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#6432714 Jul 23, 2012 at 02:01 PM · Edited 7 years ago
Guild Officer
354 Posts
Lee Sheldon reports that he starts his class by stating “You All Have an F” as a way to notify his students that his class will be different.  Instead of doing this, what if you walked in your class and asked the students, “How should you get an A in this class?” and “How would mastery need to be demonstrated?” 

Looking at a class or training that you currently teach, what would be your levels of mastery and how would you allocate points for each class activity? 

In your opinion, what would mastery of competencies look like in a gamified classroom?

How would you document, assess, and provide feedback for your Administrator and/ or colleagues? 

Resources:

"Video Game Design & Education: Can the Multiplayer Classroom Revolutionize Teaching? video

Gaming the classroom syllabus

Gaming the classroom blog

twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



+0
#6434904 Jul 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Guides
82 Posts
I'd like to start this off by noting that the gamification of my classroom would serve to resolve a major communication problem between me and my students! So I'm going to give it a shot this fall. Our first task when we come together will involve them determining how they will achieve and demonstrate A's, B's, or C's. I will mentor them.

Here's the major source of miscommunication:

Professor Davies, the syllabus states that the essay is worth 100 points, but I only got 92. Please tell me where I received deductions. I believe that every point matters, and I would like to use this as a learning opportunity.

I constantly receive messages like this, and my hair falls out. How many things are wrong with it?

"I only got 92"?
"I received deductions"?
"Every point matters"?
"Learning opportunity"?

My response is not what I would wish, because I'm patient. Semester after semester after semester, I explain that a 92/100 is an A, and there is no higher grade. I explain that they didn't receive any deductions. Before they wrote the essay, they had zero points, and in writing it, they earned 92 points. Every point does not matter, since you can't get a higher grade than A. This is not a learning opportunity BECAUSE THEY EARNED AN A FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!

See, I even get wound up over a theoretical instance of this!

If I work with them to decide on letter grades and their point values, and if I let them decide how those grades will be assigned, i.e. what they mean, then perhaps I won't have to go through this any longer!

How do others feel about this? Do you ever have similar discussions? Have you ever invited your students to decide on the content, meaning, and methods of assessment?

Beth
Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+1
#6438707 Jul 24, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Curator
69 Posts
Here is a short video with some practical ideas on what a multi-player classrom could be like.
Extra Credits: Gamifying Education
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuDLw1zIc94

And here is a syllabus for Gaming the Classroom created by Lee Sheldon and Jenna Hoffstein.
http://gamingtheclassroom.wordpress.com/syllabus/

What do you think?
**************************************************
Twitter: @chris_saeger
Profile: http://www.nasaga.org/profile/chrissaeger
Course Dashboard: http://www.netvibes.com/csaeger#Game_Mooc
**************************************************
in the beginner's mind the possibilities are many.
+0
#6439484 Jul 24, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
It's funny, when I was taking instructional design courses I had a few instructors who asked "who wants an 'A' in this course" and, of course, everyone raised their hands. These professors immediately proceeded to write down an "A" on a piece of paper and hand it to the students and informed them that it was now in their ball park to maintain that A.

I liked it as a student, but in retrospect some things were "too easy" (i.e. there weren't that many Fiero moments). Now, as a faculty member I do prefer the "you start with an F" approach and you can level up. This way you aren't setting up students to expect "demerits" but you are enabling them to level up.

I teach research methods. Some "badges" (or perhaps level up points?) would include:
  • being able to find peer reviewed research on their topic of interest
  • being able to find related research (i.e. make connections that aren't readily apparent)
  • be able to synthesize information
  • be able to talk about the appropriateness of different types of research
  • be able to put together a literature review
  • be able to put together a research proposal

There are probably more things (that get you smaller XP) that I am not thinking of at the moment, but I think that these are probably the biggies
--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6439505 Jul 24, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
I feel your pain!

