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#7562778 Mar 21, 2013 at 11:34 PM
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108 Posts
I think she would agree with your assessment. Any idea can be taken to an extreme, and nothing is purely good or bad. I think video games are great, but I still cringe when ten year olds talk about playing GTA, and we've had problems on the playground with kids improvising games of Assassins Creed. So video games, like anything else, have ups and downs. But I think what she is saying is not "turn life into a game" but "harness the enthusiasm people bring to games."
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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#7564361 Mar 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
#7562778 missrithenay wrote:

...we've had problems on the playground with kids improvising games of Assassins Creed. So video games, like anything else, have ups and downs. [/quote_post7562778 user=803334] Eep!

[quote_post7562778 user=803334]But I think what she is saying is not "turn life into a game" but "harness the enthusiasm people bring to games."


Yes, all of this "games-based learning" stuff is in aid of learning. What we're counteracting is a long history of "the grind" as Kae would say.

There's a certain amount of push-back to this change in perspective. The issue comes when people takes extreme sides without considering these things as tools, rather than a sweeping way-of-life change. I think she would, indeed, agree with Lleshrad's assessment. I think, also, that the reason she's so persuasive is to try to get those who wouldn't even consider it to take a look. As with anything, it's a matter of keeping it in perspective!

For me, I view gamification as a tool. I don't feel I have to use a game wholesale to get benefit from it in the classroom. I pick and choose my techniques from gaming to put into my quiver. Then I go play WoW after class. :-D

By the way, I'd love to hear other perspectives on Lleshad's question, "I see McGonical as saying if we can gamify something and make it better and more useful why not do it? What do you think? "
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#7565113 Mar 22, 2013 at 01:17 PM · Edited over 5 years ago
Fiero
26 Posts
#7562101 Lleshrad wrote:

I see McGonical as saying if we can gamify something and make it better and more useful why not do it? What do you think?



I had just started training for my first marathon (and would you know it, but it started snowing today :) ). I digress, one of the strategies I am working on is listening to music (in particular BPM) to help maintain a pace.

If I use music to pass the time, keep my focus, yet still run the race and finish does that take away anything from the fact that I completed the race?

Let's look at the Learning Outcomes. Are they accomplished with the gaming just as well without the gaming? (of course I would hypothesis better)

Adding a little more to Lleshad question: What are the reasons that you have heard for not having a game-based learning environment? If so, is that reasoning backed up by the importance of course objectives or learning outcomes?

I'll give one example.

When students get to the work force they won't be able to play games, so I'm preparing them for reality. I love this justification because contained within it is the feeling that game-based learning is easier for students to learn, hence they are doing a service by making their class "harder". And by "harder" I mean keeping the status quo, which is easier for me since I don't have to make changes.

I don't feel students are "entitled", "instantly-gratified", "lazy". Look how much effort and time they dedicate to something they have passion for. I find if you try and meet students halfway they are willing to make concessions as well. When I recognize their passion, love and interests, they recognize that my passion, concern, and efforts are to prepare them and improve their future and we build a "trust".

While I could keep up that interesting debate above there is nothing contained in it about Learning Objectives, unless you have written: Students will demonstrate comprehension of overcoming difficult situations to become a better citizen by being given 3 repetitive and boring assignments per Chapter, which is similar to given tedious tasks at work. (Love that SMART objective).

I am not against character building in school. However, just think, are you making a conscious decision to improve student's character through holding back something enjoyable or are you justifying of remaining in your status quo?
"A game is a problem-solving activity, approached with a playful attitude."
~ Jesse Schell ~
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#7565714 Mar 22, 2013 at 03:27 PM
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7 Posts
Autonomy, competence, relatedness.

This is a mantra my colleague Ted Castronova introduced me to. These are things that humans crave, and our reward systems are set up to reinforce them. The epic win Jane McGonigal talks about is not just a mental thing; it is a physiological response. The "aha moment" that teachers talk about is also a physiological response. I suspect they are pretty much the same thing.

Good games are good at setting us up to achieve one or more of these things. Many classrooms are not.

How do we blur the distinction between what's a game and what's a class? We all know that students, especially in higher ed, bring a particular narrative to the classroom that can be really hard to break out of. Getting many students to take on a game-like challenge for a class can be difficult - it just seems hokey in that context. The notions of failure in a class are completely different from what they are in a game, too. Most classes will keep track of how many times you fail (it's called an average grade), even if you end up learning more and performing better than anyone else in the class.

Some people have "epic wins" when they are learning in a traditional educational environment. Do they recognize them as such? Do those moments encourage them to go on to the "next level"?

Good games are learning. But learning what? If we could learn how we learn in games, would that be enough? Could we transfer that to other arenas? Or could we make the other arenas more game-like?

