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#6979320 Nov 14, 2012 at 12:37 AM
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108 Posts
"In some weird way, a video game is just an assessment."

This is so so true. James Gee is amazing to listen to.

I love how he talks about how games don't say "learn this, and later we'll take a test." They give you feedback all the time.

I really want to figure out a way we can use game like assessment in a traditional classroom. I would LOVE to throw out the report card and just give kids immediate feedback, but I don't see that happening anytime soon, given the current academic situation.

I did try something new this term, though. I was inspired by playing the game Alpha Protocol, which gives you a mission report at the end of each level.


Mission summary by arithenay, on Flickr

As a player, I liked skimming these to see how the mission had gone. In my opinion, report cards are more information for parents and teachers than students. I think a summary like this would be far more beneficial to students than a report card that uses adult based language. So I typed one up for each kid. Most of them are identical -- all that changes is the stats (amount of XP earned, achievements reached, etc.) and a few lines at the end which I personalized. We'll see how the kids react to them.

I've also told my students they always have the option to "reload" -- redo or correct an assignment to earn additional XP. I have noticed that a lot of them don't bother doing that, though. I'm not sure how to encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity.

However, when it comes to assessing using games, I think we can have kids (or should I say students -- not limited to children) use games to communicate important concepts. As an example, this is a game one of my students designed on Gamestar Mechanic. The assignment was to design a game that taught about an issue in the world today. He chose the issue of child/slave/sweatshop labour overseas, and the end result is quite interesting. If nothing else, this is a finished product that was fun to create and that I CAN assess, whether for a report card or what have you.

Assessment is such a touchy issue. I'm trying to make my assessment more of a feedback loop and less of a "wait and see how you did" kind of thing. Has anyone else experimented with this, and what were the results?
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6988548 Nov 15, 2012 at 06:52 PM
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You are correct that the "turn it in and wait" is really not engaging a student.

I give my student's two tries on online tests and the higher grade is recorded. I have been questioned as to who "two tries" why not "average" them, why should they get to increase their score. Ok here is the answer, "I am trying to respawn them and give them a chance to level up", in the language of gaming. I don't think all of the other instructors or my administration really feels comfortable with giving students more than one try on a test. I don't grade on a curve, I set high standards and have good rubrics to show them how to achieve them, if they do what is asked they are awarded the points they earned.

However, here is my reasoning, and it comes from discussions directly with students on whether I should do that or not: (1) they tell me that if they only get one try they look at the score, not particularly at what they missed and they don't go back to see what the answer was. (2) if they get two tries, they look at the questions they missed and research and learn what was the correct answer and why and they say they retain that knowledge because they know it is important that they understand the material, (3) they don't want them averaged. They say why should they take a chance on lowering their grade when the goal is to do better. I agree with them.

In reality they really only increase their grade by maybe 10% but they have the FIERO of winning, of beating the system, of leveling up!

Last time before a quiz, I told them they have a chance to "respawn" and "level up" most of them laughed and said they had never thought of that in that way but it was true. See they play games and don't even recognize them, that is the best way of gamification that I know.
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#6989445 Nov 16, 2012 at 12:01 AM
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108 Posts
Absolutely -- I tell my students they can reload any time for a better mark. I've had the exact same concerns from administrators as you, and A RABBIT IS EATING MY WALL>

That was not some sort of code. I had to go stop an idiot from eating a hole in the drywall. Sorry.

ANYway, I think failure is such an essential part of learning -- one of my main slogans in my room this year was "EMBRACE THE FAIL." And then I realized, why would any kid take a chance on a question or try a creative answer when the safe answer guaranteed at least some hope of a mark? And I realized, too, that if I'm telling them to embrace the fail and then not letting them learn from their failures, I'm a hypocrite. So, yeah. Reloading.

Something kind of cool one of the teachers in my school is doing: she has her students fill in their tests in pencil, individually. Then she gives them five minutes to open their books and answer or supplement questions in blue pen. Then she gives them five minutes to partner with another student for more information, this time in red pen. I'm not sure how she gets the marks, but I think it's a very interesting approach.
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6991312 Nov 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
I hope that your rabbit/wall situation resolved itself happily? LOL!

Wow, that idea with the three different colors of ink is an interesting one. It would be a good method to assess where most students were getting their answers from ("showing process" so to speak). I would think it would be a pain in the neck to grade, though.

