Collaborative & Group Learning > Experts on Collaborative Learning

A variety of education researchers talk about what they see as the benefits of collaborative learning. They point out a number of tools and learning environments that support and embody collaborative learning, as well as discussing their own related work. Scot explains that he does not think of collaborative and individual learning as completely separate (1:24 in the video). Do you agree?

Appearing in this video:

  • Scot Osterweil
  • Professor Yasmin Kafai, University of Pennsylvania
  • Professor Kurt Squire, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Professor Barry Fishman, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Michigan
  • Dr. Jeremy Roschelle
  • Professor Sasha Barab, Pinnacle West Chair of Education at the Arizona State University

This video has design for Educationl Technology course at MIT


Deloitte creates customised game for recruiting graduates

Gamified UK News

Big four accounting firm Deloitte has waved goodbye to standard question and answer psychometric testing and developed a customised “game” which places potential graduate employees in real life work situations at the firm.

The interactive assessment was developed by Deloitte and Talent and the professional services firm claims it’s the first of its type in the country.

Deloitte national talent acquisition and mobility director Tanyth Lloyd said it would yield more accurate results than the generic question and answer tests.

“Gamification is a really effective way of testing people. If you can make it fun and apply gaming principles, you get more accurate outcomes because people forget that they’re being tested and stop trying to predict the outcome,” she said.

Deloitte's new gamified assessment for potential graduate employees takes them through real situations at Deloitte.
Deloitte’s new gamified assessment for potential graduate employees takes them through real situations at Deloitte. Supplied

“The majority of testing tools in the market are based on sound psychological methodology, but they don’t have the opportunity to use the testing to model out and test on actual work based scenarios.”

The new assessment takes 20 minutes to complete and aims to test an applicant’s problem-solving capabilities.

It incorporates videos and tasks from real Deloitte employees, based on situations which regularly occur in their work environment.

It’s being used for the first time by current graduate program applicants, of which 500 will be successful nationwide, but Ms Lloyd said Deloitte was also considering developing similar assessments for job seekers at other stages of their career.

“Our vacationers (interns who work over holiday periods) will also use this … it is limited to this audience for now, but  now we have a solution that is customised for our work environment, we’re looking at the viability of extending it,” she said.

“It’s a matter of making it relevant to the types of people we hire. There is a big variation in people’s experience and competencies and it’s hard to have a universal and consistently applied testing suite.”

Fellow big four accounting firm KPMG was the first of the major professional services firms to implement this form of testing in Australia last year. At the time, KPMG said the new testing provided a 79 percent reduction in applications that had to be individually reviewed and a 58 per cent reduction in the numbers who go through to final interview sessions.

PwC in Hungary has also jumped on the trend, creating a game called Multipoly which gives job seekers tasks around the skills the firm is trying to develop – digital competency, business acumen and relational skills.

Deloitte in New Zealand has also created a customised game assessment simulating an employee’s first day in the office.

Ms Lloyd would not reveal how much it spent developing the assessment, but said it was around the cost of off-the-shelf psychometric tests.

To ensure that the customised solution is more effective, Deloitte intends to monitor the performance of the new employees and compare them to older employees who were employed based on older methods.

“The data we’re getting is so much better than what we had previously and we hope it will let us make better-recruiting decisions,” Ms Lloyd said.

 By Yolanda Redrup
Read more:

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The Original Gamified Social Networks – History Teaches us about Gamificaiton – Gamified UK Blog

Just a very interesting article,



The Original Gamified Social Networks – History Teaches us about Gamificaiton – Gamified UK Blog.

Gamification Design Thinking

Mis estimados lectores, aquí va un excelente artículo de mi colega Andrzej y que comparto con vosotros dado los cambios que ha realizado, mi enhorabuena al autor por su empeño en difundir la gamificación e intentar hacerla cada vez más fácil .

