also an old friend of Leading Lines producer, Julaine Fowlin. She sat down recently with Miko (virtually) to talk about the elements of games and play that we can bring into the learning environment. Miko talks about his passion for learning and games and reasons to “gamify” the learning experiences we design, and he shares lots of practical tools and strategies for doing so.
Derek: [0:00] This is |Leading Lines. I’m Derek Bruff. I have long been fascinated at how hard kids will work to learn something. If what they’re learning is how to play or beat a video game. Learning is always hard work, but sometimes it feels easier and we’re more motivated to persist. If there is an element of play involved. What can we learn about learning in the context of games that we might use to foster student learning in higher education?
That’s a topic we’ve explored several times here on the podcast, and I’m glad to share another discussion of this topic. In today’s episode, Miguel Miko Nino is the director of the office of online learning at the university of North Carolina in Pembroke. He is also chair of the UNC online leadership collaboration and serves on the review boards for the journal of online learning research. Contemporary issues in technology and teacher education and the journal of technology and teaching education. He’s also an old friend of leading lines producer Julaine Fowlin.
Julaine sat down recently with Miko, virtually to talk about the elements of games and play that we can bring into our learning environments. Miko talks a about his passion for learning and games and reasons to gamify the learning experiences we design. And he shares a lot of practical tools and strategies for doing so.
Julaine Fowlin: [1:30] Our guest for today’s podcast is Miko Nino, who is the director of online learning at the university of North Carolina Pembroke. He’s also the chair of N the online leadership collaboration. One fun fact is that Miko and I both did our PhDs at Virginia tech, just with UUs go hook is Miko doesn’t know this, but I secretly named him fireball as he was just so passionate about everything he did and successfully accomplished multiple things at once.
When I think about Miko, the first thing that comes to mind is gamification. So, I’m excited to have him share with us. About instructional strategies and technologies for gamification. Welcome Miko.
Mike Nino: [2:15] Thank you so much, Julaine. Thank you for having me here. I don’t know what to think about the fire bowl. I think it’s a good thing. I didn’t know that. That’s really funny. but thank you for the kind words. Thank you for that wonderful introduction. I’m very happy to be here.
Julaine: [2:30] Happy to have you, Miko. This is something that I asked all my guests because I believe that in life, everyone has a story around their passions and interests. And so, what’s your story about gamification? Why gamification?
Mike: [2:44] Honestly, I have always been fascinated by learning in general. I believe that you can change the course of your life. With just a single learning event. So, I’m very careful. I’m very intentional about learning and within the whole learning area, this, passion that I have for learning, I started to realize that we learn a lot informally.
If somebody calls you over the phone, if somebody tells you, if you’re watching the news, if you are listening, To the radio, if you’re on social media, even if you’re not thinking that you’re learning, you are actually learning. So, when I saw that people were learning so much, especially kids through games, and I realized that every single time kids, especially kids were playing a game or I as a kid was playing a game and I saw.That there were lessons. And there were things that changed me because of the game. I was like, it’s really interesting to see how games and the elements of games, which is gamification can really change learning in somebody and how can it be effective. So, I was very interested in knowing how informal learning can become more systemic and also more complex in nature, how you can create processes for that.
And that’s when I started thinking about gamification around the time when I started having this curiosity, digital game-based learning was one of those trends. Gamification was born after digital game-based learning. So when I was doing my research and I saw that the case for gamification supported by my data, by my research, that’s when I knew that gamification was something that I really had to try.I have tried gamification myself successfully. There have been some challenges like with everything, of course I’m not going to lie, but for the most part it has worked well. The key element is to know how to design gamification, but after I started trying gamification and I was intentional about the design of GAM in that moment, I knew that it was a very powerful tool to enhance learning.So that’s how we came to this point.
Julaine: [4:58] That’s interesting that you brought up the whole learning with kids because my son has learned so much about basketball of course from coaching, but his knowledge of basketball events and just different things has come out of a lot of informal. And I was looking at myself of how I moved here and I, it’s not gamification, but the whole idea of using my GPS over and over, and then eventually.
