This is my final blog…for Dr. Woodley’s EDLT 610 course. Don’t worry, I have many more posts in the works. As you may know, I’m completing a PhD. I have had many wonderful courses so far, but EDLT 610 was one of the best! We were introduced to so many interesting concepts in this course, it’s hard to choose the most impactful.
However, there is this one guy I learned about: Yu-Kai Chou. His theories about gamification are incredibly intriguing. Let me explain “gamification” first. It’s simply the application of the elements of “game playing” to other activities as a way to improve engagement. Think of it as a way to make something more fun or meaningful. Yu-Kai Chou has this incredible theory about gamification called Octalysis. He believes there are 8 core drivers for engaging an audience: 1. Epic Meaning and Calling 2. Development and Accomplishment 3. Empowerment of Creativity 4. Ownership and Possession 5. Social Influence and Relatedness, 6. Scarcity and Impatience 7. Unpredictability and Curiosity 8. Loss and Avoidance. You can learn more about each of these drivers on his website: https://yukaichou.com/ He has written a book recently called Actionable Gamification. Chou believes that we can find correlative meaning in life through the lens of the octalysis. Here, at this Ted Talk, he discusses this further: https://youtu.be/v5Qjuegtiyc.
With the use of his octalysis, a developer, a teacher, a curriculum writer might be able to apply their scope and sequence to the model and discover if they have strengths and/or weaknesses in one of the 8 core drivers. It’s a way to look at something with a brand new and innovative lense. One could even think about their own life in the context of the octalysis. How much does social influence and relatedness mean to you versus development and accomplishment? This isn’t your standard Myers Briggs test here. It’s something way more interesting and playful!
I believe the reason this particular awakening to Chou and his gamification theory is most intriguing to me is because it forces me to think about teaching and learning very differently. Students have choice more than ever in their content and, more pervasively as of late, their time and setting for which they go about their learning. Learning is not confined to the four walls and linoleum floors of a classroom any longer. Teaching should not be either. We are dawning a revolution in teaching and learning theory right now amidst the greatest upheaval our society has seen in modern times. The Pandemic of 2020 will leave us forever changed as educators…I pray. As we meet the demand to think differently and wider about what we used to know to be true, we must leave plausibility for theories such as gamification and octalysis. As we begin to peer through these lenses to find ways to meet our students in their reality, I am hopeful that we will surprise ourselves about how far we can go toward a fitting education for our students.