Un cordial saludo

Julia Echeverria

Another day another framework. This time I can’t really lay claim to it though. This is my interpretation of Design Thinking – a very well know framework! I have mixed it with a few well know lenses for innovation – again, nothing new. It is presented here just as an aid for those who may not already be using it!

First, here is the basic process of design thinking

Gamification Design Thinking Outline

 Step by step:

  • Define and understand the actual problem. Very often the initial brief does not hold the problem that needs solving! Question, question and requestion and if needs be, re-frame the problem totally.
  • Empathise with the various people involved. Design thinking is all about putting the user first. So consider what types of user you will have, this is not the same as User or Player Types, this is what people need from the system. Who are the users, why are they using the system. What does Mavis, 83 from Wales need compared to Dave, 23 from Leeds? Sometimes it is good to survey potential or current users to get an idea of who they really are and then come up with some average users to role play with! Also, don’t forget the stakeholders needs in this. What do they want to achieve by gamifying the system? How will they react to it and your ideas?
  • Ideate – come up with ideas! Propose solutions and then analyse them (more in that in a moment). This is part of an iterative process, at this stage though there is no right answer.
  • Experiment with the best ideas. Pretotype and prototype and do it again until you have something you think is worth taking forward.
  • Test your pretoype or prototype with the target audience and with the stakeholders. Iterate between testing and experimentation until you are ready to release at least a minimum viable product (MVP).  Amy Jo Kim has an amazing course on MVP development actually!

Gamification Design Thinking Expanded

Whilst this is set out as a step by step process, actually it is iterative. At any point you could go back tot he start, but by the time you are into the experimentation phase, you should have a pretty solid idea of where you are going.

Now this is all great, but even high innovation has to have a reality check from time to time. That being the case there are three common lenses that can often be applied to help drive innovation.

Innovation Lenses

  • Desirability: Is the product or solution you are looking at actually desirable to the users or the stakeholders? It may be great in your mind, but does it actually hit all the points they need?
  • Feasibility: Is your idea actually possible with current technology and skills? Can it really be done?
  • Viability: Can it be done within the constraints that reality often put upon us. Can it be done to budget and is it sustainable long term?

Innovation Lenses

Applying these lenses to the Ideate, Experiment and to a less extent the Test phases can save a lot of pain in the long term. Really, by the time you are hitting the test phase, you should have a clear view of each lens!


Using this sort of process is very common in this day and age of constant innovation, but it really can help focus your thoughts and designs, especially early on in your processes. Just like gamification should be, it all puts the users experience first.

Let me know if you use it and how you have got on!

Gamification on teaching: How to use Game Dynamics in Learning

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There’s a family story that i once threw a Monopoly board across the room rather than accept defeat. I’m not sure i remember it quite that way, but i do know that the battered box is relegated to the cupboard these days and holidays are more tranquil for it. The current game of choice is Scrabble, played, for preference, in the pub, on a Sunday afternoon, with friends. Or xBox, challenges on long evenings, defeating hordes of aliens and saving the world before the pizza arrives. You’re welcome.

image from

Games capture and hold our attention in ways that have guaranteed organisations will take an interest. This engagement is the ultimate goal of learning and if it can be achieved through subterfuge, so be it. The pervasive rise of so called ‘gamification‘ (20 points, or more if you can hit the Double Word score. although not permitted by the official Scrabble dictionary) reflects this quest.

But for every game i play, dozens lie unwanted and unused under the sofa or relegated to the dusty shelves of charity shops. Why? Because they lack a certain something: they fail to deliver the promised smiles and laughs shown on the faded box. They fail to entertain.

Entertainment is, of course, one thing, but effectiveness is quite another. In the organisational world, we may want to entertain, but underneath it, we want to encourage learning, to effect change.

To do so requires an understanding, not of the entertainment provided by games, but rather of the underlying mechanics that power them. If we want to use game dynamics with any effect, to be effective, we need to move beyond simply copying the outward trappings of games, the scoreboards and badges, and we must explore the behaviours that they utilise and trigger, then understand how that can feed into the journey of learning.