I knew I didn’t have to use my GPS anymore. It wasn’t about me studying. Okay. Then how do I get from my house to work when we move here? And so, I like the idea of you being drawn to gamification because it’s very evident that learning is occurring. And how can we as instructional designers, faculty developers, faculty members, intent, they design or harness some of what is happening informally through intentional design. So, I love it. You mentioned two terms that I am not I’m aware of, but I don’t want to get in problems by thinking I know the difference. So, you said that digital game-based learning occurred before gamification, can you help her audience to understand what is digital game-based learning and what is gamification?
Mike: [6:12] Absolutely. That’s a question that I get asked a lot and actually that’s a question that I love to answer. Because they’re not the, they’re not the same thing. And I will tell you right now, what’s the difference. Thank you. Digital game-based learning. It’s when you design instruction a course, a lesson for any experience using an actual detail game.
So, you are actually bringing a whole game, monopoly, Minecraft, any game that you want can be very simple, can be more complex. And then you create learning objectives and a whole. Learning experience around that game. That’s digital game-based learning on the other hand, gamification is when you borrow elements of games, but you are not necessarily playing a game. So, let’s say that one day, I’m teaching a lesson in a class, or I’m doing some training and I want to give some candy to people who answer questions that I ask. I’m not necessarily playing a game. I’m just giving you rewards games have as one of their elements, they have rewards. So, the fact that I’m giving candy away, we’re not necessarily playing a game. I’m just rewarding good performance. That’s an example of gamification when you use certain elements of a game in instruction, but you’re not necessarily playing a game.
Julaine: [7:31] Awesome. So, here you are, you bring something else that I need to clarify for our listeners elements. So, what are the elements of gamification?
Mike: [7:41] Yes. The main one is storytelling. When you’re playing a game, what really gets you hooked? Let’s say when you spend hours playing a video game, is that story. You are playing a game and all of that, but there is a story that you’re following your performance is telling a story that characters are telling you story. So storytelling is the main element of a game that you can borrow into construction, which is an example of gamification. I mentioned that rewards when you do something good, when you are having good performance, you get a, you also have negative feedback. Let’s say that you made the growth move, or you do the wrong thing.
Playing a game. You can lose points. That’s negative feedback. So, you can borrow negative feedback for instruction as well. Let’s say that you are teaching your students and you really want them to have perfect attendance. So, you can say, I’m going to give everybody here starting the semester, 100 points for attendance And so you not to lose them every single of time. You don’t come to class; you’re going to lose five points. The fact that you gave them the points ahead of time. I it’s on them to loo not to lose them. That’s negative feedback. And that’s something that you see a lot in games. Another thing that you see in games is levels. You can have level one level, two level three, people are motivated to go through all the levels. When you in, when you go through the levels, and you are increasing the levels that speaks of your performance. So, in instruction, you can borrow levels and you can design instruction in a way that you put it in levels and students have to do something.
To move to the next level, like playing a game, but you’re not necessarily playing a game. Another example of that is badges. Badges are very popular in instruction these days, that and when you’re playing a game, those badges is something that you have and you display, you showcase with honor, because those badges talks about how many lives you have, how many points you have accumulated everything that you have done. So, you can do the same with your students. When you are designing instruction, you can. Put some milestones and give badges to your students. So they feel motivated. Another example can be leaderboards, some games, they have leaderboards. The performance of everyone, all the players who is doing the best, who is not doing so well at an instruction, you can do the same.
You can put teams in a leaderboard, you can create activities in, you rank the performance for your students on a weekly, on a daily basis. It depends. Depends on the time. That’s another element. In gamification. We also talk about avatars people feel connected and they relate to the avatars in the game and especially when you’re teaching online, having those avatars, and building a community around avatars, it’s something that students appreciate in a way. Also, scenarios with feedback. When you are playing a game, you are immersed in a scenario. And you have to do something you have to perform, and you have to make decisions in that scenario.
