In our previous post we talked about two very crucial elements of Gamification in classroom teaching;
Clarify the learning outcomes!
Select a Big Idea!
Schools today face major problems around student motivation and engagement. Gamification, or the
incorporation of game elements into non-game settings, provides an opportunity to help schools solve these
difficult problems; and this is our objective…
Today we will talk about two aspects which involves ‘Creating the storyboard’, and Designing the learning activities’
How we can do this?
Schools already have several game-like elements in place. Students get points for completing the assignments. These points translate to “badges” or shall we say as grades. Students are rewarded for desired behaviors and punished for undesirable behaviors using this common currency as a reward system. If they perform well, students “level up” at the end of every academic year. If we do have the gamification already in schools; why is that this game like element doesn’t translate in to engagement?
The primary reason for the disengagement from school to happen is; at Social and Emotional levels…few examples of this would be:
Read an optional library book on the topic being taught in class? Receive “Reading” points. Get perfect attendance and complete all homework assignments on time for a month? Earn an “On Target“ badge.
In order for the students to understand the gamification and enjoy this…the game has to have a story around this, where you start with a challenge; do some learning activities to accomplish this challenge…and then you end this with a show – off; show off in this case will eventually be a reward for the student.
Let’s relate this with our Angry Birds game;
Angry Birds asks players to knock down towers by launching birds out of a slingshot. Players must experiment with the game to figure out the physical properties of different tower materials, the ballistics of the slingshot, and the structural weaknesses of each tower. They launch birds, observe the results, plan their next moves, and execute those plans. In short, players’ desire to beat each level makes them small-scale experimental physicists.
This is exactly the way a game should be planned with a challenge and an opportunity to learn!
There is an emotional transformation that is associated with every game; and so with the storyboard formation in our game theory. While designing the game we need to make sure that we are adding points where ever user can ‘Fail Safely’.
Consider this example of emotional transformation in a game which is around the issue of failure. Because games involve repeated experimentation, they also involve repeated failure. In fact, for many games, the only way to learn how to play the game is to fail at it repeatedly, learning something new every time you fail.
Also pay attention to what happens at the vantage point; since there is always a tendency to react differently when you are at the extreme; be it a failure or a success. This can create a transformation in student behavior too. A shy student may actually learn to lead a team of fighters in the game…which in turn makes her get rid of stage fear; speech fear and many such things.
Now let’s talk about another aspect of our discussion which is around designing the
What do we mean by an ‘Instruction’?
Instruction is a ‘Set of events’ which are external to the learner, and are designed to support the internal purpose of learning.
Examples of learning activities can be: Make Connections, anything which involves deep thinking, and attention grabbing activities…etc.
Majority of the time you would see learning to happen during the instructional period; teachers and student and their team mates share the information on what they did, how did they do it; what instruction were helpful for them to achieve a challenge.
Teaching kids was never an easy task, and it will never be; however what we can always try is to make it more fun for them; make it more interactive for them. There are reasons why student fail; the first one being they are not getting engaged with what they are taught! This should be changed! Especially for a country like India, where there is a massive gap between education standards; and the rate at which students join and then leave the school midway…Gamification can be a real boon for a country like ours!
All right then tomorrow we’ll be talking more on how to build teams, and the dynamics of team…till then ‘Happy Learning’…