Gameful Learning: A First Look
Deterding, S. (2013). Gameful Design For Learning. T+D. 67(7), 60-63.
Deterding explores how the concepts found within games that make them fun can be applied to learning and training. One of the failures with current educational games is a structure that fails to motivate learners. Deterding breaks down the structure that games use to motivate their players and explains how this may be applied to both classroom learning and workplace training. He introduces issues with the current grading system and explains how grades could be changed to be motivating instead of demoralizing.
Many of the methods used in this article are observational in nature and not backed by empirical evidence. However, many of the conjectures are self-evident in the way that they can be experienced by the learner. For example, we recognize that classes with one teacher and twenty students will be too easy for some students and too difficult for others. While a few resources were mentioned, no direct studies were cited in this article.
Deterding makes an excellent point about our current grading system; in many ways, it is antithetical to student motivation. The way grading currently works, student's final grades are based on an average of their performances... regardless of how much they learned or improved from the beginning to the end of the semester. In games, points are accrued leading to a final score and there are several methods of achieving this score. This would make so much more sense than our current grading system and would allow students to play to their strengths to achieve better scores.