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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Every Profession that Designs Experiences For Others Uses Personas... Except Learning and Development

Pretty much every profession that designs experiences for other people uses personas… except the learning and development community. Game designers, app designers, web page designers all rely on personas to determine what will appeal to their target audiences and what things they should avoid. But for some reason, instructional designers skip this stage. They simply build a program around the course material without consideration of their “customers.”

Personas came from the marketing world a few decades ago. Marketers realized that focusing on whole populations wasn’t effective. They needed actual personas who are so complete you feel like they are your friend. Once you have their picture in front of you, you can create marketing copy that feels like you are talking directly to a single person instead of broadcasting to an entire population.

Whenever we speak about learner personas at conferences, we get push back. People say things like, “You...

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