Sorry for rambling, but, hey, it's Friday afternoon.
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#7566058 Mar 22, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
#7565714 truegrit wrote:

How do we blur the distinction between what's a game and what's a class? We all know that students, especially in higher ed, bring a particular narrative to the classroom that can be really hard to break out of. Getting many students to take on a game-like challenge for a class can be difficult - it just seems hokey in that context. The notions of failure in a class are completely different from what they are in a game, too. Most classes will keep track of how many times you fail (it's called an average grade), even if you end up learning more and performing better than anyone else in the class.



Some of my scariest classes in college were those that broke the mold. I'm a...er...high-strung individual (meaning perfectionist and anxious). When I got into a course where the syllabus laid everything out in a grid, I relaxed because I knew "the game". Answer the multiple-choice bubbles right, and I'd be fine. Courses with projects, creative activities, etc, made me nervous because I thought I had to please the teacher to get a good grade, not demonstrate learning. How do we combat that? (Other than years of therapy for me? Lol!)

Sam G. hit on something: status quo and laziness. It's so much easier NOT to implement something, because what if I fail? What if the students hate it? What if my program head walks by and asks me what I'm doing? Probably just easier and better if I just kept what I've been doing. And so it goes.

How do we bring that "die and do over" mentality to the classroom? More specifically, what do you think you could do in your classroom (online or off) to break students out of that "narrative" truegrit mentions?


P.S. truegrit, may I use "Autonomy, competence, relatedness. " in my signature? Your colleague is on to something. :-)
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#7566461 Mar 22, 2013 at 06:30 PM
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2 Posts
#7560895 grasshopper98 wrote:

I certainly enjoyed the book, Reality is Broken, but I really like to look at both sides and am interested in the opinion of others in the MOOC regarding this article, book review, by ANDREW KLAVAN in the Wall Street Journal.

Andrew Klaven's Review in Wall Street Journal



I've read the book. I don't think Klavan's arguments are very coherent. He's obviously out to make fun of the book and Jane McGonigal - this is clear from the language he uses. He really just contradicts her, without providing any evidence that his assertions are more valid than hers.

But the best way to mislead someone is always by careful omission. Klavan ignores the evidence she presents that her games do change real-world behavior. He quotes, and then belittles, her statistics on the time gamers spend on games, ignoring the implications.

For a more balanced view of Reality is Broken, see Ethan Gilsdorf in Psychology Today at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/geek-pride/201102/is-reality-really-broken

My view is that McGonigal is really on to something; even if her grandest claims go a bit too far, the direction she's going is one that would benefit many areas of life, including and especially education.
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#7566479 Mar 22, 2013 at 06:36 PM · Edited over 5 years ago
Artisan
58 Posts
From Truegrit " Most classes will keep track of how many times you fail (it's called an average grade), even if you end up learning more and performing better than anyone else in the class. "

So, currently the class I teach is not graded on the report card but is required. I do give grades per project and keep track of what what lesson objectives I am trying to meet etc.. I also assess whether or not they are meeting the learning objectives. So, I do not have this inherent grading problem to deal with but it also means that I have to find even more ways for my students to want to engage in the learning for their own personal growth.

From Sam G: When I recognize their passion, love and interests, they recognize that my passion, concern, and efforts are to prepare them and improve their future and we build a "trust".

This is one of the reasons my students work/ learn for me at all but I would love to take it further and engage them in new and exciting ways that help the learning to stick while they are also having fun.

I do not see anyone objecting to how i choose to teach my classes as long as my students are meeting their learning objectives. So, I am hoping to find a way to incorporate gaming, using my content, and having a win-win all around.

I have been contemplating this for awhile. One of the main reasons I chose this MOOC was because I am just at a loss of where/ how to start.

And the biggest objection to gamification of the library is: What about the risk of gamification – the fact that it can deprive people of internal motivation for serious activities by offering superficial external rewards? This is used with the argument that we are supposed to be creating life long learners.


To each his own game ;)
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#7569239 Mar 23, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Herald
60 Posts
#7566058 Leedale wrote:

[quote_post7565714 user=971038]

How do we bring that "die and do over" mentality to the classroom? More specifically, what do you think you could do in your classroom (online or off) to break students out of that "narrative" truegrit mentions?



I've switched to using a combo of contract grading and learning portfolios. With contract grading the student decides just how hard they're willing to work and they know exactly how hard they'll have to work to earn the grade they want in the class. With the portfolio system, I don't assign letter grades to individual assignments. Instead, students receive feedback from both their peers and me and set goals for improving on subsequent assignments (or as I call them, "learning opportunities"). At the end of the term, they decide which assignments to include in their portfolio and write a justification for how each demonstrates their learning and mastery of the course objectives.

