This is really the meaningful gamification portion. Please discuss how you would create a system of roles, ranks, leveling and advancement. Do you weave in your content theme, a pop culture theme or maybe even fedualism?
If you find any articles or blog posts about this them - please share.
I've been considering how to weave this into a graphic design class in a higher ed in-class setting.
For me, the "content theme" would need to be the field of graphic design itself. Perhaps students could start as "Intern" and progress through "New Hire", "Photoshop Jockey", "Jr. Designer", and then finally "Designer"? Or, perhaps that's too limiting....
The element that I'd like to integrate the most is that of choice. Perhaps have a choice of assignments? Or encourage a mix of groupwork and individual work?
I'd love to have something in the LMS to designate the various ranks, but it's just not set up as smoothly as it is here in Shivtr. I need to take some time to explore 3DGameLab as well as I suspect that it could work there. Perhaps fall!
He also talks about avatars, and other topics that may be interesting to this group. I will admit I haven't had the time to keep up with it all that well, but it's one of the many things I plan to read through at some point.
#8004351 Jun 18, 2013 at 01:39 PM · Edited over 7 years ago
In relationship to role, ranks and leveling, which are inerent in guilds, I have been research how guilds are chosen by individuals and what the are looking for in them as well as their experiences. I also have been looking at Guild Management Guides and how you build a successful one. After all, if you think about it, then your classroom is a built-in guild ;)
The best one I found fo the latter is Guide to Successful Management of Guilds. I kind of laughed a the first point under "before creating a guild" which was ". . . ask yourself seriously whether you want the responsibility of running a guild." I think that is one aspect of gamification that holds some instructors (especially at my level - college) from participating. It also points out that, "Getting a guild off the ground can be very difficult."
Obviously we don't have to look far to recruit, our students are sitting there waiting for us to start the class. We are already a "guild." We have to be inclusive. Basically a guild is like a group project, and you always have those who don't participate and ones that are domineering or lone workers, management is always an issue. So how do you engage?
I will back to Theory X and Theory Y, I lam a Theory Y person, Theory X and Theory Y and we need to look at Carl Rogers' interest in feedback Feedback.
If we don't create a guild (or its components, badges for example) with a good feedback loop, what's the point?
To apply these theories (Theory Y) and (Feedback) we simply cant have students jump through a few hoops, balance a ball and hit the bull's eye.
How I relate Theory Y to my classes, is that I believe and support the contention that no one signs up for my class with the intention of getting an "F" in the class, although I have had that happen [student needed four classes to graduate, had three mandatory difficult ones and took mine with the intention of getting an "F" - it was a financial aid issue]. I can't simply have winning a badge that only they know about be considered closing the feedback loop.
In relationship as to what people think about guilds and what makes a good one I found this question and answer forum: Beginner Advice for Joining a Guild Philmckraken, posted rules and one was that you need to be prepared to contribute, another was to know what was expected and the other was Quid Pro Quo, (something for something), that is if you give you should also get.
This brings me round to the initial questions posted by Kae, " (1) Please discuss how you would create a system of roles, ranks, leveling and advancement. (2) Do you weave in your content theme, a pop culture theme or maybe even fedualism?"
I am a guide Grasshopper 98 - Guide and am here to assist any way I can. I do know like Nicholson, I would abandon Leader Boards, one of his listed BRLP (Badges, Rank, Leader Boards, and Points. Meaningful Gamification - Scott Nicholson he cited other studies that pointed out that those at the bottom may feel they can't reach the top or be competitive.
I though about leader boards, and talked it over with my classes (four of them so about 100 students) and they agreed that they didn't want them. The first of his suggestions, badges, was actually used in one of my classes this spring, and my unscientific poll of my other students thought they would like to see badges in their class,es but they want something for that extra work (feedback) and it didn't have to be extra credit [the only students I see doing extra credit work are frankly, those who don't need it]. They didn't seem to interested in rank and of course, points are inherent in giving grades in my system, so the grades are already a "rank" as Nicholson pointed out. So we were left with, how do engage students with badges?
Some would argue that a grade is a badge. I would argue it isn't because it really doesn't "say" what you did to earn that grade.
I would also believe that the content must be woven into the gamification process, we have competencies set by CCCS that we must teach, and evaluate.