And based on that decision, you get feedback. Losing points, earning points, adding instruction, you can do the same case-based learning is a great example of gamification because you place a learner in the middle of a dilemma or in the middle of a decision they have to make. And based on that can get feedback. So, as you can see, anything that you’ve seen again can be transported, can be translated into destruction when good instruction design takes place.
Julaine: [10:56] Thank you. And I like the fact that you outlined the elements and then you were sharing about how using that element can afford certain things. I like the fact when everybody started with 100 points, I know it’s just an example, but of late, we’ve been talking a lot about equity, diversity, and inclusion, like having everybody start at the same place.
And then I feel like gamification also allows. If possible, if, depending on the instruction on people to go at their own pace. So, they’re rewarded from moving from their level to the next level. And you don’t have that comparison where everybody’s expected to jump at the same level at the same time, but each person is moving from their level to the next and being rewarded accordingly.
So, I love it. I also see some motivation come mean out too. So that’s pretty awesome. Thanks so much for clarifying the difference and for aligning the elements. Why should instructors consider gamification?
Mike: [11:48] I think you just answered that question. I think with absolutely. I think with diversity, with inclusion. You make sure that everybody has a fair chance of performance. I think you can bring everybody to a starting point. That’s true. A common ground, and you allow people to work at their own pace, but at the same time, they will still have that sense of accomplishment. It might take them a while. It might take it a little longer, but it doesn’t mean that they can and not get there.
So that’s one thing I think unification is really important for many reasons why instructors should use that. I can tell you, first of all, I like it to use to gain attention. When you walk into a classroom and everybody’s talking, or everybody’s on the phone, you can get started with a little quiz about the chapter that they were supposed to read. Hey, let’s go to Mentimeter, which is a tool that I use a lot these days. So, I’m going to talk more about that later, if you want. But you can say, hey, go to, Mentimeter take your phones and then I’m going to have a little contest here. I want you to answer these questions about chapter three or chapter four, whatever they were supposed to read.
And it gives feedback right away. And you can tell if have that class read or not or you can tell if no, if everybody is clueless or sometimes you can know that everybody understands what’s happening. So, in that moment, you are ready to move to the next phase of instruction. You’re gaining attention because you’re bringing them to a common place. You’re breaking the ice. You’re not disrupting the use of technology at that moment. And people are providing evidence of knowledge. So that’s one way of gamification to gain attention. Also, to create reliability. When you have, for instance, the, or these stories, sometimes people struggle with learning because they don’t understand why that.
Topic or that lesson that they’re learning, it’s important. But when you use storytelling or the avatars and they see a piece of them in that story or in that avatar, and you create that relatability, that’s when people start seeing meaningful connections in learning, and that’s very important for learning when you have those connections. Things tend to make more sense when you have those connections. So, you create that reliability. When you have the avatars or you have that role playing the scenarios, the storytelling of course, gamification can be used to, can be used to be rewarded. You can reward your students if you want your students to, have something because they’re doing something stellar and.
Extra credit or points or candy or dropping the lowest. A quiz score or anything that you want any privilege, any perk rewarding can be a good way for gamification as well. Motivation, you can use a gamification to motivate. Imagine that you are told that you have to go to a compliance training on a Saturday morning and you have to go, and you don’t want to be there even if the topic is super interesting, even if it’s important, you don’t want to be there at 9:00 AM on a Saturday, correct?
But imagine that when you walk in. That trainer or the instructor says, hey, I’m going to give a hundred dollars gift cards from Kroger or Wolf to whoever stays still the end and whoever, answers some questions based on the content. Trust me that I’m going to be paying attention. If anything, for the $100 that I’m going to have at the end of the session. And I know that realistically, that doesn’t translate into the classroom, but you can always find ways to motivate people. It, it is true. It is true that you want learning to be something internal from the student and you don’t want to bra you don’t want to bribe the students into learning, but let’s be realistic.
Their topics, their courses that the students are taking, just because they have to , that’s the reality of life. We all have to take gen ed. Even if we found at times that the gen ed was interesting, we had to prioritize because we had to take other classes for our major and do other things.