We must use this knowledge in our learning design, to ensure that the games we deploy are in fact developing the right skills and not just developing gaming skills. And we must ensure that we have multiple dimensions of reward to ensure we cater for all aspects of the community, not just the gamers.

I want to explore some key aspects of game application and then reflect on how they can best be applied in organisational work.

image from

Let’s start by thinking about ‘Competition‘. It’s often the first type of game mechanic that’s applied to organisational learning. League tables, scoreboards, winners and losers. But how does it relate to reality? Are we making it competitive because it aids learning, or are we making it competitive because it’s built into our toolbox of eLearning tools and it’s all we know how to do?

In life, what competitive advantage does competition give us?

Most of what we explore in the Social Age is about community and collaboration: one could argue that communities form as a response to competition, that they are, in fact, the polar opposite to the brutality of competition.

Community allows for us to build shared value and shared purpose and to divide labour and specialise accordingly. Instead of me having to master every aspect of a production process (say, making bread), i am able to perfect my own part of that process through specialisation (say, inventing containerised shipping of bulk ingredients that makes the loaf two percent cheaper). I am no longer a generalist: i’m a highly tuned specialist, but in a community of diverse specialists, the community wins.

So when we use competitive elements in games, when we use scoreboards and trophies, are we rewarding individual self interest at the cost of collaboration? We may engage, i may want to come top of the scoreboard, but is that truly in the interest of the community for me to do so?

It’s no trivial matter: i suspect that scoring and ranking are amongst the top most applied gamification techniques, but may in fact to be driving precisely the wrong behaviours. We may be training people to exhibit the very behaviours that least benefit the community.

image from

By contrast, ‘Cooperation‘ can generate a different dynamic. Cooperation is an agile skill, but it’s highly contextual: the cooperative behaviours that allow us to solve one problem may be at odds with the ones needed for the next. Agility indicates that we form alliances in response to context, and in the Social Age a key factor in the viability of those alliances is our reputation.

What this means is that the alliances we form in a game context may not be those that we need in the real world: it may be the skills of ‘alliance building’ which are relevant, not the actual alliances themselves. If this is true, then we may want to avoid team formation, or at least be aware that success is not measured in the cohesion of a team (which may originate in existing relationships) so much as the significant behaviours exhibited in team formation.

Hope you enjoy this article like I do it.

Julia Echeverria Moran

There’s also something to consider about reciprocity: cooperation within a game is likely to rely on internal reciprocity: doing something for me within the context of the game (e.g. Swapping one of my Stations for one of your Blue properties in Monopoly). We both have something to gain. In the Social Age, particularly in the context of Social Leadership, we talk about operating with no expectation of reciprocity in the moment: it’s sharing based on humility and the health of the community in the expectation that the value we build into community will deliver it’s own results in time. So even something as apparently simple as encouraging cooperation may not deliver as clear cut learning results as we could expect.

The true learning may be about the foundations of cooperation, not just rewarding successful cooperation: the two things may be different.

I really like games approaches where the cooperative approach is based on successful diagnosis of the challenge, not just on pure team formation. This can manifest in ‘Quest‘ type games, where the nature of the quest can inform the decisions we take on team formation. This mirrors the agile ecosystem of the real world, where we need to form communities around specific challenges, recognising that those communities may be temporary.

Reward‘ itself is an important aspect of game dynamics: are we rewarding meaningfully? Consider the ways that people can experience reward. There’s reward based around resource: win and you get something, for preference, something rare, treasured or pleasurable. Then there’s status: win and you are recognised for your sporting, intellectual or aesthetic prowess! Reward can be immediate or deferred: you can walk away with the prize, or the prize can vest over time (perhaps through increased status within a community).