Here is how I wove badges into an Anthropology of Religion class, 200 level, in the Spring of 2013, it is discussed here only as an example of using badges, feedback and weaving content and "gamifying your class on the cheap." I had two badges (had a great graphic artist create them) one was for creating a religion and one was for an ethnography of a religion. Only five badges per category in a class of 20+ students. I chose the top five created religions, then the class was free to chose one of these and do an ethnography, complete with an interview of its founder, and I chose the five best of these. I created a letterhead and letter explaining what they did to earn them as well as showing the badge (the letter had both, if they only won one, the other was gray scale. There were no extra points earned for this badge. It did not help your grade. Best work I have ever gotten out of students and they loved it. The Dean of Student Services was in the room when we awarded the Creation of a Religion and of course we took pictures of me giving out the "certificate" and many took copies for their social media accounts. This was simple, didn't cost anything, my friend drew the badges and it had a positive result. I believe that my badge and letter are in the Flickr MOOC group. I won't repost them here.
So what are you going to use for your project? I didn't use all four of Nicholson's BLAPs (Badges, Leader Boards, Achievements and Points). Can you use all of them? Which will fit with your class, your project, your content? I am here like a cat with baited breath (eats cheese sits in front of mouse hole) to see what wonderful and exciting thing you can create and post for us to see.
I have seen the "Theory X and Theory Y" before, and I like what it says. However, I have found that students don't always fall into the Theory Y classification. As an example, in my classes most homeworks are submitted through an LMS, so I usually give them until midnight on the due date to turn stuff in. On larger projects, without fail, I always have some number of students email me at 1215 or so because they waited until the last minute and then missed the dropbox. (Somehow I think whatever time I set, I will still have this problem.) I think it can be dangerous to assume all your students will be self motivated and have good time management skills. Or that any particular motivator (grades, badges, praise, etc) will motivate all students equally. While I love the idea of giving students more control over their education, I'm not sure all students are ready for that.
Grades are something that continually frustrate me when it comes to making learning fun and engaging. I'd love to get rid of the whole grade system, but I realize that it's probably not going to happen any time soon. Part of the difficulty stems from the fact that, in the end you have to assign each student a grade. So any sort of reward system you use during your class has to map to a letter grade. You also need to let students know how they're doing at any given time, which means your system has to be able to be translated to a letter grade at any time during the course (not just at the end). Using any other metric (points, XP, etc) just seems silly to me, because in the end it still comes down to a letter grade.
The other part is related to what grasshopper98 brought up, what exactly is a grade? Is it a badge? A reward? A certain number of points towards your score? Or an evaluation of your understanding and application of the course material? Students tend to see grades as a reward, and there's really no getting around that. If you give a student an A, you're rewarding them for good work. If you give them an F (or, for some students, anything that's not an A) you're punishing them for poor work. Whether or not you, as the teacher, or the school district, or society, see grades as a reward, students almost always do. And this makes it very hard to get the focus back on learning, not on jumping through the right hoops.
Sorry if this sounds pessimistic, but these are the challenges I've been wrestling with while trying to make my classes more "fun" while still keeping them meeting the requirements of formal education. I figured this group might have some ideas on how to deal with some of these things. (Or, it might inspire people towards better solutions for their classes. Either way is cool.)
You guys are all INSANE!!! I'm guessing you MUST be on summer vacation? I can't believe the level of AMAZING work and research everyone has put in so far. There are great discussions going on in this thread. I'm itching to be part of it all, but we're in the middle of provincial exams and my report cards are due this week, ugh. I'm hanging in there and will hopefully have more to contribute in July.
BlueAppaloosa, let me chime in and say that I really agree with you about the frustrations of grading. It can be incredibly difficult to say "you should learn for the sheer enjoyment of it" and then have to turn around and say "now here's a multiple choice test the government says you have to write, and I'll be assigning you a grade for it."
One thing I've done in the "gamification" process is separate skill points from experience points. All skill points are experience points, but not all experience points are skill points. So a student who scores, say, 85% on a math test would earn 85 XP 85 skill points in math, but if I award XP for something different, it wouldn't necessarily constitute skill points in a subject area.
Skill points, obviously, are marks/grades. Not ideal, but at least it lets me differentiate between them. And it does make some sense, when you think about it, to have skill points correlate to grading in a multi-subject classroom like an elementary room. May not work as well in a single subject setting, although you could still probably divide it (for example, in math we have five "strands" we teach in, so I could award skill points in each of those).
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson
@ThereseEllis, ah you can be in my class any time. What they learned from this was that in the beginning of the class when I told them they would be "Creating their own religion," they really were excited for two reasons, first they though it would be "fun" and second, they though it would be "easy." It ended up having an element of "Fun" and it did fit the idea of a game because there were "choices" at every step. It ended up not being "easy," and I did the project with them and they laughed when I said it took me three days of Spring Break to create an outline of my religion for an example. Misery loves company. However, they gave the best reviews I have ever received in a class, so it worked.