So, we didn’t have a lot of time to be motivated. For that class. So that’s why external motivation it’s important because internal. Motivation is not always there for many reasons. So, you can use unification for that. I think gamification is good for establishing milestones. When you create these levels, these pathways that I told you about you are making the learning more aware of the progress. Okay, I have to complete 10 levels. I’m already in level two. I’m behind. I have to do something. When the learners see the whole pathway, the whole big picture. You develop those project management skills, those time management skills, and you are working with self-directive learning because the learner is more aware of where they are and what they have to do to achieve mastery.
You, you organize your time better as a student as well. So that’s another valuable thing about gamification you unification is great for feedback because when you have an activity, or a little contest and you ask a question. Everybody’s asked, say the answer is a, but then they realize that the answer was B it’s oops, wrong answer. I have to check maybe my understanding. I have to maybe go back in the chapter and see what happens. If you don’t provide those opportunities for feedback, the learner might think that they’re, doing great, that they know what they have to do. And these opportunities to have these little contests, these little quizzes, these questions.
Allow them to check their understanding and they get feedback right away. That’s a good thing. The feedback that they gave right away, it’s something that there are no words to describe how important that is. And also, to foster competition. I know that competition is not something that everybody values, but I have to tell you my ex experience competition tends to bring the best out of people when properly used. Some people get too comfortable. And they don’t push themselves unless they have that sense of competition. So, if you have a leaderboard, you don’t want to be the last, you don’t want to get the bottom of the leaderboard every week. If you don’t want to put people on the spot, you can maybe do it in teams. You can divide a class in teams, and you rank their performance in, my teams per week.
And this is very important because you don’t want, you don’t want your team to be the, at the bottom. You really don’t want that. So, you work with your team. So, gamification here fosters collaboration, teamwork to make sure that your team is going to be at the top the next time. So, these are all the possibilities and all the good things that gamification can do for an instructor for a teacher. That’s why I really encourage everyone to give it a try. At least once.
Julaine: [18:25] Thank you so much. I appreciate that you highlighted a couple things because a lot of times we talk about extrinsically motivation, not necessarily being good because when it’s gone, learners don’t necessarily perform, but I appreciate you sharing that at some point in time. And as instructors, the only thing that is in our control is that extrinsic motivation and doing our best to provide tools for them to develop the intrinsic over time. And so, I appreciate you just making that demarcation by saying while extrinsic alone is not. Sufficient sometimes that’s where we have to start, and gamification provides that avenue.
So, I think that’s great. And the same thing with competition, it’s not necessarily bad, as long as it’s done properly in a way that encourages collaboration and that building of that community. Sometimes when you have a technology or a guide, you that. Put out and everybody’s oh, I want to do this. And they’re not necessarily aware of the constraints. Like with any even hard physical technology there, some places that you can’t take them or some things that they’re not supposed to be used for. And I think that’s the same with pedagogy. So, are there instances where gamification should not be used?
Mike: [19:43] Yes. I believe that you have to be careful with every instructional train or a strategy. I agree. And of course, gimme yeah, you have to be careful. I’m all about taking risks all the time. You have to take a risk to make sure that you push the learner and that learning actually takes place. I believe in that, but you have to spend some time for thinking and analyzing in instructional design. Many people skip that analysis. Side of things that time analyzing your audience, your learners, the objectives, all of that. And I believe when you are going to adopt unification you need to start thinking about when this is not going to work. The first thing that I can tell you. It’s time. If you don’t have a lot of time and you have to deliver content, let’s say in 2015 minutes, and you don’t have more than that, you don’t have the time for gamification.
The challenge is not that people are not going to be motivated. It’s just you have to be engaging. If that makes sense. Yeah. So yeah, 50 minutes, no gamification. So what I will do there, it’s maybe just be very engaging. People can stay tuned for 50 minutes. If you are engaging enough, people watch movies for hours, baseball, games, all of that, and they stay tuned. And the reason why that happens is because they are motivated. They’re engaged. So that’s the first thing that I wanted to say about gamification make sure you spend time knowing the audience. And if you don’t have a lot of time, I will not use it because one thing that the learners hate is when you are forcing them to do active learning hands on things for the sake off learners sometimes appreciate if they can just get the information in an engaging way instead of feeling that they’re doing busy work for the sake of, and I have seen that a lot in comments and evaluations from students. , they know when active learning is being forced and gamification. If you are doing it for the sake of it can be counterproductive. So make sure your gamification is connected to your learning objectives and the instructional goal that you have for that lesson or for that course, I will not use gamification.
