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204 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Gamification

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Wednesday, October 29

Games and Gamification

Gamification is one of the hottest buzzwords in the learning world, yet its true benefits are not yet proven or fully understood. We need stories about what works and what doesn’t to enable us to grasp and harness the power and possibilities of this shiny new toy. Instructional designers, trainers, consultants, and others need to know how gaming can work alongside or integrated with both better-known and emerging tools.

In this case-study session you will explore the theory and practice of gamification with concrete stories of both success and failure and the key ingredients of each. You will learn the failures of Success Factors’ first gamification effort, and the lessons learned. You will also examine how it applied those lessons to its next gamification initiative, learn how it succeeded, and see the results. You will walk through the entire step-by-step process of the project, including program design, game mechanics, and technical details.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to create a successful gamification initiative
  • How to apply basic game elements to a learning event
  • The most important pitfalls to avoid
  • Step-by-step game creation
  • How to gain executive buy-in for learning games
  • How to judge what aspects of gamification will and won’t work for your audience
  • How to optimize content for gamification
  • Quick wins for game mechanics independent of your platform

Intermediate designers, developers, project managers, and managers, ideally with a basic knowledge of game design and mobile-application design and development.

Technology discussed in this session:
Responsive design, Google Docs, SurveyMonkey, and Amazon Web Services.

Enzo Silva

Learning Strategist


Enzo Silva, senior instructional designer for SAP, is an avid learner and instructor who worked in the language-learning field for many years in his home country of Brazil. Enzo is involved in learning mediated by social media, virtual worlds, and games. He currently resides in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area.

Lauren Fernandez

Professional Skills & Development Instructor

Success Factors, an SAP Company

Lauren Fernandez, a professional skills and development instructor for SuccessFactors, specializes in early talent development for SAP’s programs for recent university graduates focusing on key leadership skills for career advancement. She is interested in new, innovative, and creative approaches for millennial-targeted training. Prior to her current role, Lauren was a project manager for the SuccessFactors award-winning learning and development team. Lauren holds a BS degree in economics with an emphasis in business management from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Omar Zaki

Senior Instructional Designer

SuccessFactors, an SAP Company

Omar Zaki develops technical training and custom software tools for innovative learning programs as a senior instructional designer on the award-winning learning team at SuccessFactors, an SAP company. Omar specializes in developing reusable technological solutions to augment learning in non-traditional training environments such as MOOC, asynchronous, and self-directed learning, and has extensive experience in the telecom, billing, and HR industries. Omar holds a BS degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and worked as a software development consultant before becoming an instructional designer and programming instructor in 2007.

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