What Haunted Houses Can Teach Us About Adult Learning Design

by Jonathan Peters, PhD
Chief Motivation Officer, Sententia Gamification

“It’s not gross; it’s slime.” the goblin kept saying as he touched our faces with something while we were bottle-necked in a dark, tight hallway. We were a group of undergrads giggling through our fear and creeps. And we paid what for us was good money for the experience. 

It’s odd that of all that happened during my undergrad years, the memories of that haunted house are vivid and specific. 

This is because of the amygdala, our brain’s early alarm system. Thy amygdala sits behind the eye and over our ear, and we have one on each side of our brain. These almond-shaped guys react to sight, sound, touch, and taste. And when the alarm goes off, they flood the bloodstream with stress hormones that increase the heart rate and respiration, and thus blood pressure.  

I remember the smell of the slime, how the air flowed through the haunted house, the sounds of...

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Five Steps for Creating Successful Gamified Learning Programs

Jonathan Peters, PhD
CMO, Sententia Gamification

There is an oft-quoted and perhaps overused prediction by Gartner that 80 percent of gamification efforts are destined for failure. (At least that was the prediction in 2014.) Given the prevalence of the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule), we could say that, hypothetically, only 20 percent of gamification efforts in the Learning and Development space will be successful

Why will so many gamification efforts be unsuccessful if not outright failures? Could it be that designers and instructors simply slap some game mechanics on a program and declare it gamified? Instead of examining their programs and learners, and then strategically interweaving game mechanics, they settle for some points, badges, and leaderboards and wonder why they see very few changes. That’s like placing a cherry on top of a dish and declaring it a sundae. That one ingredient does not magically convert Brussel sprouts into a delectable dessert.

This...

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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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