@Missrithenay, Yeah, insanity is contagious, I am a part-time instructor and not assigned a F2F class this summer, last summer I had three. I am involved in this MOOC and also am teaching Anthropology of Religion online (one section), and the fact I type 110 WPM helps.
You are correct to separate skills from experience. For the online college, the shell is set by instructional designers and the class is "Mapped" that is they have written proof as to what the competencies are, how they are taught in the class and how they evaluate the student's understanding of the material. I did a presentation on "Class Mapping for Beginners" at my college's Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference in May. No voice over, but you can see the power point. This is a "skill set" they will get the "experience" when they use it for their classes and see the results. All the ideas or steps in this are my own ideas, I am NOT an instructional designer.
I used children's story books for the text books for the in-session, hands on, and was amazed at the creativity of the participants, I did have "Route 66" music playing while they entered the room, and "Wind Beneath My Wings" as they received their badge as they left. I gave them a butterfly sticker on their ID badge and shook their hand as they left.
@blueAppaloosa, "pessimist" is my middle name. I agree with you that it does come down to a grade, and I did point out that some students are happy with a lesser grade, these are adults. They have that choice. I do have a curve in my class of grades that does lean to A and B, and have had to defend it to my chair (at one college) as I do try to work with my students to help them achieve and learn. I have had to defend that I set high standards and help them achieve those grades. The comment was that my class wasn't "rigorous enough" if I had higher grades and didn't have the traditional bell curve. However, after going over what I had student's do and the competencies, and looking at what they produced and comparing to other instructors of that subject, I was allowed to continue to do what I do. I do a lot of extra work with my students outside of class, I have even taught many how to do a power point and how to do online research.
However, even I fail to get them all through. I took over an Introduction to Criminal Justice class last fall, the instructor got a full-time job after teaching one class, so with the student's we re-designed the class, got everything loaded and had a great semester, had 16 students, everyone did the final presentation in class, and all the tests, discussions, essays, except FOUR (25%) that simply didn't take the final test which was online and open for a week. I emailed, college contacted them, I left text messages, I left voice messages, and they all got "Fs" that is 25% "Fs" All I got when I saw them later around the college was that, "I'm OK with the F, I learned so much in your class."
I wrestle with the fun v challenge all the time. It is like balancing on the edge of a sword, one false step and it is all over. Here is my power point on one fun project that combined three classes, and also some information on the badging in the Anthropology of Religion class, something on Tagging Trains and also on Magic the Gathering, they used children's books for the in class presentation. They got a gold star sticker for their BADGE on their ID. The music for this was "The Gambler" at the beginning and "We are the Champions" at the end.
In Example 3, in the power point, this was one of two photos given to them to find out who the people were and why was the photo taken, it lead them to this photo. A sorority for Black American Beauticians, started in the 1930s. The other photo was at an awards banquet and had about 10 young women lined up (the actual insignia, three Greek letters) was behind them on a plaque. There were other clues, clothing, name of the band on the bandstand, furniture, hair styles that lead them to Denver in the 1950s. They did all the research online in class. The photo you see was of the founder in her home.
I guess this would fall under a game of "Where is Waldo" or in this case "Where and Who are these Lovely Ladies and Why are they there?
@missrithenay Yeah, it's summer break for me. Although I'm still "working" in the sense that I'm planning two new classes, and revamping a third that didn't quite work out the way I wanted last time. I have been studying games and learning for a long time though, so a lot of this is stuff I've already been thinking about.
The skill point/experience point thing is interesting, but I don't know that students will really care about experience points that don't mean anything towards their grade. (They are bottom-line oriented after all.) Part of the problem is that *I* can't really see the point, which makes it difficult for expect students to see the point. I teach college level, so classes tend to be more single-subject, but I could probably still find ways to break things down into specific skills/competencies.
@grasshopper98 Heh, my grading curve tends to be inverted. I have a bunch of A/B students, and then some D/F students, with not much in the middle. The students seem to either really get it, or just not turn anything in. I don't know what this says about me as an instructor. I've taken flack for my grades being too low, so I guess I've got the opposite problem as you.
I will have to look through your slides tomorrow, as it's getting rather late. :)
The concept of agency is absolutely huge, which is why I think choice is so important in education. I've had a hard time implementing this in class, as it seems that a lot of students don't really associate the outcomes to their choices. They expect to be able to make any choice, and have all paths lead to success equally. I have students who miss huge amounts of class and/or assignments, which is a choice, argue with me that they should still pass or get a higher grade. They made the choice, but they don't connect them to the consequences.
