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Applying Gamification to Classroom Instruction

Applying Gamification to Classroom Instruction

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will consider ways to plan for incorporating gaming in your classroom.

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And today's video lesson, I will be instructing you on the topic Applying Gamification to Classroom Instruction. As we learn about this topic, we will work toward several learning objectives.

We'll answer the following questions throughout this video lesson. What is gamification? And how can gamification be used to enhance classroom instruction?

Let's start by talking about what is a game. This is something that you need to understand, the elements of a game, before you can fully understand what gamification is. The five essential elements to games are having rules, having outcomes that are variable and quantifiable, having outcomes that are valued, the players being attached to those outcomes, and some element of effort. These are the five essential elements to a game.

Some other features that aren't consider the essential elements, but still apply to this concept of game are things like competition, sensory stimuli, progress, there being an element of progressing from zero through different levels or different scores moving upward. Gaming is adaptive. Player influences and controls the game.

There's immediate feedback in games. There's some kind of an element of fantasy. There's no real-life consequences. And sometimes there's an element of role playing involved in some games.

Let's look at what gamification is. This is when we use non-game context and we add in elements or components of game design. Gamification is using game mechanics or game design to problem solve, to promote desired behaviors. This sometimes goes to those levels that you move up or the points that you acquire through the game.

Gamification is using game mechanics and game design in non-game environments, such as the workplace or education. Gamification is using game mechanics and game design to promote learning by creating an engaging and motivating environment or activity for our students. Let's talk a little more about gamification.

There are several different theories that support gaming and bringing the idea of gamification into the classroom. Behaviorism is one of these. And this is where learning is in response to a stimulus.

Cognitivism is another theory that supports gaming, where learning is supported by a prior knowledge. Constructionism is a theory that sports gamification. And this is the process of learning in active and constructive environments, where students or learners create their own meanings. And this can be achieved in gamifying your classrooms.

And humanism is a student-centered personalized learning environment. And this is definitely something that we can achieve as teachers when we bring gaming into the classroom. So let's talk about how can we apply gamification to our classrooms? These are some questions that are really important for you to think about as a teacher if you're considering bringing the idea of gamification into your classes.

First let's look at how will you assess mastery of the competencies. You need to decide how will you determine if students are meeting competencies. How will you grade in gamification environments?

Will you use a traditional grading system? Or will you do away with the traditional grading system and maybe use experience points? Or will you use a combination of the two of these? Will you use a system to recognize when students have mastered or they are competent in certain areas? This is where some teachers decide to use the digital badge system to recognize mastery and increasing levels.

How can you build games around your subject matter? Some teachers are great at building a story line or a quest around that subject matter. Will you create your own tasks and simulations or will you use adaptive learning technologies? This is something to consider, especially if you are new to gamification.

Will educational games and videos be included? How will you communicate the purpose of grading to students and parents? How will you show that your use of gamification and this style and method of teaching will benefit your students?

How will you evaluate the impact of these strategies? How will you determine if students are motivated and determined? Will that be by their completion of certain levels or earning certain points? Will you use competition, teamwork, or both?

Something to consider here. Will you have it be a competitive environment or will you bring in team work? Will you have students work in groups to complete tasks? Or maybe you might use a combination of these?

In researching the subject myself, I came across many great tools and resources. Here's a few that I came across that you might like to jot down and take a look at-- Classcraft, ClassDojo, Socrative, and Zondle. These were all new to me, but there are all great resources for beginning the process of learning how to use gamification in your own classroom.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We discussed the questions what is gamification and how can gamification be used to enhance classroom instruction. We talked about the elements of a game, rules, variable and quantifiable outcomes, valued outcomes, and a player's attachment to these outcomes, as well as effort. And we talked about what exactly gamification is.

We talked about bringing in elements of game design into non-game context, specifically the classroom environment. Let's apply these ideas that we've discussed in this lesson. Have you experienced or observed gamification in action? What are the benefits and potential challenges to using gamification in your teaching?

Thanks for joining me today as we discussed this lesson Applying Gamification to Classroom Instruction. I hope you found value in these ideas and are able to apply the idea of gamification to your own teaching. To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the Additional Resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply the course material.

Notes on “Applying Gamificaiton to Classroom Instruction”


(00:00- 00:24) Intro/Objectives

(00:25- 01:36) What is a Game?

(01:37- 02:22) What is Gamificaiton?

(02:23- 03:07) Theories that Support Gamificaiton

(03:08- 04:58) Application of Gamificaiton

(04:59- 05:17) Resources

(05:18- 05:47) Recap

(05:48- 06:28) Reflection 

Additional Resources

Using Gamification and Flipped Classroom models to support learner engagement and autonomy

This presentation by Philip Vinogradov provides a comprehensive overview with images, graphics, and videos of how and why to use gamification in the classroom. Vinogradov connects gamification to mastery, flipped learning, differentiation, student voice and choice, and engagement.

What is Gamification and Why Use It in Teaching?

This blog post from Johns Hopkins University provides a clear overview for teachers considering implementing gamification in the classroom. In addition, it explores how an instructor used an MIT game with a class and provides links for you to access three gaming options from MIT.