I often hear people talking about adding elements of chance to an experience to make it more interesting. For instance, adding a random reward for doing a certain task in a system….
While many, if not most games include some element of chance, this is NOT something we should add to learning games. At least, not when it comes to rewards. OF COURSE, we still need randomness in our games – all games are simulations and all simulations use randomness (check out my book for more on that).
If gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts, then gamblification is the use of gambling elements in non-gambling contexts.
If you want to increase visits to your website, by all means, feel free to offer some sort of random reward (like spin the wheel coupons, or randomly selected deals).
If you are going for gameful learning, on the other hand, then
DO NOT GAMBLIFY REWARDS OR PUNISHMENT.
DON’T DO IT.
The thing with learning, you see, is that the actual learning part should NOT be random.
It should be deliberate.
There are a few places where you might be able to introduce an element of randomness (like which assignment you get out of a set of possible assignments, or which quiz, ….), but any time you include a random element in your classes,
THINK VERY CAREFULLY
about why you are doing it, what YOU hope to accomplish by it, and what you think your students will get out of it.
Please don’t do this to your learners on purpose.
It’s really not helpful.