Erickson In The Media

The Vancouver Sun

“Gamification Used In Adult Education”

by Tracy Sherlock

 

February 25, 2015 – Vancouver Sun, BC Education Report

A Vancouver-based adult education centre is putting video game strategies — gamification — to use in teaching adults.

Erickson Coaching International is a training centre for coaches — people who work with other people, coaching them to improve their personal and professional lives. It offers training both in person and online, but it is online where the school is using tactics from video games to boost learning.

Eileen Bistrisky,  Vice-President of Erickson Coaching International, gave a walk through demonstration of the program. Bistrisky showed how the learning platform uses strategies like badges and leader boards to engage and motivate students.

As more learning moves online, it’s likely that other educational institutions will start to use more of these strategies to boost outcomes and keep students interested.

The badges are used both to track progress and as a sort of pat on the back by other students. Badges are earned for things ranging from updating a student’s profile picture, to leaving five comments on other students’ work. But they can also be earned when another student votes for a students as being the most clear and succinct, for example, or most creative.

Online classes have to compete with other sorts of online entertainment, Bistrisky said. She is enrolled in a  pilot project of the class, The Art and Science of Coaching, as well as working at Erickson and says that she was skeptical of gamification before she tried it, but that since trying it, she has changed her mind and says it does work to improve motivation.

The first public offering of the class launches March 2 and is sold out.

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