Researching benefits of gamification

Together with a client we are embarking on research to verify if our gamified learning solution is actually more effective than the non-gamified learning resources. In my quest to prepare for this research I reached out to a number of academics in this space in the US, which surprisingly lead to some rather direct variations of ‘please get lost’. Only not expressed in such words.

My list of connections hasn’t been exhausted yet and some of the UK based academia have been much more friendly and at least willing to engage in conversation. It is one thing for academics to criticise that our field hasn’t been researched enough but then in the same sentence refuse to work with practitioners who actually are willing to engage in research, I find dumbfounding.

We will still go ahead with our project regardless of academic input. It is both in the interest of our work and that of our client too. What we are looking to get input on, is research methodology for short term research and what variables to test for.

The obvious items we want to discover is whether the learner indeed retains more information with gamification. We would like to find out which of the game mechanics we used actually stood out and made a difference to the learner as expressed by the learner.

Due to time constraints the sample may be small for now and very targeted at our clients target audience. It also means we may need to keep the testing relatively limited.

So a question to all my readers, what would you test and want to find out from research on the effectiveness of a gamified learning solution?

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