Hey, I'd like for you to meet my new assistant, Briscoe the Wonder Pony! What? You think he doesn't look like he could be very useful around the office? Oh, but see, that's where his magic comes about. He's excellent at providing reminders. He's a bit of a nudge, albeit a really cute one.
See Briscoe found me in San Antonio last week when I was attending the IFWE (International Forum for Women in E-learning) conference. (Specifically he came from the Briscoe Western Art Museum which I highly recommend). It was a fantastic experience and you'll see me writing a ton more about it and the sessions and people that I met there in the coming days and weeks. But now, back to Briscoe.
See we all need reminders in learning, in work, in our everyday lives. So when I see Briscoe he reminds me of my experience at IFWE and the commitments I made to myself and others while there. When distractions from returning to "real life" after the conference start piling up, his mussed up mane reminds me to focus. You may not have a Briscoe, but I bet you do have things or can create things that can help you to focus and serve as reminders of what you need to be doing.
This is one of the elements I often encourage those who are just starting out gamifying their courses to think about. How can you keep people on the path and focused and engaged with little nudges? Can you send out tweets, text messages, or emails with a review question to keep the content floating around in the learners' minds? Do you have features in the technology you use that allows for nudges or notifications to be sent if someone hasn't checked in for a certain time period or rewards them with a kudo for their persistence?
Or after the fact, can you make badges that are meaningful reminders of their accomplishments. Not badges for clicking or just showing up, but for real progress. There is a reason why people still hang their diplomas on the wall. We like to be reminded and we like to broadcast to others that we "did it."
So what is your Briscoe and how can it help you to reach your goals and help you to get your learners to their goals?
Banner image of San Antonio based on image by Nan Palmero on Flickr; Image of Briscoe by me