One thing I do try to make clear to my students on the first day is that they're "choosing" to be in my class. While some of my classes count for "core" credits, none are required. (Well, the game design/development ones are required for people in that degree, but that's also a choice.) I usually try to work it into my first day blurb somewhat naturally, but I think it's important for students to realize that they're in my class by choice.
Something that was mentioned here somewhere (sorry, I've forgotten who or where) was working on projects concurrently with your students. I really wanted to do this last year, but just could not squeeze it in. I'm hoping I can do this next year, although I'll probably just have one project so it may not mesh as well with some classes as others. (Pretty sure working on a separate project with each class I'm teaching would leave me with no time for sleeping or grading.)
@grasshopper98 The projects in your slide show are neat, but I don't think any really mesh well with my courses. I'm usually trying to get students "making" as soon as possible, and I don't really want to bog that down with other things. I am trying to work in some projects where they have to go out and find information on their own (at this point mostly tutorials for things they're interesting in doing). I'm really just not a fan of the BLAP stuff.
"Something that was mentioned here somewhere (sorry, I've forgotten who or where) was working on projects concurrently with your students. I really wanted to do this last year, but just could not squeeze it in. I'm hoping I can do this next year, although I'll probably just have one project so it may not mesh as well with some classes as others. (Pretty sure working on a separate project with each class I'm teaching would leave me with no time for sleeping or grading.)"
I don't recall who said that either, unfortunately. What I have done, to make in-class work more meaningful, is to make a single large lump grade column labeled "in-class work". It's worth 10% of the course (just enough to make sure they pay attention to it, lol!) At the end of each class, they turn in their work there. At the end of the class, I lump it with attendance, meaning if they missed a certain percentage of classes above the allowed amount, that's the amount I take off of that column. I separate that from attendance. In the end, it's basically two attendance columns, but it seems to work well. They get meaningful, graded, hands-on work during class.
@blueapalloosa I agree with your statement "The concept of agency is absolutely huge". I think that was the biggest beneficial change I saw in my classes that I made. Students get invested in that which they choose. As you point out, though, they still have to work at it!
Wow. Amazing how the struggles don't change much from 6th and 8th grade to college! What we're seeing is generational. Millenials are growing into adults that behave like millenial youths! Work places are having to change to accommodate them and yet education is behind. In an effort to change I have abolished grading in my Science classes. Students do and learn what they find meaningful and important to them. What they choose to ignore and not do just gets chalked up as something they don't learn. I can't punish them with a lower grade or mark. At the beginning of the year I promise my students that if they learn they will get a Pass on their report card. That pass means nothing though, it's their blog (electronic portfolio) that has all the information of everything they learned in Science for that year. And if they get me in 8th grade they could have two years worth of Science blogs to show for it!
I'm glad I took some time to try and catch up tonight. We started our summer break this week but Monday and Tuesday I attended trainings on our new evaluation system and the rest of the week I've been moving to my new classroom. It took me (with my son's help) 10 hours to get all my stuff out of my old room and ten hours to get it all put away in my new room! Neat, numerically, and my new room is a Science room and roomier than my old room.
Trying to gamify my Science content this past year proved not very successful. I called my class World of ScienceCraft (yeah, I know, but I liked it). I offered badges for students to add to their blogs for showing that they understood the standards of the course. Very few students took advantage of it and I found out after surveying them that many found the process too confusing or too hard. I need to make it easier if I want them to do it although part of me is like, really? Too hard? So you gave up?!?
When none of that worked I even resorted to offering XP. Here's a 6th grade project with levels and XP (I copied the NOAA project by Lucas Gillespie), and here's an 8th grade Plant Project with levels and XP. A few 6th graders got into it for a while but never got past level 3 and none of the 8th graders even bothered. It's not like the XP meant anything since they're in a gradeless class. And a pass has no effect on GPA.
I'm wondering what to do differently next year. Maybe having each class be a guild will add a new dimension. Basically, I had each table group be a guild and they at least referred to their teams as guilds. Well, my 6th graders did anyway. I didn't have very many gamers in my classes. I'm still quite shocked at that.
Has anyone tried 3D Gamelab? I'm wondering if it's worth spending the $60 or so more than the $15/month price and getting the trainings. It's so expensive I'd hate to find out that it's just all right. Oh well, onward and forward (hopefully).
