Let the Games Begin (Again)

Community Coach
Community Coach
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Surprise! The Canvas Community is launching a new gamification system sometime mid-February 2017 and completely level-setting the community. But before you say “who cares” (cuz we know you have way more important things to do) or 'wut-wut' (cuz you fear losing your status), hear us out...

POINT-FREEZE WILL BEGIN FEBRUARY 1, 2017. Members will no longer earn points in the community until the new gamification system is launched.

Why the change now?

Good question. Well, mostly because JIVE (the platform we're using to host our Canvas Community) has its own in-house gamification platform.  More on what "Gamification" is in minute (Currently, we use a 3rd party gamification integration that wasn't available when we started). Last year, we tested the new system and found it to be compatible with our community's needs. While both systems have their pros/cons, we believe the change will future-proof our efforts as both JIVE and our community continues to evolve.

Gamification is NOT just about Points and Badges.

Sure, points and badges are great (to some). But the heart of gamification comes from wanting to encourage participation in a way that is meaningful for the member and valuable for the community. Last December we surveyed ~250 of our (least and most) active members in hopes to gain further insight into our current gamification system.

The sentiment that resonated to most users: people want to cut through the ‘noise’ and find quality answers from reputable sources. While gamification is not the only way to surface good content and showcase 'experts' in the community, it is one tool in our community management that influences content and ranks our members.

What is actually changing?

A few main themes came out of the survey. These areas will fundamentally drive the way we structure our new gamification strategy.

  1. Levels should better align with someone's reputation or expertise.
  2. Badges should have more value by representing a person's education and investment in Canvas and its products.
  3. Quality contributions should have more more weight over quantity.

Expect to see signification changes in level distribution, point structure, and badging!

The new system will also include peer-to-peer badging to de-emphasize the top-down approach to a reward system and some stop-gaps to minimize the number of instances for users to 'game the system'.

Be honest. Are we losing our points, or what?

Ah, the million dollar question! In short, yes. 

This is a significant-reboot. But level-setting the community is not as simple as starting everyone at zero. From those surveyed, about 78.9% of members wouldn’t mind a significant change to the gamification system, so long as some recognition was awarded to accomplished members in the transition. In short, those who have worked hard to reach upwards of levels 3, 4, 5 and beyond will be recognized in one way, shape or form --- whether that recognition will surface in the new system (i.e., starting out with higher ranking) or other ways still remains to be determined.

More to come...

We're super excited about this change. And we hope you will be, too. We are hosting a CanvasLIVE session that will provide additional details about the change on Tuesday, February 28, 2017: https://community.canvaslms.com/events/1975-quest-for-community-domination?sr=search&searchId=af159b...‌. We hope you join us then!

About the Author
I enjoy connecting and educating Canvas Users through virtual events!