Gamification and Classroom teaching – no more GPAs

What happens when you combine game-based learning and gamification process together for your classroom!

What are we talking about…we’re talking about making ‘Learning’ a fun!! And how do we do it?

How many of you have played ‘Angry Birds’…all of you :); have you ever thought of using this awesome game as a learning tool; how about Newton’s Law? Have a look at the image below; and you will immediately say..Oh! Wow!

Angry Birds and the science...

Angry Birds and the science…

Let’s pause and realize, how much we as adults actually come across ‘Gamification’ in daily routine!

In fact, your life is itself “gamified”—loosely, through informal social challenges- gaining access to “Titanium” or “Life-time free” credit cards, collecting frequent flyer miles, getting free tickets of your favorite movies. Even sticking a push-pin [Check-ins] into the map of every traveling destination you’ve ever visited is a form of “gamification.”

I have always been a supporter of making learning ‘Easier’ for kids, and assuring that ‘GPA’ or Grade Point Average’ should not be a criteria for judging the ‘Intelligence’ of kids or students for that matter. Why?

Grades quantify or attempt to quantify the understanding and/or performance in hopes of hiding the complexity of the learning process. Just think about the complexity different learners go through!

Individuals have different teachers, different assignments, completed in lieu of different learning styles, with the overwhelming influence of incredibly different personal lives— Now how can a grade system actually be ‘Universal’?

Gamification can change this! Let’s see how!

Rather than providing a handful of slots for the “star performers” to occupy, within gamification lies the ability to recognize the deeply personalized nature of learning. Not all students want trophies or gold medals, or to be patted on the head for “studying hard.” Rather, learners [There is a reason why I’m talking about learners; gone are the days when you only wanted to be recognized for being Studious’]  want—and need—recognition of their unique nature: their past experience, their interests, their cognitive and creative gifts, and the critical interdependence with those around them.

With gamification we can create which I call ‘Personalized Learning’

Let’s take a look at step by step approach which if implemented in schools / colleges, bound to help learning process! We will be talking about 6 step processes…and make it a three part series; here are the first two steps…


Clarify the learning outcomes!

First thing first; you need to clarify the learning outcomes…what is that a student is going to get from the learning process? What is there in it for her/him to improve upon?

Primarily, an educational objective can be divided in to three sections: Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor; you can call these as [Knowing-Head | Feeling-Heart | Doing-Hands].

Larning Objectives

Learning Objectives

Now once you have master these objectives you should be able to create a process for students to study with! For more information refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy

The best way to do this; is to use Verbs; these are the verbs which expresses Learning Outcomes; for example one of the learning outcome can be:

You need to arrange alphabets to recognize a sketch [The bold are verbs], this is a perfect way of providing a clear outcome of what you really want your students to come up with!

Once this is done, you need to make these outcome measurable;

After analyzing the sketch, we will merge various sketches to envision a story.

This is another kind of example where after defining the objective, you’re providing it a measure. In this case measure is a ‘Story’!

Step2: Select a Big Idea!

You need to ask yourself; what idea you should impart in your student’s mind which will carry the course through to the end..this idea can be a challenge…or can be a theme…and in order to accomplish this idea; student should master all the learning outcomes!

Big Idea

Big Idea

Example: An idea can be; your class is working towards saving the ‘Rainforest’

Now pause here, and try and relate to what I mentioned in the previous step!

  • You have defined learning outcomes…which in our case was a ‘Story’ made out of various characters…[sketches]
  • And you also have an idea too…which is our case is saving the rainforest…

Try and think from a student perspective, you will visualize the excitement, and the fun kids are going to have their studies…and this all can be achieved with just a thoughtful execution of gamification…

For the next series; we’ll be talking about how do we ‘Create Storyboard’, design the learning activities, build teams, and apply the dynamics of game…till then Happy Gaming… 🙂

References: Verbs that express learning


4 thoughts on “Gamification and Classroom teaching – no more GPAs

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