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412 BYOD: 9 Low-cost Gamification Options with High Value Results

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday, April 20

Tracks: Games & Gamification

Series: BYOD

Many people think they need complex or expensive digital tools to create effective gamification, but nothing could be further from the truth. What about the tools you have already have? Can you leverage those tools in new and creative ways without spending more money? Or are there free or low-cost tools out there that help you create more engaging learning? What about keeping your learners engaged throughout the entire game?

In this session, we will answer those questions and more. We will also rank a series of nine possible gamification activities and strategies. We will focus on the selections that the group feels are more interesting and relevant through this crowd-sourced type of choose-your-own-adventure structure. We will explore ways to capture and maintain learners’ attention using gameful elements like challenges, choice, and Easter eggs, explore some free tools such as puzzle makers and virtual worlds (e.g., Topia), level up the gamefulness of your design process by using creativity games, or remix existing games to create learning experiences. You may end up discussing with a partner where you could hide some Easter eggs in your next project, or you might end up making a paper model showing how you can think through transforming learning experiences from in-person to virtual and then to hybrid. Or we may end up playing a game in a virtual world where you can stand on the game board. What we explore is genuinely up to you. This session might need to come with a warning label because bellies may ache from laughing, or minds may be blown.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Several gameful elements that can level up your next learning experience
  • How to use ideas from games to help you breathe more life into your learning design
  • A collection of low- or no-cost tools for your gamification toolkit
  • Creativity activities that enhance your approach to design

Technology discussed:

Topia, PowerPoint, Inklewriter, Puzzlemaker by Discovery

Participant technology requirements:

A web-enabled device would be helpful but is not absolutely necessary. This is hands-on from a design perspective more than from a technology perspective.

Valary Oleinik


Valary Oleinik

Valary Oleinik is one part artist, one part geek, and 100% committed to finding ways to help people develop and deliver more engaging and effective learning experiences. She has worked in various aspects of L&D for over two decades. She also serves on the board of directors of the USDLA (United States Distance Learning Association). Her unique, creative approaches to training have earned her invitations to speak at gamification and L&D events across the US and virtually around the globe.