Gamification | Coursera | Assignment 1

[1 June 2013] This post is still mostly a draft. I’ve been postponing it for a while, but since there’s no better time than NOW – but then I have to get back to this prototype I’m working on (the weekend) for increasing our chances on a project bid.

Post 1 – Definition. Cereals Incorporated. This post.
Post 2 – Motivation. Medium-sized city in the Midwest.
Post 3 – Design Document. ShareAll.

I recently took Prof Kevin Werbach‘s (The Wharton School) class on Gamification on Coursera offered by University of Pennsylvania. The content was excellent and I gained more perspective.
During the course, I took 4 Quizes (4.75 / 5.00, 8.25 / 10.00, 8.00 / 10.00, 9.75 / 10.00) and 3 written assignments (9, 10, 10) which may be verified at

I’m posting my answer for the first assignment below. I’m sure it can be improved but this was done within the time and word limit deadline. The assignments were graded by 5+ anonymous peers. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Project Part I: Definition

You are an employee of Cereals Incorporated, a large manufacturer of breakfast food products.  Your supervisor, Madison County, approaches you because she knows you recently took a course on gamification, which she has heard will revolutionize marketing.

She tells you that Cereals Inc. is about to release a new line of ready-to-eat breakfast pastries, and she wants to know whether to use gamification as part of the marketing strategy.  The breakfast pastries will be aimed at the 18-35 age bracket. Surveys show members of this demographic often skip breakfast because they don’t want to eat the typical cereals of their youth, and they are too active to cook their own breakfasts.  Market research indicates that the pastries are likely to appeal more to women than men by a 65%-35% ratio. Cereals Inc. has a 35% share of the overall breakfast food market, but only a 10% share of the fragmented ready-to-eat segment.

Provide as many reasons as you can why gamification could be a useful technique to apply to the situation your manager has presented to you.  Explain why these reasons address the specific scenario provided.
  At this stage, focus on the problem rather than the solution.  In other words, describe the goals of the project, not the particular game elements or other techniques you plan to use.  We strongly encourage you to watch this week’s lecture segments before attempting this assignment.

Format: Maximum of 300 words.  A normal answer will be 1-2 paragraphs of text, and/or a set of bullet points.  Your submission should be self-contained (not requiring the grader to view any outside materials) and should provide sufficient details for the grader to understand the basis for your statements.

Write your answer in the text box below (300 word maximum).

A majority of the age group being aimed at are busy (active) individuals – they’re likely to be rushing to college or starting new careers, or perhaps even starting new careers (switching lines after a few years of work). Only the older end of that spectrum may have more stable careers etc. They value the “extra 10 minutes of sleep” over eating breakfast, because the activity itself doesn’t give enough of a reward/value. There is no immediate feedback of making the healthier choice of eating breakfast. Being young, they probably don’t see much of an energy loss yet but aren’t thinking about the long term heath effects of such a lifestyle.

Gamification can be used to offer mental rewards and immediate feedback – a score or progression of how they may have hit their daily target of “health points” and also a long term target (eg: bonus points for not skipping breakfast on even a single day for a week/month; “your monthly calcium intake has reduced your risk of getting weak bones by X%”). Making the activity of having Cereal Inc’s specific cereal more fun (using gamification techniques) would lead to increased demand for our product as opposed to just health benefits which might apply to competitors too.

Another factor that gamification can help with is making the activity co-operative. It could work out a scheme where girlfriends and wives, get their boyfriends and husbands to participate in the shared activity. Since the cereal is more likely to appeal to women (65%), gamification techniques may be used to get them to convert more men into “players”. Players will look forward to the gamified breakfast as against a few more minutes of sleep.
(282 words)

There are two components to the score for this assignment.  The first is a quantitative measure and the second is a qualitative assessment of the submission.  Give a score for each component according to the rubric below.  You may optionally also provide free-form feedback to the student.The submission should be the student’s own work. If you conclude that a substantial portion has been copied without attribution from another student or an online resource, assign a score of “0” to both components.

Quantitative Measure
Did the student provide a list of reasons to use gamification, and an explanation for each one?

0    No answer or completely irrelevant answer.
1    1 reason.
2    2 or more reasons.

Score from your peers: 2

Qualitative Measure
Were the reasons explained convincingly? Grade this criterion independently of the number of reasons.  In other words, if only one reason is provided but it is explained in a clear, convincing, and thoughtful manner, award 3 points for this portion.

0    No answer or completely irrelevant answer.
1    Reasons with no explanations.
2    Explanations that were obvious or vague (such as “gamification would be good for Cereals Inc. because it would sell more breakfast pastries”).
3    Explanations that were clear, convincing, and thoughtful.  These could be (but need not be) tied to examples or frameworks in the lectures, such as the Foursquare factors identified in Lecture 3.1: engagement gap, choice, progression, social, and habit formation.

Score from your peers: 2.5

Overall evaluation/feedback

What I liked was…
peer 1 → Very well conceptualized. Strategic and rather visionary whoever wrote this. Kudos to you sire.
peer 3 → The explanation about how using the Immediate Feedback between breakfast and health can be obtain it applying elements of Gamification

What could have made this submission better was…
peer 1 → Unfair question in this particular scenario =)
peer 3 → Develop in a different way or deeper the second reason, because it seems more like the cereal is used as a tools to make people play, instead of use Gamification as a way to make people consume or enjoy the breakfast

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2 Responses to Gamification | Coursera | Assignment 1

  1. Pingback: Gamification | Coursera | Assignment 2 | Pranav's space

  2. Pingback: Gamification | Coursera | Assignment 3 | Pranav's space

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