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Natasha Singleton

on 6 January 2014

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Transcript of Gamification

In summary, some of the reasons to gamify education are:

1- Increase interactivity & rewards – Instead of just reading text, you are actually doing something and still going through the same content

2-Increase awareness – You can be put in scenarios that will make you do & understand things which in a normal computer based training may be 'tuned out'

3-Reward challenging tasks – Meeting deadlines, goals, targets, etc.

Gamification Overview

What is gamification?

Gamification, in its strictest form, is applying game like mechanics to existing content.
What this means is that you add things like points, levels, leaderboards, badges, etc. to your existing content to make it more interactive and improve user experience.

How to gamify?

Add points to tasks that need to be completed(something youve already created even)
Define badges/rewards to be given out after criteria is met
Create a Leaderboard to show top performers
Define levels to repeat tasks or perform harder tasks ( like scaffolding)
Earning badges can be tied to unlocking higher levels (like scaffolding)

The SECRET to Gamification

S= Storyline
E= Environment
C= Competition
R= Rewards
E=Engaging Activities
T= Teacher

Rewards= Many students enjoy being awarded.
1) as an individual
2) as a member of a Guild ( small group)
3) as a member of a House ( entire class)
Rewards: no homework pass, extra points on tests

The SECRET to Gamification Part I

There are 6 components to Gamification that are pivotal when it comes to student buy-in. They are what I call the SECRET to Gamification. We will focus on the first three: Storyline, Environment and Competition.

S is for Storyline. When you think about video games and why kids are so intrigued and compelled to play them its because the cinematic, emotionally gripping storyline, draws them in. They love the story and are a part of it. They want to see where the story goes and how its going to end. This concept can also be applied to a class that incorporates Gamification. The teacher creates a storyline that runs throughout the course. The students play the game and become engulfed and engaged with your story. This is probably the most difficult part of Gamification because it requires the teacher to create and craft an engaging storyline that also aligns to their content area. While the storyline is a critical component it is not the end all, so don't feel bad if you can't wrap your head around a storyline Another possibility would be to have your students help you create the storyline. Keep in mind that having a storyline is not a requirement but it definitely enhances the overall Gamified experience.
Here are a few examples of outstanding educators who have created phenomenal story lines for their Gamified classrooms:


E is for Environment. I personally feel that a gamified classroom should not only feel different but it should look different as well. In my opinion, it should look Gamified. i plan to reach out to Gamestop and ask them if I can have some of their video game posters and standees to decorate my class. Apparently, Gamestop throws away their posters and standees every month. The downside was that some of the posters were rated Mature and so I have to be careful about what to post for obvious reasons. The upside was how AWESOME my class is going to look and how the kids are going to loved it!! Plus Gamestop has a turn around every month which means you can now update your classroom with new video game themes each month. Another idea is to create signs with the video game posters that align to your content area. For example, if you wanted to hang a WWE 2K14 poster in your room, simply have a sign next to to the poster saying "We're Putting the Smackdown on....... (insert skill or concept). An educator used the Lebron James 2K14 standee and created a "Kings Corner" bulletin board. (see additional pics below) and the mario bros bulletin board says "Epic Win" with students work displayed.
C is for Competition. Set your classroom up for academic competitiveness. There are several ways students compete. Player vs Player, Guild vs Guild, and House vs House. In my class students compete using their XP (experience points). Their experience points are based on their grades from their homework assignments, classwork, tests, and etc. These points are updated on a LeaderBoard
on a bi-weekly basis. Students were also placed into small randomly selected groups of 5 which are called Guilds. The members of the guild came up with a guild name, shield and motto using this website.

E= Engaging Activities. . You can't call a worksheet with 100 problems on it an "engaging activity". Its more gagging (as in throwing-up)than engaging .

Engaging activities should be fun first and foremost. In a gamified class the underlying assumption is that the activities are FUN!!! Here are a few examples of quests that have been created by a number of educators who have gamified their classrooms.

Some of the activities students complete are game based, while others are simulations, quests, and project based learning activities. Each of the activities are tied to a Common Core State State Standard. Here are some of the gaming websites.

T= Teacher. The last component to the SECRET to gamification is YOU!!! I know its not much of a secret but you truly possess the power of influence in your classroom. The more energy and excitement you bring to your class the more your students will be excited about learning. Additionally, always test the gaming websites you plan to use beforehand. Test to see if they are compatible with the computers you are using. Some programs may need Flash or Java and may not run correctly which could pose a huge problem. Lastly, create class time for students to explore the gaming sites you have compiled. Give them the opportunity to learn and play. But most importantly, give them a voice to provide feedback about their gaming experience.

The basis of the reward system is XP (experience points). The more XP you earn the greater the rewards you earn. Students never lose XP, they only earn additional XP. On certain days like "Double Hump Day" students can earn double XP based on the Quests (a term for class work) they complete.You can also use Easter Eggs (hidden content) within assignments, that if unlocked , rewards them with bonus XP. You can also create head to head Guild competitions for XP. For example, randomly select a guild to compete against another guild and the guild who has the most completed homework will earn bonus XP or the guild who has the highest average on a test will earn bonus XP.

Embedded within the reward system are Class Dojo points. Class Dojo (in case you didn't know) is a outstanding behavior management tool(classdojo.com) You can also create a leveling up system in Class Dojo as well. As students level-up , they earn rewards and dojo belts. Students enjoy competing and seeing how many points they have compared to other students and classes. So in essence, students can earn double points for being in the top 5 Guilds. They are awarded points as an individual, as a guild and they get Class Dojo points.
I SECRET to Gamification.
S= Storyline R=Rewards
E=Environment E= Engaging Activities
C=Competition. T= Teacher

The R = Rewards. Many students enjoy and appreciate being rewarded and recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. So is the case in a gamified classroom. In my class, students have various opportunities to be rewarded:
1) as an individual 2) as a member of a Guild (randomized small group) and 3) as a member of a House (entire class).
At the beginning of the year, decide as a class on the types of rewards. Allow students to come up with the obvious suggestions, such as no homework passes, extra points on a test, and etc.
Individuals that ranked within the top 5 Guilds, all receive individual rewards and the accompanied badge in Edmodo.

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