I have not lived it, but I know others who have (with difficult students arguing about 0.5 points!!!) In order to stave this off, I made my major assignments as "mastery grading". There is a definite drop dead due date. Before that due date, and with enough time allotted for turn around, they can submit drafts, which I will comment on. If they work on submitting drafts and working on the assignment and receiving feedback they can get an A (I don't say how many points, just an "A" since full points probably will be rare)



#6434904 Beth wrote:

I'd like to start this off by noting that the gamification of my classroom would serve to resolve a major communication problem between me and my students! So I'm going to give it a shot this fall. Our first task when we come together will involve them determining how they will achieve and demonstrate A's, B's, or C's. I will mentor them.

Here's the major source of miscommunication:

Professor Davies, the syllabus states that the essay is worth 100 points, but I only got 92. Please tell me where I received deductions. I believe that every point matters, and I would like to use this as a learning opportunity.

I constantly receive messages like this, and my hair falls out. How many things are wrong with it?

"I only got 92"?
"I received deductions"?
"Every point matters"?
"Learning opportunity"?

My response is not what I would wish, because I'm patient. Semester after semester after semester, I explain that a 92/100 is an A, and there is no higher grade. I explain that they didn't receive any deductions. Before they wrote the essay, they had zero points, and in writing it, they earned 92 points. Every point does not matter, since you can't get a higher grade than A. This is not a learning opportunity BECAUSE THEY EARNED AN A FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!

See, I even get wound up over a theoretical instance of this!

If I work with them to decide on letter grades and their point values, and if I let them decide how those grades will be assigned, i.e. what they mean, then perhaps I won't have to go through this any longer!

How do others feel about this? Do you ever have similar discussions? Have you ever invited your students to decide on the content, meaning, and methods of assessment?

Beth

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6441177 Jul 25, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Initiate
34 Posts
Well - I've definitely been bitten and the bite is fatal. The beauty is I already have a narrative around which to build my class game. I began this idea a couple of years ago before I was even teaching. I began this with my classes this past semester but did not have a concept to carry it out so it kind of fizzled. Gamification is perfect to expand on it. It is sort of a cross between [i]Avatar[i] and [i]Wall-e[i]: A group of explorers from the planet Nibiru are looking for a new planet to explore and inhabit. They come upon the planet Earth and must conduct research and inquiry to determine suitability for colonization. Since I teach World Geography and Sociology, it would be very interesting to have cross curriculum activities. Levels could be based on Common Core requirements with XP being earned toward level completion. I definitely want to get Sheldon's book.

My question is does this have to fully planned/designed prior to the start of the class or can it be fleshed out and transitioned as a class progresses? I suspect most activities could be handled as a basic scenario/assignment (quest) with guilds and solos making decisions as to what form that would take. Most of my lesson plans I now use could easily be converted or tweaked to function as a quest, but the biggest hurdle I face is that school starts in less than two weeks so if I had to have everything planned out perfectly in advance then I would have to wait until the second semester of school. I think I will try to transition as we go, then I can perfect along the way.

One of the best things I heard was the game does not have to be digital. Even classes without computers can use the concept. I hope a leader board will pass muster as a data wall. I think this is going to make my school year a lot more interesting.

GrannieTech
Margaret M. Ridgeway, MSED
Concentration: Integrating Technology Into the Classroom
Teacher, St. Helena Central High School
Greensburg, LA
+0
#6455612 Jul 27, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Consigliere
26 Posts
@Chris,

Thanks for the syllabus example. I like Sheldon's approach. I really like all the choices the student (player) has to select from to level. I'm currently working on an Intro to Multimedia Graphic Design course and am trying to come up with a model that provides a breadth of options for points that allows students to select which activity and at level they want. The overall idea is to allow the students to tailor their classwork to their personal interests and allow them some depth within those areas of interest.

I think the biggest challenge will be in managing the discussions so all students are discussing the same concept while working on Diverse projects.

I also think I'm going to take a modified version on Dr. Haskell's idea of due dates. I'm leaning towards milestone dates that set a minimum pace; but encourage students to work ahead.


#6438707 christopher wrote:

Here is a short video with some practical ideas on what a multi-player classrom could be like.
Extra Credits: Gamifying Education
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuDLw1zIc94

And here is a syllabus for Gaming the Classroom created by Lee Sheldon and Jenna Hoffstein.
http://gamingtheclassroom.wordpress.com/syllabus/

What do you think?