This system is a little bewildering for freshman (who are used to the drill and test, average grade system) but many of them end up really loving it by the end of the term. My upper level students love it right out of the gate and tell me that it relieves the pressure to perform perfectly on every assignment and the fear of failing the class. They feel empowered and feel that they are "earning" a grade with their work rather than being "penalized" for not performing to some arbitrary set of standards (that they would normally spend more of their time trying to figure out than they would focusing on their learning).

The contract grading system isn't perfect and I've tweaked it every term, but I'm still not sure I have it right. That's one reason I'm considering using a more game-based grading system.
a.k.a. Tanya Sasser
English Instructor
Jacksonville State University
@TanyaSasser
Remixing College English
“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one who must walk through it.” ~Morpheus, The Matrix
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#7571326 Mar 23, 2013 at 11:06 PM · Edited over 5 years ago
Guild Officer
187 Posts
#7566479 Lleshrad wrote:

And the biggest objection to gamification of the library is: What about the risk of gamification – the fact that it can deprive people of internal motivation for serious activities by offering superficial external rewards? This is used with the argument that we are supposed to be creating life long learners.



One thing to note, Lleshrad, is that some of the gamification techniques are not directly linked to extrinsic motivation. For example, constant feedback towards a goal lets someone know exactly where they are in the process at any given time. That doesn't directly affect motivation, but it is a game mechanic.

It's a fine edge we walk; techniques like this if misused or overused can definitely backfire.

I know that libraries have been using and encouraging both hard and easy fun to "promote" themselves for eons, as well. For me, it's someone akin to playing the old "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?". I darn near memorized the encyclopedia that came with it!
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#7571337 Mar 23, 2013 at 11:09 PM · Edited over 5 years ago
Guild Officer
187 Posts
#7569239 Mina ZedWord wrote:

#7566058 Leedale wrote:

[quote_post7565714 user=971038]

How do we bring that "die and do over" mentality to the classroom? More specifically, what do you think you could do in your classroom (online or off) to break students out of that "narrative" truegrit mentions?



I've switched to using a combo of contract grading and learning portfolios. With contract grading the student decides just how hard they're willing to work and they know exactly how hard they'll have to work to earn the grade they want in the class. With the portfolio system, I don't assign letter grades to individual assignments. Instead, students receive feedback from both their peers and me and set goals for improving on subsequent assignments (or as I call them, "learning opportunities"). At the end of the term, they decide which assignments to include in their portfolio and write a justification for how each demonstrates their learning and mastery of the course objectives.


Mina, I'd love more info on this if you have it. Your description here is very thorough, but do you have any examples of syllabi or links of how others have set this kind of thing up? It sounds like it might work well with the larger projects in my design courses. Thank you so much for sharing!

Does anyone else have other comments on this or the other questions I quote at the beginning of this post?

Great discussion!
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#7573770 Mar 24, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Herald
60 Posts
#7571337 Leedale wrote:

#7569239 Mina ZedWord wrote:

#7566058 Leedale wrote:

[quote_post7565714 user=971038]

How do we bring that "die and do over" mentality to the classroom? More specifically, what do you think you could do in your classroom (online or off) to break students out of that "narrative" truegrit mentions?



I've switched to using a combo of contract grading and learning portfolios. With contract grading the student decides just how hard they're willing to work and they know exactly how hard they'll have to work to earn the grade they want in the class. With the portfolio system, I don't assign letter grades to individual assignments. Instead, students receive feedback from both their peers and me and set goals for improving on subsequent assignments (or as I call them, "learning opportunities"). At the end of the term, they decide which assignments to include in their portfolio and write a justification for how each demonstrates their learning and mastery of the course objectives.


Mina, I'd love more info on this if you have it. Your description here is very thorough, but do you have any examples of syllabi or links of how others have set this kind of thing up? It sounds like it might work well with the larger projects in my design courses. Thank you so much for sharing!


@Leedale,
I recently blogged about my struggles with assessment ("Hacking Assessment: Redesigning the Numbers Game") and I include a discussion of contract grading, along with several links to resources on contract grading and peer assessment.

