Gamification Design Elements in Business Education Simulations

Gamification Design Elements in Business Education Simulations

Torsten Reiners, Lincoln C. Wood, Sue Gregory, Hanna Teräs
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch298
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Simulation Design To Support Education Outcomes

Simulation design is an important topic in contemporary education as the use of simulations has increased in popularity. It engages learners and provides new approaches to learning, extending existing active learning approaches (Wood & Reefke, 2010) and can be used in classrooms or between lessons. Simulations take many forms, from token-and-paper-based simulations to elaborate, virtual-worlds-based simulations. These approaches are not without controversy as, over the last decade, virtual worlds have struggled to distinguish themselves as distinctly different to ‘games’ (Constable, 2008) and mature enough for serious simulation (Wriedt, Reiners, & Ebeling, 2008). Gaming has been used to “aid the development of subject knowledge and learning collaborative skills such as problem solving and teamwork” (Edmonds, 2011, p. 20). An example of simulation in higher education settings would be when one is studying to become a surgeon. When a surgeon makes an error in a real surgery room there are serious consequences. However, if one were to train using simulations that are authentic (compared to theoretical learning material or studying on a corpse), where it is perceived to be a real life training environment, then learning occurs without negative consequences (Brookes & Moseley, 2012) .

Key Terms in this Chapter

Non-Player Character (NPC): A highly developed bot, programmed into a simulation to mimic a character or person (as opposed to an object). These NPCs are capable of interacting with learners in a meaningful way to enhance immersion, authenticity, and improve learning experiences.

Component: Individual building-blocks that are combined in various ways to gamify a system; individually, these may be found in games in support of an overall structure, but are they are not necessarily inherently related to fun of the experience.

Dynamic: The involvement of users within gamified systems depends on their attributes which alter the dynamics between the system and users. These dynamics involve time-based relationships, user emotions, and storylines or narratives; all designed to alter attributes as users progress within the gamified system.

Gamify: The process of incorporating of game-based elements and game-based components, mechanics, and dynamics to a process in order to attain specific outcomes.

Mechanic: Desired interactions as users and gamified system components interact over repeated interactions or within a single interaction over time. The mechanics are designed to encourage users’ progression throughout a gamified system.

Role: Simulations are useful for learners to explore multiple perspectives held by various individuals with different requirements; each perspective can be crafted into a specific role that the learner can be encouraged to experience.

Gamification: The use of game-based mechanics and game-based design elements in non-game settings to engage users and encourage achievement of desired outcomes through motivation of users.

Learning Element: Parts of an education simulation design that are deliberately crafted and incorporated in a way to support the learning experience (c.f. the introduction of gamification elements).

Business Simulations: Representations of real-world processes and activities that provide appropriate context in support of authentic education. The use of computers, information systems, database, and algorithms enable a high degree of realism in educational simulations.

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