We should recognise thought there is not necessarily a linear relationship between effort and reward: there are contexts where explicit reward may not be desired or beneficial. People may not want to stand out, especially if competitive behaviours is seen as anti collaborative, which may be true for empathic or cultural reasons. Just because we like games doesn’t mean we should assume it’s universal.

Different types of reward structure can propagate different types of behaviour: an abstract reward may permit exploratory or more risky behaviours than a straight cash prize, which may carry more immediate value. If all that is at stake is a position on a leaderboard, we may be willing to exhibit different behaviours than if cold hard money is involved.

In any event: view reward as a factor that impacts every aspect of playing the game, not just the prize-giving at the end.

Understanding the context and permission for ‘Risk‘ is vital, especially when we deconstruct the different types of risk at play.

There may be risk around something physical, like safety or the loads placed on a building. There may be reputational risk, where failing will damage confidence. There may be offset risk: win the game here but carry a stigma elsewhere. We shouldn’t view risk as something to be avoided at all costs or mitigated. Sometime a healthy amount of risk can pay benefits: it moves us out of our expected zone of behaviour and response and allows us to experiment with new behaviours (rehearsal) and consequence. Of course, it only does this if we have both permission and space to practice. Get it wrong and we are rehearsing on the job, which is ok, as long as that has been planned for!

Risk modifies behaviour. Try walking along the white line that runs down a road (check for cars first… that’s one type of risk!). Now put a plank the width of that line two feet off the ground and walk along it. Most of us are more careful. Just a little. Put it ten feet up and i’m very careful indeed: a hundred feet up and nothing would persuade me to walk it, at least not without a safety harness.

Attitude to risk is proportional to ability to offset it (and possibly to understand it).

We can use risk within learning games to modify behaviours or to steer scenarios in particular directions, but if we are clever about the design, we may want to include a necessity to confront and take risk on, because it’s a great modifier of behaviour. Just remember, how real the risk is impacts on the responses we choose. If we wear the safety harness, we may throw ourselves off, just to see what it feels like.

Some of the better applications of games in learning are around formation, rehearsal and implementation of ‘Strategy‘. This can happen in two ways: implicitly or explicitly.

Let’s say you work in a burger bar and the training consists of a game to practice making the burger. The point of it is to help you coordinate all the elements: where you put the pan, where you break the eggs, how long you cook them for. You are building a strategy (as well as manual skills and rehearsed behaviours) for success. We can modify the game by ‘forcing‘ it to give you a bad egg, to see how you react, but whatever we do, the context is explicit: you’re learning to make a burger.

In implicit strategy, the actual application may be shielded. For example: you have to go on a quest in a magical kingdom to find some treasure, but to find the treasure, you need to cross a lake, force open a door and climb a cliff. To succeed, you need to assemble a team, which will include negotiating a split of the treasure. The skills you are rehearsing may be applicable in the real world, but you are rehearsing them in the abstract, in a present space. We are not rehearsing strategy in an applied sense, but nonetheless we are executing strategy to achieve a goal, which may carry parallels in the real world and, indeed, allow you to rehearse behaviours that can carry across into the real world.

Playing with implicit and explicit modes of learning design can provide benefits: it may let us focus on the skills in the abstract from application and engineer modes of rehearsal that are unconstrained by the ‘real world‘. On the flip side, if we rehearse in the abstract, we may need to explicitly make the links back to the real world. Simply succeeding in the abstract scenario is not enough: if we don’t make it clear how it impacts in the real world, we are failing.

I’ve been playing Star Wars Commander on the iPad: when i get distracted for a few days, my Base gets raided and i lose resources. Sometimes a lot of resources. This potential for ‘Loss‘ is not accidental: it’s engineered into the engagement tools of the game, intended to annoy me, intended to get me back in to play some more (and build more resources).Mobile games are leading the way in Engagement strategies, because they have a clear financial gain from getting me to reengage and play more.

