eLearn Podcast: Interview with Valary Oleinik

Valary Oleinik The eLearn Podcast
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Welcome to the eLearn Podcast.

My guest for today is Valary Oleinik, who can be found at

She self describes herself as the “Chief Disruptor” wherever she goes to work on gamification, creative problem solving and helping people re-think their learning design challenges.

In this snappy conversation, Valary and I discuss:

  • When gamification became a “thing” for her in days past when she was working in corporate learning, and when she proposed a research project about gamification and was told “there isn’t enough out there” to do it
  • The key reasons why gamification works: like the ongoing challenge, the ability to fail and try again; and why you should consider playing games as a way to build this muscle in your design
  • How you can move beyond designing things “so that they aren’t unbearable,” to something learners care about and have meaning
  • Valary shares some key tips for gamification design success like: Make sure progress is visible in some way, break things into small achievable steps, randomizing questions, resources and rewards, giving choice, and reminding learners where they’ve been (as well as where they are going)
  • Why rewards aren’t all bad (or all good) and how designing for your specific situation or audience (think relevance) makes all the difference in reward effectiveness and how the hallmark of a good scenario is whether or not you want to play more than once

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