Also, if you are just trying to feel. Fill the blanks and say you don’t have anything else to do. Honestly, I will ask them just to leave earlier, or I will ask them to read something supplemental, or I will just have a shorter instruction that week. That’s fine. People don’t like, again, busy work things that makes no sense. So, if you feel that gamification is your us to help you go through that hour. Don’t do it. The other instance is in which you feel that you don’t have relevant content and you believe that gamification is going to save you that’s not going to work because that’s exactly why people don’t take seriously gamification because people use it just to feel in the blanks or just because they feel that the content is not really element. And then they believe that by having gamification, it’s going to get better. It’s not going to get any better. Always instructional design is going to be the backbone of anything that we do that is what’s going to dictate the rules, tell you what’s going to happen. Once you made those decisions based on good instructional design, then you can decide, okay, I’m going to do this.
How can gamification help me? And then you make that decision. And then the other one, one that I will say is don’t use ramification. If that’s the only thing that you have to offer to the students. You have to offer to the student the ability to at some point be engaged. I’m going to give you an example. Let’s say that I’m teaching something super boring, very dry, very challenging. One thing that I do is tell stories. I told you the storytelling is a major component of detail game-based learning. So, one thing that I like to tell lots of stories, funny stories. Sad stories, drama, thought-provoking stories, shocking stories.
But those stories, even though it’s gamification and it can be fun and informal are making the learner think about the topic and the consequences of ignoring the topic. So, at the end of the day, you have to use gamification and to bring that intrinsic motivation to bring the learner to pay attention. That is going to carry all the instructional experience. That’s not going to work either.
Julaine: [24:08] Yeah, the value expectancy, theories, coming to mind as you’re talking and the whole idea that technology or a pedagogy can never, ever be like a Band-Aid. It’s more supposed to, like you said, think about what are the outcomes that you want to afford and be intentional. If you’re not intentional with implementing, then it’s not going to work. And so, I really appreciate you sharing that mindset of how we should think about any pedagogy or just any technology that we decide to use. I’m going to put you on the spot. Can you tell us one of your funny stories?
Mike: [24:44] Actually, if there’s an example that I have been using lately, and I’m going to try to say what I can, because it was for online learning. It was an online tutorial. Okay. And I had to talk about academic dishonesty. And I had to, that was a very dry topic. I have lots of respect for academic dishonesty.
It’s important. Gets you in trouble. But at the same time, people don’t care for the topic that much students, because I think they feel it’s overdone. They hear it all the time. Yet you see the problems they get themselves into. So go figure. But anyway, so I was creating this online tutorial for that. And I was like, this is getting a little, this is the same stuff and all of that. So let me find a video. So I was, surfing the net and I have, I found a video, and this happened honestly seven or eight years ago, something like that. And I found a video quite. Quite shocking, controversial maybe a little too sexually nature to describe, cheat, cheating in the context of academic dishonesty.
And I remember I was a little more kind of sleepy looking for the video. And when I saw that video that woke me up. Right away that woke me over. I was like, how this can be even, here, it is nothing too crazy. It’s nothing too crazy. It’s nothing, immoral, it’s nothing indecent OBS, nothing like that, but it’s quite, not what you will see in an academic experience. But it really woke me up and it really made me think about the dishonesty definition and the whole thing that I wanted to convey. So, I was like, something, if this woke me up and made me think, I’m sure that would do the same for every single learner who watches this. And I was like this is the time.
