#gamifyedet635 — It’s All Fun & Games

Gamification, as I understand it, does not necessarily have to include technology.  It is simply the act of incorporating gaming aspects and mechanics into a setting such as a classroom, business or corporation.  Through the implementation of gamifying the classroom, students inadvertently gain life-skills such as problem solving, perseverance, collaboration, communication, and a work ethic.

Gamification, not to be confused with game-based learning, is different in a sense that the creators are given the freedom to design the gaming aspects and mechanics of the game.  Game-based learning on the other hand has predefined outcomes and balances learning simultaneously with game play.  Gamification is a powerful tool where there is no top end to the game (GamifiED OOC, 2014).  It allows participants to keep making forward progress even if they’ve achieved an A+ on a letter grading scale.  But as Lee Sheldon points out in The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game, finding the right balance between entertainment and education is important to get the best of both worlds (Sheldon, 2011).

The depth and creativity of the gaming dynamics and mechanics can prove to be the captivating factor for gamification success.  For instance, displaying a leader board, which creates an additional competitive aspect, can generate student motivation.  The use of badges and items also brings a whole new realm to the game.  As Michael Matera mentions in the video, creating a tactile badge is so much more effective with certain age groups than say something electronic.  Putting a little imagination into the presentation of material, for example the introduction of a new unit, hooks the student audience and helps with student buy in.  Gamification also offers an authentic way for students to collaborate.  Inadvertently it creates a driving force where students like the challenge provided by assignments and at the same time they feel supported in the assignments (GamifiED, 2014).



GamifiED OOC. (2014). Entering the Realm of the Nobles: Michael Matera. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFG3Vk-MCf8 on July 7, 2014.

Sheldon, L. (2011). The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game. Boston, MA: Course Technology/Cengage Learning.


5 thoughts on “#gamifyedet635 — It’s All Fun & Games

  1. Natalie,

    Great post! I would agree that gamification does not need to include technology. It is my understanding that a good way to incorporate technology if you decide to, would be through side quests or extra credit options. As you mentioned, gamification allows students to “progress even if they’ve achieved an A+.”

    • Sara,

      I truly enjoyed watching the video and our Google+ Hangout today. I’ve gained SO much from this learning module thus far. I love the concept of gamification. It’s a platform for creating extrinsic motivation to evolve into intrinsic motivation for students. I can see teachers using this effectively after listening to Michael’s discussion. And, I can see students really benefitting. It makes me wonder now what we might do next in order for the gamification model to expand beyond the classroom. In other words, will we be doing enough in order that the gamification model becomes an automatic system for students in general, and will enable them to independently transfer the model into real-life situations for even bigger future challenges?

      • Natalie,

        It is interesting that you mentioned when Michael discussed moving from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation. This really seemed to stick with me and makes a great deal of sense. I am not sure if we will be doing enough. I was wondering how Michael’s previous students do as they move on into other classroom settings most likely where teachers don’t gamify their classrooms? I think there are still some educators who say it is not the teachers responsibility to entertain the students. While I don’t completely disagree with this statement, I do think it is imperative that educators get kids excited about learning. Finding your passion and sharing it is one way to successfully engage students.

        I am so glad Michael was able to come today, and that you feel you are gaining something from this module. I think gamification can be a great tool!

  2. I think it would be far easier to gamify a classroom without the use of computers. You’d just have to find ways to embed standards into real-life quests. How many of these quests can we plan to take place on school grounds in the classroom period allotted for that class? It would take some creativity, but after a while, a teacher could really build up quite the repertoire of real-life role playing games that also meet standards. If you plan well enough, you won’t even need to have PE class anymore.

    • Jon,

      If you are interested in gamifying your classroom I would suggest watching Michael’s video. He explains why he does side quests and how he structures them. As he describes them, they are not linked to his grades rather the quests are simply a part of the game. He said students enjoy doing the side quests and actually choose to do them. It even sounds like much of the work is done outside of class because they are excited to do it.

      I do think it takes a great deal of creativity, and I don’t doubt it will be a huge time commitment at least in the beginning. I do think it can be a very rewarding experience for the students, though. I am not sure I will try it this school year, but I hope to incorporate it in the future.

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