A crossover element of adult education and gamification has inspired me to try something new.
A little while back I dissected a game on my phone, Jetpack Joyride, and tried to find ideas that could be used in training and development. Achievements are an element of that game that encourage players to gain experience by exploring the game, but it does this in a very casual way. Nothing needs to be done in a particular order, but there are a lot of different targets. Once you try thing ‘x’ or do task ‘y,’ you earn the achievement. It doesn’t really get you anything, but you’ve learned more or done something new.
A big distinction between child and adult learners is that adult learners respond better to having control over the direction of their education. To have a selection of items and choose what they want to do first.
I’ve put these ideas into action on a personal level and created a bingo card for myself that includes 25 things I’d like to accomplish this year. The squares range from the obligatory weight loss to saving money to making professional connections.
I’d also like to acknowledge parallel creation. I’m not saying this is an original idea and it might already be out there but as best as I can tell this exact idea isn’t on the front page of the internet.
There are a couple of reasons why I think this will be at least a moderate success. I’ve created these goals to be supportive of one another. Weight loss and a running a half marathon go hand in hand, like taking a class and expanding my network might. (This is actually quite a bit like making a business plan like I did when I was a retail manager.)
Also, the simple fact that I’ve thought about what I’d like to accomplish and wrote them down on paper (digitally anyway) is a hell of first step.
I’ve also made a spreadsheet thermometer-style tracker to keep an eye on my progress. A snapshot on my successes. This is based on it’s own gamification element, avatar development or growth. In a game (and in life, as it happens), the goal is to gain experience bit by bit, constantly building. Traditional schooling turns that idea on it’s head since you can start the semester with an A, and the only way your grade can go is down. Gamification lets you start from 0 and simple build you experience, eventually getting to the goal.
We’re only a couple weeks into the new year and I have managed to keep on track. (We’ll see how I’m doing in June…) Last year I wrote a blog post railing against new year resolutions because most resolutions don’t have a plan. For me, this plan looks like a winner, but I’ll keep you posted.