Week 11: Gamification Outline

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The goal for my final project is to gamify a unit in a high school statistics class.  In order to understand the game, I need to introduce some of the “tools” I will be using.  A class set of graphing calculators, Chromebooks, and an online resource called MathXL for School.  This online resource is a homework, assessment, and tutorial program. It offers automatically graded assignments, personalized homework and study plans, and immediate feedback for students.  One important factor for this game to be successful is to modify the current mindset of most students in a math class about failure.  Students need to realize that failure should be celebrated and overcome.  It is not an easy stigma to change in students, even for teachers that have struggled too.  There will be opportunities to build this growth mindset before the game begins.

The game mechanics for my game will include experience points, leveling, boss challenges, achievements, quests, special events, and game replay.  There will be opportunities for collaboration, immediate feedback, and most importantly creating a mastery model.  One of the mechanics that I feel is really important in a game is choice.  I plan to offer a variety of quests that students can go on that offer some personalization and different paths to learn content.  At the same time, one of the other game mechanics that is important is game replay.  This refers to being able to redo assignments, assessments, projects, or activities for mastery.  It is very important for students in math to understand content as they progress through their math education.  For example, not having a solid understanding of solving equations in algebra will create problems for that student when trying to solve inequalities or learning about linear equations later on in a semester.  Math education is very linear and prerequisites abound.  This is where MathXL for School will be a valuable asset to this game.  Built into this resource is the ability to track progress, create practice opportunities, and built mastery.

I’ve decided to not incorporate a story/narrative in my game.  I feel it would distract from content.  Math is difficult enough to learn and master, having a story would be unnecessary.  The other game mechanics would be satisfactory in the game and provide solid game play.  I have a Classroom Response System (clickers) and plan to use these as well.  They can be utilized during review as a quick check of understanding.

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3 thoughts on “Week 11: Gamification Outline

  1. Gerald- That is one thing that I understand game replay when they are able to redo assignments for mastery. Other words like experience points, and leveling I am still not quite sure what they are. I think I get boss challenge when they challenge you at something and can earn points. Clickers are always fun and student should enjoy that. Sounds like a good plan!

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    • I really think viewing other teachers’ explanation of how they use gamification in their class really helped me. Personally, Matera’s text was SOOOOO overwhelming! It was like learning K-12 education in 300 pages. I know that is a bad analogy, but there was just too much information. And it didn’t help that he was relating gamification specifically to middle school social studies, which is NOT my content area. I suggest viewing the YouTube video: Alice Keeler: Getting Started with Games Based Learning at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ_UKW_AFOU. It really helped me. Also reading the following website from John McCarthy at https://www.edutopia.org/article/gamifying-your-class-john-mccarthy helped too. The way I see gamification, your class shouldn’t look any different, but the terms we normally use change. Assessment is a Boss Challenge, assignment is a Quest, practice worksheet is an Achievement, etc. When they get done with each, they can get Experience Points (XP), and based on how much you get, you can Level UP. I’m not saying I understand all there is, but if I view gamification as a regular class, you are just providing some changes to your procedures to make it a “game”. Sometimes I think about a simple non-shooting games like Mario Kart, or Super Mario Bros. When I think about these game terms, I relate it to those games and how they make the game enjoyable to play and try to do the same in our class. We are not “graded” in Mario Kart, but we can get 1st place, 3rd place, and receive up to 3 stars per race venue. I think most of Matera’s game terms and elements are in the game Mario Kart.

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  2. Hi Gerald,
    I like your plan, it sounds great. I think it’s really important that we begin with what we’re comfortable (or maybe just slightly uncomfortable) with so that what we are doing will be sustainable. You started with language, which is really the foundation. Thanks for the resources you shared.

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