+1
#6461241 Jul 28, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Guides
82 Posts
Thanks so much for posting these resources Chris! I think that the syllabus is very well-designed.

A couple of things:
1. Sheldon does not have to sell his students on MMORPG's in virtual worlds. If they are in the class, then they are on board.
2. Sheldon does not have to spend any time thinking about the pedagogical purposes or outcomes of a syllabus like this, since these things are naturally embedded in the course content.

What about people who teach traditional subjects? What about people who aren't teaching at the college level, are teaching poor students, or are teaching children? It's very different when your overriding objective is to teach algebra. I'm not saying the algebra classroom can't be gamified, in fact I think it would be useful to do so. But the gamification of a traditional classroom, and/or a poor classroom, is a challenge that doesn't affect Sheldon.

So while I'm certainly enthusiastic about Sheldon's syllabus, I don't find anything useful about it. Abacus, on the other hand, is clearly building on some of these principles in useful ways, and like Sheldon, he has students that are likely to be at least somewhat willing or prepared -- and sometimes even both!

:-)

Beth

#6438707 christopher wrote:

Here is a short video with some practical ideas on what a multi-player classrom could be like.
Extra Credits: Gamifying Education
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuDLw1zIc94

And here is a syllabus for Gaming the Classroom created by Lee Sheldon and Jenna Hoffstein.
http://gamingtheclassroom.wordpress.com/syllabus/

What do you think?

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+0
#6461244 Jul 28, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Guides
82 Posts
This fell together so nicely for you, Akout! (I have to shorten your name for the sake of my typing fingers -- forgive me!)

Is there any advantage to awarding XP and/or badges to students who successfully complete these tasks? Why not just give them grades?

Beth

#6439484 akoutropoulos wrote:

It's funny, when I was taking instructional design courses I had a few instructors who asked "who wants an 'A' in this course" and, of course, everyone raised their hands. These professors immediately proceeded to write down an "A" on a piece of paper and hand it to the students and informed them that it was now in their ball park to maintain that A.

I liked it as a student, but in retrospect some things were "too easy" (i.e. there weren't that many Fiero moments). Now, as a faculty member I do prefer the "you start with an F" approach and you can level up. This way you aren't setting up students to expect "demerits" but you are enabling them to level up.

I teach research methods. Some "badges" (or perhaps level up points?) would include:

  • being able to find peer reviewed research on their topic of interest
  • being able to find related research (i.e. make connections that aren't readily apparent)
  • be able to synthesize information
  • be able to talk about the appropriateness of different types of research
  • be able to put together a literature review
  • be able to put together a research proposal

There are probably more things (that get you smaller XP) that I am not thinking of at the moment, but I think that these are probably the biggies
Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+0
#6461248 Jul 28, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Guides
82 Posts
I know people who have quit teaching over this!

It didn't used to happen. I've been teaching for 25 years, and I've only begun seeing this in the last few years. What has changed?

Beth

#6439505 akoutropoulos wrote:

I feel your pain!

I have not lived it, but I know others who have (with difficult students arguing about 0.5 points!!!) In order to stave this off, I made my major assignments as "mastery grading". There is a definite drop dead due date. Before that due date, and with enough time allotted for turn around, they can submit drafts, which I will comment on. If they work on submitting drafts and working on the assignment and receiving feedback they can get an A (I don't say how many points, just an "A" since full points probably will be rare)



#6434904 Beth wrote:

I'd like to start this off by noting that the gamification of my classroom would serve to resolve a major communication problem between me and my students! So I'm going to give it a shot this fall. Our first task when we come together will involve them determining how they will achieve and demonstrate A's, B's, or C's. I will mentor them.

Here's the major source of miscommunication:

Professor Davies, the syllabus states that the essay is worth 100 points, but I only got 92. Please tell me where I received deductions. I believe that every point matters, and I would like to use this as a learning opportunity.

I constantly receive messages like this, and my hair falls out. How many things are wrong with it?

"I only got 92"?
"I received deductions"?
"Every point matters"?
"Learning opportunity"?

