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Gamification Application

Gamification Application

Author: Jody Waltman

In this lesson, you will learn about the theories and research supporting gamification as a classroom instructional strategy.

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In this tutorial, we'll analyze some of the strategies and rationale behind gamification in personalized instruction. We'll begin with an overview of the aspects of game mechanics, or game theory, and then we'll identify some of the benefits of gamification. Let's begin by identifying the aspects of game mechanics, or game theory.

Although gamification sounds simple on the surface, it actually requires a deep understanding of gamification theories and a dedication to proper planning. There are 24 individual aspects in game mechanics.

In alphabetical order these aspects are achievements, appointments, behavioral momentum, blissful productivity, bonuses, cascading information theory, combos, community collaboration, countdown, discovery, epic meaning, free lunch, infinite gameplay, levels, loss aversion, lottery, ownership, points, progression, quests, reward schedules, status, urgent optimism, and virality.

Implementation of gamification brings some of these game theory aspects into the classroom. For example, students can be rewarded for achievements as they complete quests in anticipation of a countdown, all while experiencing the feeling of blissful productivity as they participate in an activity that they find enjoyable that also has productive results.

So what does the research say about the benefits of gamification? A meta analysis published in the Journal of Educational Computing Research demonstrated conclusively that participation in educational games and simulations correlates to cognitive gains compared to students who do not participate in such activities.

In addition to the proven cognitive gains, there are additional benefits of implementing gamification including increases in motivation, student engagement, collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking, student empowerment, both in choice and pacing, and student mastery and proficiency of concepts and skills.

Furthermore, students learn from their failures in gamification. Think of the acronym FAIL as standing for First Attempt In Learning, implying that there will always be another attempt available if you don't succeed on the first try.

In this tutorial, we identified the 24 individual aspects of game mechanics, or game theory, and we identified some benefits of gamification. So here's a chance for you to stop and reflect. Can you identify some of those 24 aspects of game mechanics in your favorite games? Do the benefits of gamification make you want to learn more about it and see if it might be a good fit for your classroom?

As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set. Thanks for joining me today. Have a great day.

Notes on "Gamification Application"

(00:00 - 00:17) Introduction

(00:18 - 01:46) Aspects of Game Theory

(01:47 - 02:44) Benefits of Gamification

(02:45 - 02:54) Review

(02:55 - 03:30) Stop and Reflect

Additional Resources

Gamifying learning experiences: Practical implications and outcomes

Research findings suggest that gamification improves students' overall achievement on content knowledge, but that teachers must balance their use of gamification with opportunities for application and written response. This article provides a more complete picture of gamification.

Mr. Gonzalez's Classroom: Gamification

In this blog, one teacher journals his experience with gamification and offers tips and resources for other teachers. Included in his journal entries are practical resources, links, and suggestions for teachers considering gamification in their classrooms.

What Games Have to Teach Us About Teaching and Learning: Game Design as a Model for Course and Curricular Development

This article from the University of Texas has important thinking points for unit and lesson development in a gamified setting. The article outlines and explains the six features of games that should be considered when gamifying any lesson. In addition, the author connects the use of gamification back to the theories of John Dewey.