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#8729124 Nov 18, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Envoy
45 Posts
After watching Scott Nicholson's video and reading the material, what worthwhile examples have you seen of gamification. And why what is meaningful?

What bad examples have you seen that either "put off" the intended audience or had no effect for the time and effort spent?
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#8730078 Nov 18, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Initiate
110 Posts
I have not read all the material yet (read most of the Nicholson stuff previously though), but I just came across this video and thought it fit in here.

Nicole Lazzaro (of XEODesign) on Work as Play
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#8733398 Nov 19, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Initiate
108 Posts
I really agree with a lot of Scott Nicholson says. I would be interested to get your opinions and advice about how to integrate these ideas into a traditional classroom setting, where students ARE required to participate in the activities and there is a set (and abundant) amount of information that they have to learn. Often this learning has to occur in the given order as well, as many of the concepts build on one another.

Given that, how do we bring elements of choice and freedom into a classroom attempting to use a meaningfully gamified system?
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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#8733863 Nov 19, 2013 at 01:31 PM
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110 Posts
"Given that, how do we bring elements of choice and freedom into a classroom attempting to use a meaningfully gamified system?"

This really is *the* question. If we'd figured this out, we'd all be rich (or at least, considered "magical teachers").

Here's what I do that seems to help.
  • De-emphasize grades as much as possible. Obviously I still give grades, and the students still know they'll get them, but I don't put a lot of emphasis on them. I rarely talk about grades in class (either in a "this will effect your grade" or a "your grades were" type manner). I do almost all of my grading online through my LMS, so they happen and students can see them, but they kinda exist outside of actual classtime. (I realize not everyone has this as an option.)
  • Focus on assignments/projects as ways to gain knowledge. I always present my assignments as learning a new skill or bit of knowledge. Whenever possible I try to frame assignments as: I present a problem, then I present a possible solution. Students then have to solve a related problem on their own. Sometimes there's too much "background" to really frame a problem well, so I'll just ask the students to trust me that it'll be useful, but I try to keep these to an absolute minimum.
  • Give a lot of creative freedom on assignments. I write my assignments with the bare minimum of actual requirements. I leave as much freedom as I possibly can, without letting the students miss the point or get in too far over their heads (a little over their heads is a good learning experience).
  • Lots of small assignments, so that messing up one doesn't destroy the grade. I want my students to be able to experiment, but I also need to demonstrate that they've learned something. I try to give lots of little assignments, so if a student messes up one their grade isn't overall affected.
  • Remind students that they *want* to be there. OK, this doesn't work as well in every class as it does in mine, but students often have more choice than they think. Any college student is choosing to be in college at all, let alone at that school and in that degree program. K-12 is a little harder, but often you can frame for them why your subject is important and why they might want to learn it.

That's what I got. Hopefully others will post more.
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#8734643 Nov 19, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
#8733398 missrithenay wrote:

I really agree with a lot of Scott Nicholson says. I would be interested to get your opinions and advice about how to integrate these ideas into a traditional classroom setting, where students ARE required to participate in the activities and there is a set (and abundant) amount of information that they have to learn. Often this learning has to occur in the given order as well, as many of the concepts build on one another.

Given that, how do we bring elements of choice and freedom into a classroom attempting to use a meaningfully gamified system?



This is probably because I'm working in it this week, but have you looked at 3D Game Lab. It's not free to play yet. But I will be introducing quest-based learning mainly as a form of gamification next week. Quest based learning in a convenient platform like 3D GameLab might help when learning is mandatory and sequential.
twitter @kzenovka
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Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
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#8738632 Nov 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Initiate
110 Posts
Just watched the Schell video. I find it kinda interesting that he mentions this craving for "reality" (which is something I've come across from a few different angles recently), and then a future where everything is a "game" (where motivations are "not real") which goes exactly the opposite direction.

I think the craving for "reality" is something that's absolutely true, and that this "gamified" future will simply be a distraction that makes us sorta-kinda forget about this craving. But it won't actually satisfy it, so we'll always be hungry and always looking for some more "points" to make us feel better temporarily. I find this idea pretty disturbing actually.

