So you’ve been working to redesign professional development (learning) for your teachers. The idea of choice and self-paced mastery has led you to the concept of self-directed modules and you think it would be a great addition to your professional development and/or technology integration plan. So you sit down at your computer, ready to put something together but don’t know where to start. Here are some ways to help you get started and design engaging, effective, and relevant online learning modules for your teachers.
Figuring out how grades and the grading system will play out is probably the most daunting task of gamifying your class, but also the most logical to completing the gamified setting. Just deciding to use XP and AP and leaving it at that would be a major detriment to your students and the flow of the gamified class. And parents, much like their children, want to see how their child is performing in your class.
Once the basics of a gamified class are underway: XP, AP, and Badges, the next task is synthesizing all of the student work into one log to showcase their accomplishments. Enter the leaderboard…
“Our experience is coloured through and through by books and plays and the cinema, and it takes patience and skill to disentangle the things we have really learned from life for ourselves.”
― C.S. Lewis
The use of experience points is one of the key elements of any great game. David Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, is first credited with the implementation of experience points. In tinkering with the gameplay, he found the players having so much fun, that they didn’t want to leave the characters they had built, and wanted to move that character from storyline to storyline, to watch him/her continue to develop. With this, the experience point system was created. Characters would earn experience points based on their success from game to game. After a certain number of points, a character would “level up.”
I’ve never been one to shy away from trying something new. The thought of failure doesn’t scare me, so when I first began my foray into “gamification”, my ultimate goal was to seek new and exciting ways in which I would ultimately better engage students in my classroom.
So I began foraging for resources and asking questions… What new and exciting things are out there? What are other teachers doing in their classrooms? What are students into that will help me gain their attention in class? I read blogs… numerous blogs, conducted a vast amount of research, read about varying pedagogies, and reached out to a few unsuspecting educators who had begun their own transition to “gamification”. I don’t want to go off on a tangent, but this part of the research- “reaching out to a few unsuspecting educators” scares people, and I’m not sure why…
I had the opportunity to present last week at Montclair State University’s Emerging Learning Design Conference on Gamification in the Classroom. I want to first thank Chris Aviles for contacting me about taking over this presentation for him as he got called up to the Big Leagues to attend a conference for the Department of Education. Thanks Chris and way to go!
The Emerging Learning Conference was a wonderful experience. For those of you who do not know, the Emerging Learning Design Conference is a showcase of innovation in education, as well as a way to engage in pedagogy and how technology can better enhance or transform it.