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352 Beyond the Buzz: Gamification for Adult Learners

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM PT
Wednesday, November 17

Engaging learners, especially in the virtual environment, can be hard. But we can leverage the mechanics of games to tap into their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. We’re here to help you sift through the buzzwords and use gamification mechanics in a way that drives toward and never distracts from learning. In this highly interactive session, we’ll review several popular game mechanics, like randomization, collaboration, and exploration. Then, you’ll get the chance to play, design with, and apply them to real challenges your adult learners are facing. Throughout, we’ll share examples from industry and higher ed.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to analyze how game mechanics are used in tabletop, sports, digital, and educational games, and the impact they have on gameplay and learning
  • How to identify challenges where gamification is a useful technique and pushes learning forward, and when it distracts from the ultimate learning goal
  • How to prototype games using the mechanics we cover to address change, performance, or learning challenges that your audience experiences

Jesse Harris

Director of Learning, Engagemet, and Culture

Virgin Orbit

Jesse Harris, MA, SPHR, serves as the director of learning, engagement, and culture for Virgin Orbit, Sir Richard Branson’s rocket company in Long Beach, CA. He has spent more than 20 years in HR and talent development with Virgin, Alaska Airlines, H-E-B, and others. Jesse also teaches coursework on design and gamification at Stanford Continuing Studies and was a big winner on The Price is Right in 2019!

Laura Pickel

Learning Experience Designer


Laura Pickel is a learning experience designer at Lyft. Through her job and the classes she teaches at the Stanford d.school, such as Building Creative Cultures in the Workplace and Organizational Psychology of Design Thinking, Laura has spent the past several years learning to understand how to incorporate gamification and design thinking into learning experiences. Because she enjoys filling her time with meaningful work, she also works for IDEOU as a teaching team lead on their Leading for Creativity and Designing for Change courses. She is a graduate of Williams College and the Learning, Design, and Technology program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.