Strategy Dashboard

This is what we call the Octalysis Strategy Dashboard. This framework helps educators understand how to design a "desired action" they want for their students in the class to commit. Around the desired action are 5 other elements to think through the design behind each action. The interesting thing about the Strategy Dashboard is that it does not have to be a firm plan. It can be updated as more results come in for improvement.

We will break down each of the 6 elements of the Strategy Dashboard and the design process behind each decision. At the end, there will be in-depth video taught by Yu-kai and Chris.

Business Metrics is the Learning Objective

It's important to keep in mind the learning objective at all times. Integrating gamification is not a random pick of game techniques thrown into the mix of learning. Each action is thought out in optimizing the goal. Octalysis calls it a business metrics because the framework is usually used in a business product. For our goal, we call it Learning Objectives because an educator's goal is for their students to learn.

For the Learning Objective, it's because to stick to 3 detailed but do-able goals. It's a good practice to be as general and detailed as possible so it's something every student can achieve and specific enough so that it holds quantifiable value.

Bad example: "Students to finish their assignments"

Good sample: "Students to complete at least 90% of their daily solo quests and 100% of their weekly group quests"

Using quantifiable metrics are important because it makes the result measurable and revisable.

Desired Action

This is usually comes in a form a button or an interactive activity. On the screen it could be a glowing big button. It can also be a text field for students to type. It could be an animated graphic like a spinning wheel. It could be a movable object like a hammer and use the hammer to pound the nail. It could be clicking on a speech bubble to interactive with another classmate, teacher, or even an artificial intelligence. It could be trigger via voice like "Hey Siri" or "Ok Google" or "Alexa!". Buttons are usually the default because they are universal desired actions. Even a baby will want to touch a button on an elevator because they are glowing tactile shapes desirable to be pressed. On the web, if a link did not have an underline underneath a text, users would not know that it is a link.

Next vs Next

The underline makes it obvious that the users can click on the underlined text. This is the simple form of desired action on a website.

Even if the text says "don't press", natural instinct is to want to press and see what happens. This motivations is power by CD7 Unpredictability and Curiosity.

Player Types are the Learner Types

There are different types of learner types. There are different frameworks educators can use as a helping guide. Each framework below in itself is a hefty exhausted framework. To go more in-depth, you must go research outside the scope of this website.

4 Player Types

When designing a course, keep in mind that there are always different learners in the classroom. The player types can be broken down into using Richard Bartle's 4 Player Types. This is a standard framework when creating a gamification product. In our usage, we use this to divide students into 4 categories.

On the x-axis, one end is more "humans around" and the other end is more "world around"

On the y-axis, one end is more "interacting" and the one end is more "unilateral action"

3 Learning Styles

At a foundational level, there are three basic types of learning:

1) visual learners

2) audio learners

3) kinetic learners

Personality Indicators

These are also great personality frameworks to work off to understanding students and people. The thing about personality tests is that people are always changing and adapting to their environment. It's good to have basic knowledge. How you apply it will be up to your own wisdom and experience.

16 Personality Types (Based on Myers Briggs Type Indicator)

According to this framework, there are 4 category spectrums in a personality. This is a very popular personality indicator in the professional working world. It has also been professionally used in high school and in University level.

Test link:

Enneagram 9 Personality Test

According to this framework, there are 9 general personalities. Each person should have 1 main type and may have 1 wing type in association to the main type.

Test link:

Feedback Mechanics

Feedback mechanics in a game is like the scoreboard, coins collected, time left, level,

So in Super Mario, all the feedback mechanics are placed on the top.

Mario: 7700 score

Coin: 10

World: 1-1

Time: 225

Each of these are feedback mechanics that trigger another desired action. For example, once Mario collection 100 coins, he will get a booster that will increase that number of lives he has. Number of lives Mario has increases the chances of winning the game by not dying. World 1-1 is a progress bar this allows the player to know how far they have gotten in this adventure game. Time tells players that once it reaches zero, they will die and lose 1 life. Each of these feedback mechanics tell the player to do something. That "something" is a game experience designed by the game designer. It's not by accident that these mechanics were chosen. Each feedback mechanic will trigger more desired actions that leads to another. Sometimes the chain will become a loop called gameloops.

Feedback mechanics are fun. So as educators, a fun feedback mechanic design will increase engagement in your classroom or learning environment. Because this motivates CD2: Development of Accomplishment which is an extrinsic white Hat core drive.

A lot of times teachers will put up assignment boards on black board or white boards. Sometimes this could be boring and even daunting so some. Designing a quest list is much more fun than a white board with bullet points. Below are two examples of a To-Do-List. Which one is more engaging?

This is a white board. It's very clear to the teacher. But for students... it might bored them and not engaging enough for them. Extra motivational energy and discipline would be required to get through this list.

This is also a To-Do-List in a game. It has written rewards, progress bar, graphics of the quest, and graphic of the rewards. Much more fun to complete this than a white board. This probably has more work hours spend but will probably require less motivational energy to get it down.

Addiction requires motivation to quit.

Boring activities require motivation to start.


Rewards might be straight forward but in game designs, it can take form of many shapes. Rewards do not always need to be a physical tangible reward. According to gamification expert Gabe Zichermann, he provides a framework of rewards with the acronym SAPS

  • Status

  • Access

  • Power

  • Stuff

Status rewards in school could be "student of the week". With status, it doesn't always need to be connected with privilege. The fact knowing that their grades are ranked at the top can make them feel good extrinsically and intrinsically if they feel better than others. It's important for teachers to reward students with status but also to install inner humbleness even when the accomplished much. They can be truly happy but maintain their humbleness without false humility. It's a tricky balance but the teacher's role is to balance this.

Access rewards in a school could be the permission to enter into a certain section of the school where no one students without permission may enter. If a college student is doing research, permission may be granted if the student qualifies to do this research. Or for younger children, children who earn the reward may access the game room ahead of the other students to pick their board game for free time first to play with their friends.

In Harry Potter, the trio snuck into the restricted section. But later on, Hermione was granted permission to access some sections by the professor.

Power rewards comes in handy when a student is chosen to be the group leader. They have the power to delegate work and make sure their team in on task. This might also be tricky because sometimes younger children do not like to be bossed and this might have a negative desired action. The team might end up not wanting to do the work because socially they might feel interior. Teachers need to be very careful how they design this reward. With the right amount of power in the right section of jurisdiction, this can be a very powerful long term motivation for the one who holds the power. However, it must be balanced among the other students. Typically this rewards is not given "all for one" but rather "one for all". Something as simple as a time keeper that has responsibility but a neutral power is considerable.

Stuff rewards are the simplest because this could be like an eraser, pen, pencil, keychain, candy, or sticker. This can get creative if the class room develops classroom items like homework pass, bathroom pass, class currency, a dice, a ticket to spin the wheel, or a trophy. A lot of creativity can be here not limiting to direct rewards. A lot of times, games like to use a treasure box or a raffle ticket. To keep the reward a mystery and unpredictable.

Win State

It's important for all students to feel like that they are winning in the learning. But they still need to earn it. They need to see their feedback mechanics in their progress to accomplish that goal. At certain milestones, win-states must be given to feel like they are progressing and growing.

Examples of win-states:

  • High Five

  • Grade A

  • Sticker

  • Compliment

  • Golf Clap

  • Encouragement

  • A short sound effects

  • A sticky note

  • Thumbs up

  • Fist bump

These win states are not big rewards they are striving for. These are encouragements for them to reach their milestone goal.

When designing a product, the 4 Phases of the Player Journey is the framework gamification experts use. Instead of one big experience, this splits the course into 4 distinct phases in learning experiences.

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