This notion of loss is one that we can benefit from understanding: how we can apply it, how it can be used to learn. Within role-play or simulation games, we can actively manipulate scenarios to include aspects of loss to both force people to confront change but also to generate an engagement to rebuild.

I mentioned the Star Wars game: ‘Building‘ is a key part of the experience. You build a base and apply both functional and aesthetic decisions when doing so. Endless hours of tinkering with your base/farm/railway/space station. This ‘housekeeping‘ function of games is often ignored in organisational applications. People like to curate a space, like to design, like to build. There is mileage in understanding how and why and creating spaces for people to do this. It’s engagement.

Games like Sim City or indeed Star Wars Commander are open ended: they have no final act, because the interactions are about building and fending off adversity. Even if you managed to build the perfect city, a tornado may strike and put you back into disaster management mode (a good application of ‘loss‘ to generate engagement. But the loss must be limited: when attacked in Star Wars, you don’t lose all your wealth, but rather a percentage of it, so if you are attacked multiple times, the amount they take decreased each time: a set percentage, but a diminishing return, always leaving you with something to start from. How much loss we can bear without disengaging is a fascinating concept and highly relevant to learning.

Sometimes we talk about ‘disturbance‘: too little and we will not change. Too much and we will disengage as it’s too much effort to rebuild. It’s a balance, it’s about choreography. Continual monitoring rather than just heading for a league table.

We talked a little about ‘Adversity‘ already, considering how an uphill struggle can generate it’s own type of momentum. In serious games, we have a permission to take this to extremes: we can use adversity to test resilience, diagnostic skills, problem solving and agility. But it has to be in purpose of an objective. In a game like HALO, you face increasing levels of adversity whilst completing a broadly linear path of exploration and conquest. Indeed, complete the third game in the trilogy and you end up facing an endless stream of ever harder adversaries until you fail: there is no victory possible, but for that reason, i found it of limited appeal. There needs to be at least an astronomically distant prospect of success if we want people to strive.

The acquisition and marshalling of ‘Resources‘ sits within many games, especially ‘god’ type games, where you are building and deploying things. I particularly like some of the multi dimensional aspects of resourcing and reward used by some of the latest mobile games, which have clear applications for Social Age learning. For example, in the Star Wars game, you can collect gold coins, alloy and crystals. Some buildings are bought for money, some require alloy, and crystals, well, they are catalysts. They make things happen faster. You can use crystals to complete a building faster (buildings go up in ‘real‘ time, often taking a week or more to complete).

Now, you can harvest money and alloy, but crystals you buy for real life cash. So you can speed the game up with real money, or you can play for free, but more slowly.

Similarly, even playing for free you can adopt different approaches: you can be acquisitive, battling others to conquer and steal their resources, or you can be nurturing, never going to war, but fine tuning your base. This would be slower, but perfectly feasible. You can also choose to cooperate, sending your troops to help others, interesting with no reciprocal mechanism: a very Social Age trait. There’s definitely mileage in exploring resources in organisational games: maybe looking at how we can set up real trading of virtual game resources to link the abstract back to reality?

Finally, let’s consider the benefits of ‘Recklessness‘. If we consider how we can apply games, we shouldn’t rule out unconstrained destruction: letting people fully destruct test the limits of an environment. It’s not behaviour we want to condone, but maybe it’s all part of exploration: prototyping behaviours and exploring consequence in a safe space. It is, after all, what we do as children, so i guess it helped us learn somewhere along the line…

These are just some of a wide range of dynamics in game design: my purpose was to provoke exploration and reflection, for myself and others, into the nuance we can bring to game design, into gamification. The ways we can move beyond avatars and scoreboards to more meaningful mechanisms and applied game dynamics that are focussed not on just experience, but more on application and excellence. Games to help us learn.

Narrativa, historia y gamification: ¿cuál es la diferencia entre la historia y la narrativa?

