R. Alvarez, J.M. Esteves Sousa, J. Curto Diaz

IE Business School (SPAIN)
Nowadays social media is used and understood by many more than it was ever predicted, every day we can read on the news something about it. The main technologies of Big Data were developed by the companies behind the social media sites, and are now extended to almost every field. The importance of Big Data must not be overlooked in a highly interconnected world, and enticing students to understand its principles and how it can be useful for them is a task that can be approached through another trending topic: gamification.

When creating learning materials, it is paramount to balance out the learning objectives, which are the reason for which the material itself is created, and student engagement, as they are who the material is created for. If on one extreme, only the objectives are considered, you might end up just dumping information, and if it is only engagement you pursue, then the gaming industry might suit you better. This does not necessarily mean that there is a tradeoff between learning and having engaging materials, and there is a place where gamification strategies actually enhance the learning experience of the student, and learning objectives are certainly easier to achieve.

The Big Data gamified material is a tutorial, in which students can complete a series of challenges that improve their understanding of the topic and earn them badges according to their performance, if successfully completed. They can also share their achievements in social networks to compete against peers for performance. The information is offered to students in the form of videos, sensitive images, animations, social interaction and role playing.

An introductory video was created using a “Did you know?” format, aimed at capturing the attention towards the importance of the topic, and is followed by a sensible image that captures its main characteristics. Here comes the first opportunity to earn a badge, and the user must correctly answer the questions to earn it. This will be a constant throughout the experience, and after completing the tutorial the student has an opportunity to share his own findings on the topic, that might be displayed for future users. The students also engage in a role play where they use the acquired knowledge for an immediate practical application.

The presentation will provide participants with our best practices and the challenges we found on how learning is achieved through gamification. They will receive valuable insights on how rewards, peer competition, social interaction and role playing were used to enhance the ability of students to retain necessary information and exercise their own analytical skills to apply it. It will also include a broader analysis of lessons learned with other materials where we have used gamification: the accounting game Market Stall Empire, the mobile app World Oil Prices, and the strategy simulation Tatuta Phones.

In the Multimedia Unit of Learning Innovation at IE Business School, we permanently work to improve the learning quality and engagement of our students, and we have the experience of over 300 multimedia materials created with this purpose. The continued use of these resources at the business school has led us to embark on the development of learning tools that reveal the importance of the knowledge and experience prepared for our students, and this is also reflected in the methods we use to get the information across.