EDTC 602 – Instructional Design
This artifact is a professional development session that I created for teachers, and is based around the idea of gamification. In recent years this has become a rather big idea, especially at the university level, though it has been quickly finding its way into the world of K-12. Websites, like those created by Class Dojo, give teachers a system by which they can reward students with points or “power ups” for their work in class. Other teachers have turned the class itself into one large game, with assignments, tests, and behavior earning points. In the last few years I’ve been experimenting with my classes in doing something similar.
In doing so, it took a lot of initial work, and there were times along the way when I thought it might not be worth it, but in the end I had success turning my classroom, and the underlying reward system, into a game. This was something I felt that I should share with other teachers interested in doing the same, and perhaps save them from some of the mistakes I’d made along the way. I held this training session a few years back, and taught the teachers how to create and manage their own game system using different tools, whether it was a spreadsheet or a prebuilt system. The general idea was that through successful classwork, homework, tests, classroom jobs and good citizenship, students could earn points towards their quarter and semester grades. By incrementally adding and shifting tasks, jobs, and activities throughout the year I kept the students interested, much in the same way a game does by adding new content, which is often just cosmetic in nature. In addition, instead of having set homework assignments, I used online tools that would allow students to teach themselves while supplementing their normal workload. If they did poorly, or didn’t turn an assignment in, they could make it up by referring to an online list of activities and then having me verify that they completed it.
This is something I’ve found students, both middle school and high school alike, really get in to. When done with the correct tools that allow them to track scores via their cell phone or laptop, it only increases their buy in. Some of these tools cost a bit upfront, but they are completely worth it in the long run. It’s something that works with most classrooms and can be applied to any subject. The artifact itself details how a full day professional development session would play out, and how the material would be broken down and presented to the teachers. In the training the argument for adopting such a classroom strategy is that pedagogically and knowledge-wise, it allows much greater student choice with regard to the homework and classwork, as students can choose what assignments they want to do and in what manner they want to do them. As long as they reach the required points for the subject then they are successful.
Nicholson, S. (2013). Exploring Gamification Techniques for Classroom Management. Madison, WI: Syracuse University.
This article talks about the way game strategies have been used in college courses. It covers leader boards and point-based systems as well as differentiation and more engaged in-depth learning. They found that point-based systems didn’t work as well as the latter, but in certain situations it was effective. It provides many suggestions for teachers that would like to add some layer of gaming to their course, but who are afraid of committing 100% from the start.
Gee, J. P. (n.d.). GOOD VIDEO GAMES AND GOOD LEARNING (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Wisconsin-Madison, fromhttp://www.academiccolab.org/resources/documents/Good_Learning.pdf
This is an article which contains in depth information related to the idea of gaming and education. It covers the social, intellectual and emotional benefits of incorporating ideas of gaming into the learning process. It also challenges many of the ideas teachers seem to have about how education could be handled.
Standards – NETS Standards and 21st Century Skills
The NETS Standards for Teachers addressed in this artifact are:
– Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.
– Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards, and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching.
– Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
– Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community.
21st Century Skills:
– Initiative and self-direction
– Flexibility and adaptability
– Productivity and accountability