Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.
Self Determination Theory identifies three innate needs that, if satisfied, allow optimal function and growth: Competence, Relatedness and Autonomy. Students can develop new cognitive skills better if they are intrinsically motivated to learn.
In this context, SkillTrees can help increase the level of autonomy in the learning process. They can be used as gamification element to help students acquire serious skills in a fun way.
The SkillTree application makes it easy to create skill trees and monitor learning progress.
Tips on creating your own skilltree step by step
- Start with a definition of the skill tree: how big will it be? For how long will it be used? Does this skill tree cover one assignment, a chapter or perhaps the entire grade? Is it used cross-curricular? The definition of a skill tree must be clear.
- Promise something nice. Give the students a goal to go to to work. This can be an outing, a fun assignment or watch a movie.
- Identify which parts belong in the skill tree. Make a list of all chapters, skills or knowledge covered. For each part, remember: what should I know before I start the next skill? Where does the skill tree lead towards?
- Create connections. Which skills belong together? Which parts have a causal relationship? Which in-depth material can I offer and how does this relate to the trunk of the skill tree?
- Clean up. Make sure all skills work towards the end goal or an interesting in-depth branch. Make sure everything is together is connected.
Application of Skill Trees in Education
We all understand well the idea of a normal educational curricula: a series of classes that combined together lead to some form of degree, all marked by specific explicit checks and markers. While the specific of this educational approach are worth a review, there are aspects of this approach that are sound:
- clear markers of progress
- shared understanding of the basic level of knowledge of an individual
The linear approach has limitation, especially in erasing individual interests and skills. These skills can be connected and interrelated in trees, that build up in incremental steps. Borrowing from game design, skill trees can help regain the student’s control to learn skills at their own pace and of their own interest.
Give your students ownership and control over their learning path
Teachers can create skill trees with this application and choose whether the students are allowed to update the skill tree themselves or keep full control over completion status. There is an overview page where you can view the progress of your students. The skill tree now allows students to choose the path and the pace of their learning.
Application of Skill Trees in Business
Motivate your employees by creating a clear path to reaching the next level. You can create Skill Trees to define paths to master new skills and get promoted to the next job.
- clear description of skills that are required
- empower your employees to reach new heights
Employees can now get proficient in the areas of interest. As manager, you can monitor the progress of your team and mark skills as completed along the way.
Give clear guidance to your employees what is expected to reach a new level or promotion
Managers or company trainers can create skill trees with this application and choose whether the employees are allowed to update the skill tree themselves or keep full control over completion status. You can keep full control if you want to see which employee is more complete or comes to mind for a certain job or position. Otherwise, you can also have employees update the completion status and you can monitor their progress.
Application of Skill Trees in Sports
As trainer of a team, you can use skill trees to give team members a clear path to becoming a better player. You can define each skill that is necessary for becoming a complete master, and increase the level of difficulty going down the tree.
- clear description of skills
- explanations and videos for every skill
Team members can now train more effectively and in the area of interest. As trainer of the team, you can keep track of the progress of each player in the team. You can also mark skills completed during training or games.
Give clear guidance to your team members and let them train more effectively
Trainers can create skill trees with this application and choose whether the team members are allowed to update the skill tree themselves or keep full control over completion status. You can keep full control if you want to see (as trainer) which player is more complete or comes to mind for a certain position on the field. Otherwise, you can also have team members update the completion status and you can monitor their progress.