Designing for Flow: Creating Compelling User Experiences for Learning

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Online Forums 2012 - May 18, 2012
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Julie Dirksen

Instructional Strategist
Usable Learning

As eLearning professionals, we know that the best learning experiences are the ones that challenge, stimulate, and engage. We spend a lot of time talking about creating more engaging eLearning, but often don’t look  closely at the art and science of engagement. We see  the level of engagement that game experiences provide and we want that for our learning experiences, but how do we get it?

One of the key elements in creating fully engaging game experiences is the concept of flow — creating environments that keep players in tenuous balance between their level of ability and level of challenge. Originated by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the state of flow has been described as  being “fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus [and] full involvement.” Participants in this session will take a look at how games and other entertainment media create flow states, why learning is an inexorable part of this type of engagement, and how you can create flow states for your learners.          

In this session, you will learn:

  • How flow is created in games
  • Key elements for creating a flow state
  • How to apply flow to learning environments and curricula
  • How to create learning that is “hard fun”
  • Balancing and play-testing methods for ensuring engagement               

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