Advice for Digital Immigrants: Interpreter Education and Gamification

Doug Bowen-Bailey headshot wearing CIT shirtby Doug Bowen-Bailey
CIT Webmaster
Badges from GamificationAs a webmaster, I follow several blogs about trends in web and instructional design.  Recently, I came across a post entitled, “Why Gamification Impacts UX.”  Designers attempt to create a user experience (UX) that is engaging and enjoyable in order to have the user continue on with the resource.  For digital natives, there is an expectation that the user experience should be both engaging as well as education.
As described by Dan Vergillito, the author of this blog,

[g]amification is simply the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, and rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service. (Vergillito, 2015)

As someone who works to design resources for interpreter education, I am wrestling with how to do this.  How can the teams I work with create meaningful activities for interpreter education that address higher order skills that are engaging and keep people motivated to complete them.
Mary Lightfoot, in her article on online education entitled “Interaction and Gamification:  An Evolving Intersection,” suggests that gamification provides important strategies for us to tap into as educators.  She writes, “gamification has the potential to be used to scaffold students to progressively deeper, more cognitively rich levels of understanding.” (Lightfoot, p. 88)
As described above, gamification often borrows from game structure, such as scoring points, “powering up,” and competing against others.  I have been struggling to figure out what the appropriate ways to include that in interpreter education resources.

  • How appropriate is it to include more competition in learning when there is concern in interpreting communities about competition over work that leads to negative interactions between colleagues?
  • How appropriate is it to have interpreting students become the “heroes” of their learning activities when there is concern in the Deaf community about the ways that some interpreters see themselves as “heroes” in interpreted interactions?
  • How different is giving points from awarding CEUs?  I think there is significant concern in the field about how the pursuit of CEUs has overshadowed the goal of actual lifelong learning.   So, does awarding points provide a foundation for learning that is more motivated by extrinsic factors like CEUs rather than intrinsic ones like the improvement of interpreting skills and services?

I keep all these questions in my mind as I work on my projects – knowing that I need to balance using the power of interactive media for teaching while still working to ensure that interpreters are able to find their appropriate space within interpreted interactions.

References

Lightfoot, M. (2015) “Interaction and Gamification: An Evolving Intersection with Online Interpreter Education,” in Ehrlich and Napier, eds., Interpreter Education in the Digital Age:  Innovation, Access, and Change.  Washington, DC:  Gallaudet University Press, 2015.
Vergillito, D. (2015) “Why Gamification Impacts Ux.”  Retrieved October 2, 2015 from http://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/why-gamification-impacts-ux.