This is one of those times to take a risk. I’m always about taking a risk. So, I was like, okay, Lord, help me. and I, that yeah, I didn’t get in trouble. Nothing happened. I was like, oof, that was good. But right away, I saw there an example of how storytelling or unification can definitely change the experience and wake somebody up, so to speak because it did it for me. And it was one of those instances in which I felt very happy about taking the risk. So that’s one example and connected to that topic. Something similar when I was at my previous institution. I was asked to do a lot of teaching about academic integrity for new grad students. And I inherited the presentation they gave because we were several facilitators doing those sessions.
So, we inherited the PowerPoints and the first time I use, I never do that. I actually never like inheriting anything except money, but when it comes to materials, I don’t like inheriting anything. I like to do, my own thing, but I gave it a try and the whole thing, it didn’t go it didn’t go well, the students were bored. They were not engaged. I was like, this is it. I should have followed my God. I redid the whole training using just small short stories. . Of academic dishonesty. I explained Sabo touch, falsification, cheating, telling stories, creating scenarios that could have happened in higher education. And I will ask the participants and I’m not going to lie.
Some of the topics were spice than others. The whole thing and people love it. People love it right away because I Fe I think they felt at that moment that, oh my God, that could have happened to me. Or maybe that happened to a friend. Or, oh my God, this is already going on. I was not aware that’s what it is. So, I think that relatability making those connections, plus being engaged with the story, and adding some humor, because I did add some humor there. It really gave me a winning formula. But again, that was a risk that I had to take, because maybe when I did all of that, they were like, no, this, we don’t like this either.
But now I know I don’t like living with a, what if. If I want to do something in instruction, of course we can reason I give it a try. If it doesn’t work out well, at least I will know for sure that doesn’t work out.
Julaine: [28:53] Thanks. I like that approach. And thanks for sharing your stories. You made me curious about that video. You may have to send us a link
Mike: [29:00] oh my God. I think in for today’s time, today’s time. The world has changed a lot in the past. Five years, the past five, five years. But I think that even for today, that video can be quite scandalous. So, I can only imagine back in 2013 or something like that. Yeah. Crazy.
Julaine: [29:18] Thank you. One of the things that I appreciated about what you shared is the idea that sometimes when we adopt instructional approaches, we expect it to work and having a mindset. So, first mindset that you shared with us is that intentionality of matching the pedagogy and the technology with the outcome, but you just shared another mindset of seeing this as a process sets of trial and error and not being hard on ourselves if it doesn’t work.
So just going forward, taking that risk. Golf course is an inform risk based on the data. And. Collecting data gets feedback from our students. We ourselves as instructors or faculty, developers are a source of data and just seeing what that data is telling us and then how we can move forward. So, I really appreciate that. So, you mentioned Mentimeter earlier on, and I know there are several free tools out there, some of the tools that you’d recommend, and we’ll put links below the podcast for our listeners. That people can enhance their courses through GA gamification with.
Mike: [30:18] Yeah, we are. I’m not getting endorsed for any of this, I wish, but honestly, Mentimeter, it’s my two go to, I’m surprised that tool has still is still around because that tool has been around for quite some time. We I remember at least six. Six years or so when I started using it, and people lo I, people love it. I use it for staff meetings. I use it for work with faculty. I have used it for training for teaching students for just a meeting and admin meeting, just to gather feedback. It’s amazing.
It’s a very powerful, engaging, easy to use free tool. You can use it to start a class asking questions. You can ask it for a contest. For a little quiz, let’s say that you want to know what people are thinking. It can generate for you a discussion. It can generate a work cloud. It’s just wonderful. And the best thing. Yeah. Besides being free is the fact that your students can use their phone. Sometimes we hate the fact students have the laptop, the tablet, the phone, this is one of those ways in which you leverage. That technology in the classroom. And instead of thinking that it works against you, you use it for you.
Julaine: [31:32] I know some others have used Kahoot and like Paul everywhere as well. So yeah, just to share a few, they may not be as free.
Mike:[31:41] Yeah. Eh I’m not, can I be honest? It’s just I’m going to be honest. It’s just Kahoo tends to charge for more things. Oh, okay. Yeah, they’re charging a lot. Maybe people have the money, so go for it. If you have that budget, I like to work with free. Yeah. And I did
Julaine: [31:56] ask you about free so we should stick to free Mentimeter wasn’t it?
