Gamification Coursera Written Assignment 2- City Health

Here’s the second assignment I submitted for the Gamification MOOC on Coursera by Prof Kevin Werbach, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Gamification Coursera Warton

Gamification Written Assignment 1 – Definition : Cereals Incorporated
Gamification Written Assignment 2 – Motivation : Health of City Employees
Gamification Written Assignment 3 – Design Document : ShareAll collaborative Consumption

Gamification Written Assignment 2 – Motivation : Health of City Employees

You are approached by Ryan Morrison, the mayor of a medium-sized city in the Midwest of the United States. He has heard that you know a lot about gamification and believes that gamification techniques can transform city government.

He would like to start with the health of city employees. The city has 50,000 employees and they happen to have exactly the same rates of obesity as the U.S. average: 34.4% overweight (but not obese) and 33.9% of them are obese. 53.1% of the city’s employees do not meet the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity and 76% of them fail to meet the Guidelines for muscle-strengthening activity. The city pays for health benefits for its employees and this cost is a huge part of the city budget. Economists in Mayor Morrison’s office have estimated that a 3% improvement in the average physical fitness of city employees would amount to a US$94 million reduction in annual city health costs; a 5% improvement would save US$188 million.

Describe in general terms a gamified system that could effectively motivate behavior change to address the challenge presented above. Specifically, explain how the system would effectively incorporate intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, or both. Your answer should address the fact that this is an internal gamification project, targeted at the institutional goals of the city government. The system can use any technology (or no technology!), so long as the resources required seem justified by the scope of the opportunity.

Format: Maximum of 500 words. A normal answer will be 2-3 paragraphs of text, and/or a set of bullet points.

My Submission for the assignment

Problem : To design an internal gamified solution for 50000 city employees. The goal of the gamified system is to improve the health of the city employees and eventually save on huge city health costs.

These employees be broadly classified into 3 larger groups by their health condition:
a. Healthy
b. Overweight
c. Obese

Adapting & leading a healthy style requires a behavioral change, so a mix of intrinsic & extrinsic motivation will be required. But the key to keep these employees interested and engaged in the long run is to bring all employees to intrinsic end of the motivation spectrum and this can be done when they relate to the cause of being healthy & fit.

The employees would be divided in small groups with a mix of healthy, obese and overweight employees. A healthy individual in the group will act as external regulation, which will keep moving even the non-interested employees and also ensure a balanced team. The group will pick up individual & group task, which would be measured in calories and weight loss as individual and group as a whole. Also being part of team will bring in the synergy and a motivation to achieve a common team goal, being the healthiest team. The tasks would focus on aerobic physical activity, which can be done (Realistic goals) during the normal workday by even obese employees like :
– Stair climbing & treadmill (Indoor)
– Walking or cycling to office (outdoor)
– Bring salad/healthy diet once a week

A parallel awareness campaign will spread the message about healthy diet & lifestyle and its long-term positive effects individual’s professional & personal life. (Extrinsic Identification).

The improvement in employee’s health will also result in large financial savings for the government so will have some tangible rewards which are in sync with the program like a health/exercise kit as an extrinsic motivation. But these rewards will be Variable and Uncertain and largely non-cash to avoid the Hedonic Treadmill effect to kick in whereas pulling out of certain financial rewards would have the negative effect the motivation of the city employees.

A leaderboard will feature the most active team and personalized leaderboard will track individual with similar health condition. Each individual will be able to monitor individual and team progression and contribution. Badges (Non Tangible Status ) like Health Star, Mr. Fit-Keep can be given to top performer on leaderboard. These badges can also be given as certificates with verbal appreciation and praise (offline).

An internal Forum or blog will be developed to answer all health related questions and queries of city employees. The employees can rate and up-votes answers in a quora like model. Employees with most votes or likes will be given badges like Health Guru, Fitness Monk. Additionally the winning team will get a trophy as Performance contingent reward for completing all the task and challenges with maximum efficiency. To make this more interesting and competitive the trophy can be given on revolving basis to the Best City Team of the month.

Result : I got an effective grade of 10 out of 10 based on the peer-to-peer assessment.

Here is some of the feedback I received on what they like and what they don’t.

Peer 1 → I think it would be difficult to manage all the teams (departments/offices) and rank it using leaderboars. So the feedback could be out of date or unfair (leverage/effort). I would go for an online tool (website) and at the same time some real life activities.

Peer 2 → The reflection on the course materials and direct application into the case scenario

Peer 3 → Nicely formulated complete strategy of the health program for the city employees.

Peer 4 → Well structured work; it’s clear it has been thought through and based on class content. It shows an internal gamified system taking into account all the pyramid elements.

3 responses to “Gamification Coursera Written Assignment 2- City Health”

  1. […] Written Assignment 1 – Definition : Cereals Incorporated Gamification Written Assignment 2 – Motivation : Health of City Employees Gamification Written Assignment 3 – Design Document : ShareAll collaborative […]

  2. […] Written Assignment 1 – Definition : Cereals Incorporated Gamification Written Assignment 2 – Motivation : Health of City Employees Gamification Written Assignment 3 – Design Document : ShareAll collaborative […]

  3. Mohsin Chikani Avatar
    Mohsin Chikani

    Dear Amit,
    Congrats on your achievements. Well I am in bit of a fix at the moment . I am an accountant with 20 years of experience having worked in Saudi, Bahrain, Oman, Ghana & Angola but since Oct 2013 I am in Mumbai & not getting any offers in India or Abroad. Just managing myself on peacemeal jobs. Could you please suggest something. So far as my qualification goes I am a, C.A. articleship completed (could not pursue the course due to financial constraints). In fact even now I am financially helpless. Need your good advice

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