I hope you find the post and links helpful. And I'd be happy to share some anecdotes about how I've integrated them into my classes if you have any specific questions after reading them. As I've mentioned, I'm still very much in the drawing-board phase with these and am not sure I've really integrated them as effectively as they could be.
a.k.a. Tanya Sasser
English Instructor
Jacksonville State University
@TanyaSasser
Remixing College English
“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one who must walk through it.” ~Morpheus, The Matrix
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#7575576 Mar 24, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
Thank you so much for sharing here! I will have to wait until it's not waaay after my bedtime to peruse the link. Happy LeeDale!
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#7577071 Mar 25, 2013 at 09:12 AM
Initiate
7 Posts
@leedale I don't think anyone has copyrighted Autonomy, competence, relatedness :)
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#7580706 Mar 25, 2013 at 11:08 PM
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108 Posts
@Mina Zedword, thanks for the link! I'm really interested to hear about what you're doing with assessment... I consider meaningful assessment one of my biggest challenges.
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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#7583686 Mar 26, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Herald
60 Posts
@Leedale and @missrithenay I'm glad you both found the link interesting!

Basically, the contract is for three grades: A, B, or C. In order to earn a C, students have to complete at least 80% of all learning opportunities. For a B, they have to complete 100%. For an A, I do things differently for different classes. For example, in my composition classes, students nominate each others' blog posts for a badge for excellence in writing. If a student receives at least 3 badges over the term, they earn an A. In other classes, students have to complete additional learning opportunities; they can pick from a list I've created or develop their own extra assignments.

Students receive a contract with the criteria for each grade outlined and they indicate which grade they wish to contract for and sign indicating they understand the criteria for that grade. I have a clause that I reserve the right to conference with them if I feel the quality of their work does not correlate with the quantity. So far, I've yet to have to do this.
a.k.a. Tanya Sasser
English Instructor
Jacksonville State University
@TanyaSasser
Remixing College English
“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one who must walk through it.” ~Morpheus, The Matrix
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#7611459 Apr 01, 2013 at 06:35 PM · Edited over 5 years ago
Initiate
2 Posts
I think Jane has summed up gaming perfectly. I am a video game addict / virtuoso. I commonly go to work and then come home and escape to a world where I feel that I actually make a difference. We really are everything she says. So, I have decided to make my work experience similar to that of a game. Since January I have been immersing myself in the Game Based Learning Pedagogy. I am optimistic that I can make a difference. I do think I can succeed in making Algebra 1 a more relevant and enjoyable course. I am happy working hard at creating a curriculum that students feel is worthwhile and a good use of their time. I am trying to get my students to create bonds with others that they may not necessarily choose to work with. I am striving for epic meaning, the idea that students can and still want to learn, but they want relevant content. As I create a game that surrounds me and I immerse myself within it, I hope to bring my students with me and teach them that they too can look at their surroundings and their situation, and choose to perceive it differently. They can choose to create a scenario that makes the epic win possible in their real lives. They then have a goal to strive for.
Zetria
AHS Math Teacher
Media Tech Academy
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#7615255 Apr 02, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Guides
561 Posts
The only thing I can think about in my class right now that is a "die and do over" in my classes, is that i give two chances on the online tests, the questions are taken from a large question bank so they will not get the same one. The higher score is recorded. I could make it that they can't take the next test in the series, say quiz 2 unless they score a score of xx on quiz one. I don't do this because my students perform relatively well on the quizzes and they only count about 25% of the grade. I am also not sure how well-received this "don't pas go..." would fly with my chair. I might be able to do it on an initial quiz on responsibilities, requirements, etc., on the syllabus the first week or so. It is a thought.

If you allow students to turn in a draft and then a final version, I would also consider this "die and do over." if your draft was really bad! ;)
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#8110238 Jul 09, 2013 at 02:44 PM
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24 Posts
#7556688 MagisterP wrote:

There ought to be some caution in terms of focusing on "utility," however. Research confirms that general transfer (the idea that studying linguistics will improve your math skills) is RARE.

Jane's games DO foster change because it's a 1 to 1 ratio. In one of our readings there were references to "hand-eye coordination" and other discrete skills as being somewhat of a "thin" argument for gaming benefits, and I agree.



Those discrete skills may be thin evidence for gaming benefits depending on the context. For some of the pupils, and by some I mean a significant some, I work with just developing hand-eye coordination would be an epic win beyond compare, to use my meagre supply of gamer slang. I can see for most people it happens naturally, as educators we work with all people not just most. The linguistics to math transfer? I don't know, but simple reading and literacy to maths makes a difference.

I watched Janes talk and found it fascinating, and if we can transfer even some of the perceived benefits to real life, then we have a responsibility as educators to make it happen.

I quoted this post because of the reference to eye hand coordination, in the ASN sector I work in that can be hugely significant. I had and have no intent to comment in any negative way on this contribution.
Steven

There are no stupid questions and mistakes are opportunities to learn in disguise
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#9447774 Apr 30, 2014 at 12:59 AM
177 Posts
For example the "Let's Ablolish Poeverty" game, and the "Creative Cure for Cancer" game.

Pc Games Download

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