My response is not what I would wish, because I'm patient. Semester after semester after semester, I explain that a 92/100 is an A, and there is no higher grade. I explain that they didn't receive any deductions. Before they wrote the essay, they had zero points, and in writing it, they earned 92 points. Every point does not matter, since you can't get a higher grade than A. This is not a learning opportunity BECAUSE THEY EARNED AN A FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!

See, I even get wound up over a theoretical instance of this!

If I work with them to decide on letter grades and their point values, and if I let them decide how those grades will be assigned, i.e. what they mean, then perhaps I won't have to go through this any longer!

How do others feel about this? Do you ever have similar discussions? Have you ever invited your students to decide on the content, meaning, and methods of assessment?

Beth

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+0
#6461262 Jul 28, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Guides
82 Posts
GrannieTech:

To be completely honest with you, I think we must always be prepared to transition along the way. The reason is that each class is different. If you are in a position to dynamically respond to the class as it develops a personality, and as its strengths and weaknesses display themselves, then you will be a happier teacher with a higher job satisfaction. I really believe this.

You'll probably have your lesson plans worked out pretty thoroughly after one or two semesters/years. But that won't prevent you from making constant and frequent adjustments once the class is engaged. You see the same thing in professional sports. You know how many innings or quarters you'll play going in. You'll know the rules, and everyone will understand their roles and responsibilities. But once the game is engaged, the adjustments are constant.

Make sense?

Beth

#6441177 GrannieTech wrote:

Well - I've definitely been bitten and the bite is fatal. The beauty is I already have a narrative around which to build my class game. I began this idea a couple of years ago before I was even teaching. I began this with my classes this past semester but did not have a concept to carry it out so it kind of fizzled. Gamification is perfect to expand on it. It is sort of a cross between [i]Avatar[i] and [i]Wall-e[i]: A group of explorers from the planet Nibiru are looking for a new planet to explore and inhabit. They come upon the planet Earth and must conduct research and inquiry to determine suitability for colonization. Since I teach World Geography and Sociology, it would be very interesting to have cross curriculum activities. Levels could be based on Common Core requirements with XP being earned toward level completion. I definitely want to get Sheldon's book.

My question is does this have to fully planned/designed prior to the start of the class or can it be fleshed out and transitioned as a class progresses? I suspect most activities could be handled as a basic scenario/assignment (quest) with guilds and solos making decisions as to what form that would take. Most of my lesson plans I now use could easily be converted or tweaked to function as a quest, but the biggest hurdle I face is that school starts in less than two weeks so if I had to have everything planned out perfectly in advance then I would have to wait until the second semester of school. I think I will try to transition as we go, then I can perfect along the way.

One of the best things I heard was the game does not have to be digital. Even classes without computers can use the concept. I hope a leader board will pass muster as a data wall. I think this is going to make my school year a lot more interesting.

GrannieTech

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+0
#6468839 Jul 30, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
I am not sure what has changed, but from hearing some anecdotal information from our online instructors, it's gotten worse over the past couple of years.

I am wondering if there is some sort of "perfect storm" between the cost of a college education, helicopter-parenting/entitled kids, and the pressure from the private sector to prepare people for work environments.


#6461248 Beth wrote:

I know people who have quit teaching over this!

It didn't used to happen. I've been teaching for 25 years, and I've only begun seeing this in the last few years. What has changed?

Beth

#6439505 akoutropoulos wrote:

I feel your pain!

I have not lived it, but I know others who have (with difficult students arguing about 0.5 points!!!) In order to stave this off, I made my major assignments as "mastery grading". There is a definite drop dead due date. Before that due date, and with enough time allotted for turn around, they can submit drafts, which I will comment on. If they work on submitting drafts and working on the assignment and receiving feedback they can get an A (I don't say how many points, just an "A" since full points probably will be rare)



#6434904 Beth wrote:

I'd like to start this off by noting that the gamification of my classroom would serve to resolve a major communication problem between me and my students! So I'm going to give it a shot this fall. Our first task when we come together will involve them determining how they will achieve and demonstrate A's, B's, or C's. I will mentor them.