Mike: [31:59] That was that. That’s awesome. But main meter. The other thing that I have used because I was in an I of my life with no budgets and I had to still create the instruction. If you can use PowerPoint. To create these little game scenarios. And when you insert a button on the PowerPoint slide, you have the ability to hyperlink to another slide. So, when people put the presentation and presentation mode, they can click on the button that you decide to name whatever, and it can jump back and forth through the whole presentation.
Nice. So, you can create a little game. Little feedback activity, little scenario with feedback through PowerPoint. Many people don’t know the power of PowerPoint, not point intended, but people don’t know, it’s a free tool. Everyone knows how to use it. And that’s where I will start with this little game design. If you don’t want to do digital game based learning, or you want to do a gamification and experience a game five experience, let’s say the scenarios with feedback and all of that. I will start with PowerPoint. Awesome. And you, and I can definitely share resources if you want to share with the audio creator. I think that would be helpful.
Absolutely. Because that really works out for those who have you say free, because I was going to say just for a brief comment at the articulate storyline and captivate. They’re not only to create training when well used they can develop gamify experiences. You say they’re not free, right? yeah. They’re not free, but many people in the audience, I’m sure they have it. So, I just wanted to point out that they can leverage having those tools to create gamify experiences. Okay. And not, yeah. Another tool that I like, and we going to start implementing is near pod. Yes. So near part is it’s something that creates lessons, and you can bring many elements of.
Of the lesson. Like you can have a quiz, you can have a slide, you can have a video and all of that, but you can have gamify experiences when you use near pro as well. It integrates the whole thing. Nice. I really like Quizlet also. Yeah. And because it really allows you to understand not only that they, of a term, but also you can create cause and relationship and it’s a way you’re you feel sometimes that you’re playing a game? But you’re actually learning, which is something that I really like another thing.
Julaine: [34:21] But could you say more about the causal relationships with Quizlet if you don’t mind.
Mike: [34:24] Yes. Yes. Because there is an option for matching. So, you have, yeah. So, you can maybe match a cost with an effect. Got you. So, depends. Yeah. So, it’s about how you design instruction and it’s free. and for those who are using canvas, I know for a fact that it integrates beautifully with canvas. I know in some instances I’m sure with Blackbird can be the same, but I know for a fact that with canvas, it works very well. It goes into the page. No problem. It’s free people really love.
Julaine: [34:56] Yeah. Oh, that’s interesting. That’s good to know that they also have a learning management system integration. Thank you so much. Yes, absolutely. Any other tools?
Mike: [35:02] Yes, absolutely a portfolio, which is a e-portfolio tool. I like it because for those people interested in e-portfolios and having the students document the learning and all of that, , it has a gamification component in which the students, the more they add and the better they are at the E portfolio, it takes them to through levels. Nice. So, you, as a faculty member, you don’t have to be necessarily checking the e-portfolio all the time. But the experience gets gamified because of that bad slash levels. That’s amazing component. Yeah. That you have a, their portfolio, they belong to canvas. But even if you don’t have a canvas in your institution as an LMS, you can definitely still use it for free portfolio.com.
Julaine: [35:55] Thank you so much. I will definitely be sharing links to all of these below the podcast. This is very good. So, can you share one more technology with us that you that’s free?
Mike: [36:05] Absolutely. For all rubrics. It’s amazing. Especially if you are into bad. Oh. Sometimes people rubrics. I’m going to look that up. Yeah, sometimes people don’t create the badging system or the badging program because they don’t want to design but this makes the whole thing very easy. To design the badges for your students and to decide how to create instruction. They also have rubrics checklists. It really helps you to do classroom management, but they have the budgeting component as well. So, free. Make sure you use it. Awesome.
Julaine: [36:38] Thank you so much for sharing all these free tools. And you got me interested. I’m going to loop them up as well. And so to wrap up our time, in education, especially as it relates to educational technology, we have people under outskirts who may saying, I don’t want to be called an in, we have a term called bandwagon, which is a for people who like to the next.