La Historia parece tener un buen número de definiciones. Según el diccionario de Oxford es:

  1. una cuenta de la gente y los acontecimientos imaginarios o reales contado para el entretenimiento
  2. un informe de una noticia en un periódico, una revista o de difusión
  3. una cuenta de acontecimientos pasados ​​de la vida de alguien o en el desarrollo de algo
  4. las perspectivas comerciales o circunstancias de una empresa en particular

Mientras que la narrativa se define como:

  1. un cuento hablado o escrito de acontecimientos relacionados; una historia:

Así que en realidad, la historia y la narrativa son más o menos la misma cosa! Para mí lo más importante en la definición de gamification es el número 3, “una cuenta de acontecimientos pasados ​​de la vida de alguien o en el desarrollo de algo”. La manera en que veo tanto es que la historia contiene un comienzo, un desarrollo y un final. Una narración es tiempo más real, que describe los acontecimientos que están sucediendo desde la perspectiva de la persona que están sucediendo. Si se tiene en cuenta un juego, la narrativa sería la forma en que se desarrollan los acontecimientos a medida que juega. La historia incluirá la historia de fondo y la trama en curso del juego. Siendo ese el caso, la historia sería la misma para cada jugador, en tanto que la narrativa sería potencialmente único para cada uno.

¿Cómo se relaciona esto con gamificación? Bueno, por un lado, se podría considerar que cada uno tiene una historia, tienen una historia y tienen cosas que les pasa en ese momento. Todo esto va a influenciar a quiénes son y quiénes pueden ser en el futuro. En gamification a menudo si buscamos a influir o cambiar el comportamiento , conociendo la historia de cada persona puede ayudarnos a informar sobre la mejor manera de relacionarse y motivarlos.

Se podría mirar aún más literalmente, sin embargo y en realidad crear una historia y así una narrativa para cada usuario sería comprometerse con el, mientras que utilizan su sistema. Esto podría ser especialmente útil durante los onboarding fases. Lleva a tus usuarios a través de una historia, de preferencia una que cambia según las decisiones que toman y cómo desean pasar por ella. Darles lo que necesitan a través de completar partes de la historia. Hacerlo de esta manera, cuando se hace bien, tendrá un impacto mucho mayor en ellos que los da puntos que les otorgamos para hacer las cosas. El sentido de propósito que una historia puede dar es muy potente – incluso si es más una historia corta en lugar de una épica!

Siempre he dicho que una Imagen vale más que mil palabras, pero una buena historia vale un millón de manuales de instrucciones.

Este post ha sido publicado originalmente en inglés en

Un saludo cordial y como siempre, espero vuestros comentarios en los diversos medios sociales en los que se publican.

Julia Echeverria Moran

Vídeojuegos y educación

Estimados lectores, como sabéis este blog está enfocado hacia el cómo hacer que la enseñanza/aprendizaje sea más motivador e implique a los estudiantes y profesores en su propia educación, el aprender haciendo es y será una metodología interesante a la cual llamamos constructivismo.

Estoy segura que estos vídeos os ayudarán a entender el concepto y sobre todo a empezar a trabajar con los vídeojuegos en el aula.

Un saludo cordial, no olvidéis dejar vuestros comentarios en este blog o en las redes sociales en las cuales se comparte.

Julia Echeverría Moran

Creación de un periódico digital en la enseñanza media

Sabemos que una de las asignaturas pendientes de los profesores y estudiantes, es aprender que la creación de un periódico o un blog del aula o del colegio es absolutamente necesario para la evolución de los estudiantes.

Aprender a publicar y exponer ideas es algo que se debe fomentar en la educación, es por ello que os presento algunos ejemplos de cómo algunas instituciones educativas realizan esta labor.

Creando un periódico:

vídeo creado por: feria virtual 6

Tutorial: Cómo crear una revista digital con publisher de Microsoft:

Vídeo creado por: Ignacio González

Espero que os hayan gustado los vídeos, seguimos en los próximos post

Julia Echeverria Moran