CUE 2014‎ > ‎

Gamification

Resources from the Conference - tinyurl.com/meganellis

Disclaimer: Gamification does not work for everything or everyone.  It needs to be highly specific to the individual classroom environment, and works best for finessing and producing minor tweaks in behavior, not large scale modification.

Game Dynamics:
  • Games provide feedback
    • Recognize achievements early and often
      • Reinforces positive behavior
      • Helps students see what others are doing
    • Encourage through failure
  • Games provide structure
    • Immediate goals - task completion (day in classroom)
    • Short term goals - level completion (unit in classroom)
    • Long term goal - game completion (year in classroom)
  • Games require attention
    • Good surprises are good
    • "Bad" surprises are useful (when someone unexpectedly fails, they can learn for next time)
    • No surprises though, is not good (people stop paying attention)
  • Games are social
    • Create opportunities for both competition and collaboration
      • Leader boards
      • Cooperative multi-player (as a class)
  • These 4 dynamics are effective in engaging people
Sample Implementation Philosophy (Presenter's Classroom)
  • Progress was not connected to academic progress, giving students another opportunity to succeed (or see link between study skills and academics)
  • Gave students concrete steps/goals for abstract tasks (like "being prepared" or "responsible")
  • Students level up early and often at the beginning, but then tapers off
  • Students know how to earn/lose/make-up XP (experience points)
  • Students are playing both cooperatively and competitively
    • Compete as a class for concrete rewards (donuts, trinkets, etc.)
    • Work individually for non-concrete rewards (bathroom passes, late work passes, etc.)
  • Changes conversation about expectations among students
    • Less arguing about the "rules" (what is fair/unfair or liked/unliked)
    • The normal classroom rules can become the rules for the game
Sample Implementation:
  • Students earn 5 experience points (XP) per day based on criteria (what is expected)
    • Will earn all 5 if they do what is expected of them
  • Hit first few levels quick; gaps get larger at higher levels
    • First few rewards are the things students "need" for the class, and they should be able to get them in the first week or so
      • Examples include bathroom passes, latework passes,etc. as applicable
    • Mid-tier rewards should be nice things but related to the class
      • Example: "choose your seat for a week"
    • Reset periodically (say at semester)
    • "Bonus" XP can be granted in situations of merit
      • Can be based on academic or non-academic things (extension activities you would normally give extra credit for)
    • Expectations may be adjusted for individual students to what they specifically need to focus on (but this is done individually and privately)
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