In accounting your annual accounts provide a great opportunity to reflect back on the previous year and how certain deals or decisions lead you to the outcome you have today. In games going back to a first level or the beginning of a game often gives you a feeling that you have come a long way. If you are stuck on a particularly hard level, it is a fun thing to go back down a few levels and regenerate your confidence and efforts.
Feedback is the breakfast of champions
So where is this all going, you may ask? Well, what brought this blog post about is signing up for a course and starting their online package. The online course whilst containing good value information was effectively a set of podcast recordings. I prefer reading, seeing and listening altogether to make the most of an online course and also some element of interaction (don’t get me started on the lack of structure and how it made it super hard for me as the learner). But the podcast raised a point, that I knew I had covered before in another live course and I wondered if I had actually moved on from that point, so I went looking for my course notes and the handbook.
As I went through the notes of the live course and my own thinking from 2007, it was fun to see progress and also interesting to see how some of the things I wanted then are so far removed from what I want now. I will be doing some of the exercises from that course again and save them in the folder to maybe reflect back on 10 or so years from now. It is insightful. Either way, I felt I had progressed but also not as much as I would have wanted. Hence going through the exercises again with a different mindset.
In order to improve, we look for feedback on our self today most of the time. I would say looking back and reflecting on your progress to date based on courses, notes or journals you had is useful feedback too. Probably also much more personal and close to the bone, because it is your reflection of you. Seeing it with fresh eyes and very likely after 10 years a different reality and mindset will hopefully give you some additional feedback that you hadn’t counted on.
Practise makes better
The course exercises were fun to revisit and I am thinking of adding them to my annual review process, just to take stock more often and build up an improvement trend analysis. Some exercises will prove useful regularly and some potentially become redundant over time because you have mastered or achieved what you intended.
As a big consumer of books, courses, articles and member of specific mentoring groups, my focus is on implementing what I learn as I go. Each course has edged me forward incrementally thanks to my execution on the gathered knowledge. I am good ad deep diving in new areas if they interest me and when it is new, the application may be conceptually clear but not always immediate from a putting it into practise perspective, this is another reason why reflecting back to progress can be useful.
How does this relate to gamification?
In my view, feedback and progress tracking is pretty much core to everything we have worked on in the past number of years in our gamification design. Seen that a lot of people follow my blogs for personal development or in the learning space, I thought I would share some personal approaches that help me move forward and maybe it can inspire someone else to go back and find useful exercises to bring back to today. Repetition is known to be useful for retention of information. Repeating an exercise with fresh eyes a few years after the first time, may give you surprising new insights and drive you further forward.