A couple suggestions for you. If you plan to stick with the badges, I would get a graphic designer to design them for you. If you know one they may do it for free, but don't be afraid to pay for it either. (Even if you do get someone to do it for free, it never hurts to take them out for dinner or something...graphic designers have to eat too.) You want these badges to be something students covet, so they need to look desirable. You may also want to display who has what badge somewhere (a webpage is ok, somewhere prominent in the classroom might be better). If money was no problem, I might also consider having stickers made, and give the students a sticker of each badge they earn. I don't know if it's useful to have both badges and achievements, these two seem very similar to me. If you do plan to use both, make them clearly different in what they stand for.
You may also want to come up with clever, and meaningful names or badges/acheivement. Things like "Plant Master" are ok, but I have no idea what "Captain Badge" is for. Depending on the structure of the course, you make want to have different ranks in each subject area ("Plant Initiate" "Plant Journeyman" "Plant Master", or something) to allow students to choose whether to focus on one area deeply, or learn a little bit about several areas.
Another thing would be to ditch the spreadsheets and tables, and use a better layout for your quests and badge pages. This is another place a graphic designer can help. I found the badge/achievement page very had to follow, and I'd image students would as well. The quest pages are also kinda painful to read, and I'd have to spend awhile looking it over to really figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. No one *likes* to read the instruction manual, so keep these as easy to read as possible, so students can get on to the *doing* part.
I know I'm harping on aesthetics a lot, but I've found that it's super important. (I came from a tech background, and it wasn't until I started studying game design that I realized how important looks are.) This is especially important for readability, but even just for keeping students interested aesthetics have a big impact. This doesn't mean you need to go crazy with 3d or high-quality graphics on every page, but you do want your pages to look attractive, and be easy to read.
You've mentioned 3D GameLab, and it's possible that it will handle a lot of this for you. I've never used it, but it'll probably at least handle page layouts and probably has some tools for badges/achievements.
#8024801 Jun 22, 2013 at 06:31 PM · Edited 7 years ago
Thanks, @blueAppaloosa, those are great suggestions!
Being gradeless is awesome. Very new way of working with my students. It's cool not having the carrot of an A or the threat of an F. Students have responded very positively to not having the pressure of grades.
And you are right about the spreadsheet, students who did give me feedback said it was too confusing, which is why they didn't get their badges even when they believe they earned them. I also didn't have an easy way for them to put the badges on their blogs. I put the code on a Moodle page and they were supposed to copy the code and paste it on their blog sidebar. I thought it was easy enough but only the kids who figured out how to put widgets on their blog could do it. Many just gave up. Shame.
Having a designer make more attractive badges is a great idea. I just stole (shhhh) those pics without taking the time to get permission or anything. I didn't figure it would be a big deal since we're just using them in class and kids barely used them anyway. If I have someone make badges just for us then that'll take care of that issue.
I know I'm harping on aesthetics a lot, but I've found that it's super important.
Yeah, I agree. I'm hoping 3D Gamelab would take care of those issues but I'm afraid to invest $245! If I was sure it was beautiful and easy to use and made getting badges easy, then I'd consider it. If it would work as an LMS, as I think it does, then even better. I don't really use my class Moodle the way it can be used. I just mainly use it as a place for linking what we use in class. Not taking advantage of it at all.
First forgive me for merely scanning through these awesome suggestions and guides. That said if I am redundant again, sorry. Roles-Ranks-Levelling. (My guild is an EFL [english as a foreign language] class. renamed ELF English Language Forum. ELF is an all English Space where anyone can come and get assistance in English. ELF members are here to help, the first gathering is used for nominations. The native English teacher is merely the chairperson. The first ELF meeting establishes one ET, two EAs, and the remaining people are ESs. The chairperson facilitates as necessary. ET English Teacher can propose an activity for vote. EA English Assistant can suggest an activity to be promoted to a proposal. ES English Speaker needs a supporter to suggest an activity to be promoted. All ELF members vote on a proposal a majority passes the activity. Leveling occurs each month when ELF votes on a new ET, former ETs become EAs. ESs can become EAs if they bring a new student to the ELF meeting. New members can be promoted to ES on their second meeting if they bring an example of poor English from the media(tv,newspaper,Ads, t-shirts). If no students have any more questions then we start the next ELF activity. ET manages the English space, setting activity roles and rules and making any judgements required in each activity. EAs assists the ET and help them maintain control. ES have to return the English Space to how it was before ELF. Activities are any English discussion chances. The main activity, once a month, will be to watch a scene from a movie and discuss the meaning of a joke, double meaning, or culturally significant phrase. The secondary function will be to help anyone who comes with a homework assignment. Tertiary function will be exam prep, for the standard tests students take. ELF awards any attempt at a speech contest and any winner of a speech contest will gain the thanks of the principal and the entire school.