Here's the major source of miscommunication:

Professor Davies, the syllabus states that the essay is worth 100 points, but I only got 92. Please tell me where I received deductions. I believe that every point matters, and I would like to use this as a learning opportunity.

I constantly receive messages like this, and my hair falls out. How many things are wrong with it?

"I only got 92"?
"I received deductions"?
"Every point matters"?
"Learning opportunity"?

My response is not what I would wish, because I'm patient. Semester after semester after semester, I explain that a 92/100 is an A, and there is no higher grade. I explain that they didn't receive any deductions. Before they wrote the essay, they had zero points, and in writing it, they earned 92 points. Every point does not matter, since you can't get a higher grade than A. This is not a learning opportunity BECAUSE THEY EARNED AN A FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!

See, I even get wound up over a theoretical instance of this!

If I work with them to decide on letter grades and their point values, and if I let them decide how those grades will be assigned, i.e. what they mean, then perhaps I won't have to go through this any longer!

How do others feel about this? Do you ever have similar discussions? Have you ever invited your students to decide on the content, meaning, and methods of assessment?

Beth

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6468860 Jul 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
You can call me "AK" (most people do ;-) )

For my own learning objectives, I wouldn't necessarily have badges for one simple reason: these objectives were created with no badges in mind. However, I am thinking of other, non-course objective, badges for courses such as:
  • a badge for a student who helps other students out a lot
  • a badge for a student who does more than the minimum in discussions
  • a badge for a student who actually volunteers to do more reading when he doesn't have to.
  • etc.

These can be hidden achievements where the learner does not know that they exist (or know that they exist, but not how to get them!) This way, there is a sense of surprise and fiero when they achieve it. I had a couple of students in my course last spring that were more than happy to read more articles (and report back on them) than they had to for the course. I couldn't give them extra credit because I don't have provisions for extra credit in the course. If I had a badge for such things I would gladly award them with a badge :)


#6461244 Beth wrote:

This fell together so nicely for you, Akout! (I have to shorten your name for the sake of my typing fingers -- forgive me!)

Is there any advantage to awarding XP and/or badges to students who successfully complete these tasks? Why not just give them grades?

Beth

#6439484 akoutropoulos wrote:

It's funny, when I was taking instructional design courses I had a few instructors who asked "who wants an 'A' in this course" and, of course, everyone raised their hands. These professors immediately proceeded to write down an "A" on a piece of paper and hand it to the students and informed them that it was now in their ball park to maintain that A.

I liked it as a student, but in retrospect some things were "too easy" (i.e. there weren't that many Fiero moments). Now, as a faculty member I do prefer the "you start with an F" approach and you can level up. This way you aren't setting up students to expect "demerits" but you are enabling them to level up.

I teach research methods. Some "badges" (or perhaps level up points?) would include:

  • being able to find peer reviewed research on their topic of interest
  • being able to find related research (i.e. make connections that aren't readily apparent)
  • be able to synthesize information
  • be able to talk about the appropriateness of different types of research
  • be able to put together a literature review
  • be able to put together a research proposal

There are probably more things (that get you smaller XP) that I am not thinking of at the moment, but I think that these are probably the biggies
--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6469098 Jul 30, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Initiate
34 Posts
AK
You gave me a lot to think about as far as badges. They could be surprises and varied in many ways. Every time I turn around I have to think a little more. Just keep reminding myself one step at a time.

GrannieTech
Margaret M. Ridgeway, MSED
Concentration: Integrating Technology Into the Classroom
Teacher, St. Helena Central High School
Greensburg, LA
+1
#6470400 Jul 30, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
That is my motto too! "One step at a time". I came in from my mid-day run and Nike+ scared the bejesus out of me telling me that I had done my best kilometer (11 point something minutes). I didn't set out to break my record, but I liked that kudos ;-) Motivates me to try to make my kilometer 10 minutes.

#6469098 GrannieTech wrote:

AK
You gave me a lot to think about as far as badges. They could be surprises and varied in many ways. Every time I turn around I have to think a little more. Just keep reminding myself one step at a time.

GrannieTech

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
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