We created an Amazon Alexa skill last year that was a finalist in Training magazine’s eLearning Design Challenge at the Online Learning Conference in New Orleans. The skill, Mindful Classroom Conversations, uses a Voice User Interface so you can listen and respond to a brief story about a student who is struggling with a question during a high stakes test. Here is the description of the Alexa skill:
The student asks you, the teacher, for help. You must decide how you want to respond. Based on your choice, the conversation will change. As you make more choices throughout your conversation consider, how you can use the Habits of Mind of “Listening with Understanding and Empathy” to guide you toward a successful resolution? At the end of the story, you’ll receive specific feedback and have the opportunity to redo the story and to try different choices.
We wanted to design a surprising and delightful new way to further engage with the content. This concept of surprise and delight is essential in gamification design and not only increases engagement, but primes the brain for learning. Novelty and joy are both proven to have a positive impact on learning outcomes.
To enhance this experience when users activate the skill on an Echo Show, we wanted to test out Augmented Reality. When the skill starts on this device, the Zappar trigger is shown on its screen, allowing users to zap it using a mobile device. The zap shows a classroom (using the portal view) that is referenced in the Alexa skill and has links to the Pedagogics Coaching Group website and to a blog that explores the Habits of Mind concept in greater detail.