There are a lot of thoughts about authenticity, emotions, evolutionary rewards systems, external rewards systems, behavior modification, conditioned response training, and a number of other things swirling around in my head now. Perhaps I'll write more if any of it congeals into something that isn't too rambley.
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#8740115 Nov 20, 2013 at 04:41 PM
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108 Posts
Thanks kae. I will check it out. That sounds like a great idea.

BlueAppaloosa, unfortunately my students did NOT choose to be in my class. That makes a huge difference because I'm expected to keep a very diverse group engaged in every subject I teach, from drama to math. I do try to include activities where we study the effects of education and how many people around the world don't get that privilege , which at least lets me remind them how lucky they are to be going to school.

That aside, I really like your ideas. They mesh with a lot of what I'm doing, too. For instance, on my math tests, each question corresponds to an objective. I have kids track their success at each objective and don't even give them a mark out of 17 or whatever. Sometimes I send these tests home, and when they come back the parents have added a big mark /17 at the top, sometimes even calculated percents.

Here's another question: is it possible to have every student fully engaged in every subject?
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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#8740480 Nov 20, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Initiate
110 Posts
@missrithenay Yeah, the "voluntary" thing is a lot harder in K-12. I don't know your curriculum very well, but maybe you could give them some choice in what they learn? For example, let the students choose a specific play to do (even if out of a list of 3 or 4), or a specific time period to study (again, out of a list)? A little bit of choice can go a long way.

I don't think it's possible to keep every student fully engaged in every subject all the time. Everyone has different interests, talents, ideas, motivations, etc. A lot of this stuff can even change from day to day or hour by hour. Honestly, keeping a student engaged for 6 hours a day (or however long school days are...I actually don't know) is a stretch. Even with the short breaks between classes, and lunch, attention and focus are going to wax and wane. I think the best we can really hope for is getting every student engaged some of the time, and most of the students engaged most of the time.
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#8743110 Nov 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Initiate
108 Posts
Agreed. Choice is always powerful, even if it's kind of illusory (eg: today you can either do reading or writing, and tomorrow you do the other one. The kids still seem to like that very minimal amount of choice).

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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#8751737 Nov 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Initiate
110 Posts
Finally had a chance to watch the Sheldon video. I was already familiar with his overall strategy, although I haven't read "The Multiplayer Classroom". (I have read one of his other books on characters and storytelling for games though, great book.)

While I think Sheldon does some great things with his class, and has some great ideas, I don't think you necessarily have to frame your class as a "game" to benefit from these techniques. He frames the course as a game because that's what he's familiar with, and that's fine. (And it works great in a class about games.) However, it's not a requirement to get the benefits, because what he's really doing isn't about games.

Take his "level-based" grading. What this is really doing is changing the way students think about their grades to be positive reinforcement instead of negative reinforcement. In the level-based grading, students are always moving towards a higher grade (positive reinforcement) instead of away from a lower grade (negative reinforcement) like they do in average-based grade systems. Positive reinforcement almost always feels better to the learner, so this encourages them to work a little harder for some extra points. It's not necessary to frame it as XP, you could just use the points and tell students how many points they'll need for any given grade. (If you want more info on positive/negative reinforcement, just ask. I could write pages. Or you can read the book "Don't Shoot the Dog!".)

His collaborative learning is also something that doesn't need to be framed as a game. You can have students work/study in groups without calling them guilds or framing them as a game-like entity. He's also got a brilliant way of getting students to study collaboratively, with the "game show" type studying, but again this wouldn't necessarily need to be framed as a game.

One thing I did take away from the video is the idea of framing "assignment" as real-world jobs. Instead of writing an assignment with a list of requirements, I should write the assignment as if I were a client, and list the things the project should do. I don't think this is necessary for every assignment, but it might work well for the bigger projects. (This is totally one of those "Why didn't I think of that before?!" things.)
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#9398322 Apr 18, 2014 at 02:06 AM
177 Posts
You seen that either "put off" the intended audience.

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