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Beach, Beer, and Bra(u)ts

by Jonathan Peters, PhD
Chief Motivation Officer, Sententia Gamification

Remember back before the Virus? How did you spend summer holidays?  

For many people, summer celebration and recreation involve the family—specifically, their children. They can’t understand why you would picnic in a park or lounge on a beach without children running around, shrieking, and splashing.  

But there are also those of us for whom roaming bands of noisy brats ruin a perfectly good day of sand and surf. 

In his landmark study, Steven Reiss, PhD, noted, among other things, that people have different levels of motivation when it comes to raising children. While we certainly have biological drives to procreate, actually raising children is a different and specific desire. For some people, their children are central to their lives; others are content to be childless.    

This article is not about raising children; instead, it’s about people’s...

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The Surprise and Delight of Continual Learning…

game mechanics motivators Jun 27, 2020

by Jonathan Peters, PhD
Chief Motivation Officer, Sententia Gamification

I spoke at the Irish Game-Based Learning Conference this morning. Believe me, I would rather have been there in person if for no other reason than to be on their time zone (waking at 4:00 AM to speak does not fit my circadian rhythms).  

The conference was academically oriented with PhD candidates reading their abstracts. And, as candidates love to do, they shared their spreadsheets of keyword searches and literature reviews. Not only do I now have a great list of the all the categorizations of player and personality types (if you’ve read my book, you know how I feel about these), but I also have 17 game mechanics to add to our Master List. 

Since many of the readers of this blog have our book, which includes the exhaustive list of game mechanics that I had identified at the time of publication (161 mechanics), I thought I would share with you the new additions. 

And I’m...

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The Trouble with Pirates

By intentional design, the Sententia Gamification Level 3 Master Craftsman Certification is a 3-day Pirate Themed, immersive Master Mind event. From the location, to the food, scheduling of master mind vs. creative time, extra-curricular activities, and even the room set up, all are strategically mapped out to enable the participants to enter a magic circle of play and creation.

Once inside the magic circle, outside things do not distract – we take over an historic inn, in a little Texas town, where the streets roll up by 8:00 p.m. The learner’s focus is solely on the event and the activities taking place within that world.

This full immersion requires a form of submission to rules, involves a willing suspension of "normal" and a conscious and voluntary acceptance of the conditions of the master mind environment. Surprisingly, this in return, gives the participants unrestricted access to possibilities for full participation.

And we have successfully shaped and iterated...

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Prototyping for Learning and Development

By Jonathan Peters, PhD
Sententia Gamification, CMO 

Have you had this experience? You’re tasked with creating a learning program. You’re told by company leadership that there is a problem that needs to be fixed via training. You write down what they are wanting, the learning outcomes needed, and maybe (because you went through a Sententia certification) what their KPIs are for this specific program.

You spend months of time, and tons of creative energy, to create what you believe is an amazing program. It’s now ready to roll out. Learners are lined up, but first you present it to the higher-ups. And they say, “No, that’s not what we wanted…”

All that time and effort down the drain.

In the past, we’ve relied on documentation to avoid this situation. You would spend hours in meetings, making sure you understood exactly what they wanted. You would then write out detailed learning plans and guidelines, that you would send up the food...

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Creating Connections in an Isolated World

This week we started a NEW virtual session of our Level 1 Gamification Surveyor Certification. Students in this session are logging in from all over the globe and the interaction is always lively and fun. 

Although the virtual format allows students to participate from anywhere, one big disadvantage of virtual learning – you lose that “water cooler” effect, where people bump into each other to share ideas, collaborate across industries, and talk about things unrelated to work. Although those minor interactions might seem trivial, they can have a tremendous positive effect on overall class engagement and greatly enhance the learning experience. 

So at Sententia, we put in a concerted effort to create activities that help increase the bonding factors. One technique we use are About Me activities that we weave throughout our multi-hour learning experience. We believe it’s important that participants be allowed to give the group a representation of...

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5 Tips for Creating Learner Personas

 

What is a Learner Persona?
Learner Personas are a fictional representation of your targeted learners. They are based on real data about learner demographics and behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

 

 

How are Learner Personas Created?
Learner personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of new and seasoned employees – both “good” and “bad” -- who might align with your target audience. You’ll collect data that is both qualitative and quantitative to paint a picture of who your typical learner is, what they value, and how your program fits into their daily lives.

 

 

How do you use a Learner Persona?
In order to bring together what you learn during assessments, surveys, and interviews, the next step is to develop a set of personas. Personas are composite characters that represent typical learners...

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The State of Gamification of Learning

Uncategorized Mar 18, 2020

We believe in the benefits of the gamification of learning, but that’s because we’re in the business. But what about gamification from the employees’ or learners’ point of view?

TalentLMS recently conducted their 2019 Gamification of Work Survey, and they discovered some interesting, amazing, and empowering results. At the very least, the Survey shows that gamification in the workplace—and in learning in particular—is increasingly popular and prevalent.  

TalentLMS began with 900 US employees. The first question eliminated 42% of the dataset. When asked whether they noticed any gamification in an app or software they use at work, 374 of the respondents replied, “No.” If we assume that the gamification of learning, in this case of eLearning, then there is still a significant need to engage learners through gamification.   

From the remaining 526 people, TalentLMS pulled some interesting insights: 

  • Respondents said...
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The Most Boring Game Possible

by Jonathan Peters, PhD
Chief Motivation Officer, Sententia Gamification 

Mauricio Delgado set out to create the most boring game possible and ended up discovering some interesting things about stimulating engagement. 

At Rutgers University, Delgado wanted to discover where excitement and anticipation originates in our brains, so he created the dullest of all possible games in an attempt to isolate other stimulants.            

He had participants lie in an fMRI. Above them was a monitor screen that would flash a number between one and nine. The game aspect of the experience involved guessing whether the number that was about to be shown was greater or less than five. When prompted, the participants click the appropriate number to register their guess. Then they’d discover if they guessed correctly or incorrectly.            

The participants were...

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Purposeful Play

By Monica Cornetti
President, Sententia Gamification

Children learn as naturally as they breathe. Every day they observe and explore the world around them. Everything is new, everything is interesting, and learning is FUN! They process new ideas and information, and even if they do not yet have a verbal language, they work to articulate the joy and excitement of their new discoveries.

Play is critical to the healthy growth and development of children. As children play, they learn through trial and error what works and what doesn’t.

Children use play to learn how to solve problems (Do these two pieces fit together? What does this do?) Through play, children enhance their memory skills as well as their attention span. They move to higher levels of thought as they continue to play in more stimulating environments.

Play teaches children how to cooperate, negotiate, take turns and play by the rules, all necessary skills for both children and adults. Take a few minutes to watch a...

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Deliberate Fun Chapter Excerpt -- Case Study: Sententia Gamification’s Learner Personas

by Jonathan Peters, PhD and Monica Cornetti

Sententia Gamification offers three levels of certification for the gamification of learning. Level 1 introduces learners to 30-step, trademarked process for gamifying a learning program. Level 2 fleshes out the process and guides learners through actually gamifying a program. And Level 3 is a full-on design mastermind that takes place once a year (currently).

Meet Irene

Irene was our first learner persona.  She is an mid-career Instructional Designer. Just looking at her, you may have seen  someone like her at a Learning and Development company. She may have look like someone working in your department. It is likely that you and she would have a wonderful professional conversation. It may even be that when people see Irene, they think of you.

What’s interesting about the creation of Irene was the name we assigned her. As Irene “came to life,” Monica decided to name her Irene because the persona, at that stage...

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