And so, what do you have to say for people who think gamification is not for me because another trend will come? What do you have to say for them is gamification temporary or a FA in instructional trend? What do you have to say to those people?
Mike: [37:18] Gamification has been around since early history, probably. I would say when the students have the opportunity to drop the lowest quiz, when students were giving points. It was on them not to lose them. That was the gamification. When students had the ability to earn extra credit or, extra points that was gamification. So, gamification has always been around when faculty members have used examples, simplification, storytelling, all of those things have already had happened.
So, it’s not something that is going to disappear. People have used it before a lot and they will continue using it. I think what happens now, Is that thankfully we have stronger connections to cognition and to instructional design before it was something really spontaneous, something that people were doing just for the sake of, or just because they saw it was effective. But, honestly, now research is being devoted to gamification. We have true evidence and now we have systems in place. To design instruction with gamification. So people because of that and because of the popularity of the term, many people will think that this is something new. No, it has already been happening.
It’s like passion. When you’re a faculty member tells you to read chapter four and complete a quiz, if you coming to class, that’s a way of flipping the classroom. It’s just like nobody called it that way. It became a fancy trend term afterwards. Gamification is the same. It has been around. Now. We have an opportunity of having more resources, free resources. Now the change probably is that use of technology for gamification, maybe before we had gamification with paper with. Badges that were made with cardboard or, something that on the chalkboard the teacher was put in the leaderboard, things like that.
Now technology gives a new face, a fancier trendy face to gamification, but there’s nothing to be scared about. This is not something outrageous or completely new. It’s just that we are using new elements to make better, more effective. And of course, for us to have more evidence that this is already happening and why it works.
Julaine: [39:33] Thank you so much. This was a very eye-opening. Or maybe because it’s a podcast, I should say air opening, I’m joking. that’s true conversation. And I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and just the idea that gamification is not this Farfetched thing, but it’s something that we all have been using at some point in time. And this knowledge can allow us. To be more intentional in our designs and extracting all that goodness that we can to. Encourage more effective learning experiences. Thank you so much, Miko. And this is great. Thank you.
Mike: [40:09] Absolutely. My pleasure, Julaine, always happy to talk to you.
Derek: [40:17] That was Miguel Miko Nino, director of the office of online learning at the University of North Carolina Pembroke. Thanks, Miko for taking time to talk with us and thanks to my Vanderbilt colleague. Julaine for another great interview. one of the main reasons kids and adults can learn so much while playing a game, especially a video game is that playing a game is full of opportunities for practice and feedback in a college or university setting, the kind of practice and feedback that is core to learning isn’t provided in a traditional lecture class.
That’s why so many of Nico’s suggestion and were for moving toward more active learning in the classroom, often using technology for doing so. The strategies, not only provide students with opportunities for practice and feedback, but they can also, as Miko and Julian mentioned help motivate students and give them more awareness of their own progress as learners.
If that’s not your thing, and you’re going to lean into that lecture format, then Niko’s advice on storytelling is key. We can learn we, and we are just listening to someone talk, but it’s a lot easier when there’s a compelling story involved as you’ve likely experienced when watching a good documentary. We’re listening to a narrative non-fiction podcast, Miko focused on gamification that is borrowing elements of games into the learning environment. But he also mentioned game-based learning, which he framed as using entire games as learning experiences. That’s a topic we’ve explored in the podcast too.
Using games as vehicles for creating times for telling, see the show notes for links to a few past episodes on that approach to learning through play. You’ll also find links in the notes to the various educational technology tools that Miko mentioned in his interview. You can find those show notes, wherever you’re listening to this podcast. And on the leading lines website, leading lines, pod.com leading lines is produced by the Vanderbilt center for teaching and the gene in Alexander herd libraries. You can find us on Twitter at leading lines. Odd. This episode was edited by re McDaniel. Look for new episodes the first and third, Monday of each month. I’m your host, Derek Bruff. Thanks for listening.