I like that "EMBRACE THE FAIL" idea. I may have my students make a poster of that concept at some point and post them in my classroom! Die and do over...respawn...reload. At some point, my students will need to have finished works, but allowing them some respawns...that's a game changer.

My concern is that some students will use respawns as a way to let their time management skills go dormant, LOL! How could we combat that, I wonder? Perhaps something like: "To get a redo, you have to have done something in the first place, right? If you don't turn it in when it's due, you have to take the grade you get when the redo is due." (That sounds like a tongue twister!)

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#6999554 Nov 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM · Edited over 4 years ago
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561 Posts
#6991312 Leedale wrote:

I hope that your rabbit/wall situation resolved itself happily? LOL!

Wow, that idea with the three different colors of ink is an interesting one. It would be a good method to assess where most students were getting their answers from ("showing process" so to speak). I would think it would be a pain in the neck to grade, though.

I like that "EMBRACE THE FAIL" idea. I may have my students make a poster of that concept at some point and post them in my classroom! Die and do over...respawn...reload. At some point, my students will need to have finished works, but allowing them some respawns...that's a game changer.

My concern is that some students will use respawns as a way to let their time management skills go dormant, LOL! How could we combat that, I wonder? Perhaps something like: "To get a redo, you have to have done something in the first place, right? If you don't turn it in when it's due, you have to take the grade you get when the redo is due." (That sounds like a tongue twister!)



Rabbits, we have Woodpeckers and Raccoons (did anyone know a racoon can climb a drainpipe? But I digress.

I think I like that idea of to re-spawn you have to have "spawned in the first place." I think I could do that with quizzes in D2L, I can see doing a "respawn" chance at the end of the semester, even if they had two tries, I could set it to 3 tries, and only for them, [make it so it didn't show everyone else in the calendar] and let them respawn for ONE quiz. Interesting.

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#7013766 Nov 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM
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108 Posts
In my case it's just motivating them TO reload... sometimes they are like meh, this mark is good enough.

Rabbit vs wall resolved in my favor.
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#7034192 Nov 27, 2012 at 03:46 AM · Edited over 4 years ago
Consigliere
18 Posts
Quirky perspectives are what makes games (and Alice in Wonderland) so very engaging. I, too, get very excited when my students make mistakes and encourage thought long before they are burdened by over exposure to the content.

They remember their failures better than they do their successes.

I no longer give exams, but instead require reverse exams as Lessons Learned (an unpaper that has no format, is written in first person voice and is not an attachment, but is instead a long post in a discussion forum that everyone reads. They tell me the answers that are most poignant to them and why they were significant. 16 years of teaching has taught me that they seem to remember the lessons learned content two years after the class ends, so I encourage them to develop their ideas from the first day.

My quizzes are games that offer money or incentives and participation earns recognition. *smiles*

The good news is that at least one of us is happy. Me. And when you love what you do, the world is a very grand place indeed.

I am waaaay behind on my Wow playing and do not have any level 90 chars. Every 2-4 days, I log in and harvest my scallions, then plant a new crop. *chuckles* Play is no less satisfying. Life is very compelling.

*cheers*
Lyr



#6989445 missrithenay wrote:


ANYway, I think failure is such an essential part of learning -- one of my main slogans in my room this year was "EMBRACE THE FAIL." And then I realized, why would any kid take a chance on a question or try a creative answer when the safe answer guaranteed at least some hope of a mark? And I realized, too, that if I'm telling them to embrace the fail and then not letting them learn from their failures, I'm a hypocrite. So, yeah. Reloading.

It is only with the heart that one can see clearly.
What is essential is invisible to the eyes.

Antoine de Sainte-Exupery
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#7080229 Dec 07, 2012 at 10:27 AM
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17 Posts
J. Gee is indeed amazing to listen to and there are some really great ideas about assessment in this interview. I particularly liked what he said about games not separating learning from assessment as in a game the player is assessed minute by minute and learning is compulsory for any kind of progress. One of the main benefits of gaming assessment being administered simultaneously with the learning is that players/learners are not alienated as it often happens in the traditional classrooms. This in turn makes games a valuable method for not only engaging students but also for evaluating them.

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#7927465 Jun 03, 2013 at 05:07 PM
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561 Posts
Nice to review this because we are talking about him again in Summer 2013
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