Monthly Archives: October 2016

EDET679 Essential Question: Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them?

Week 8 Reflections.97

by Aleta May for Gamification and Open Learning, EDET 679

This week I focused on the essential question from the perspective of my variety of roles at my school. I am a special education teacher, site test coordinator, and will soon be setting up and possibly helping with a System 44 Rotation Station style reading program. Also, my principal wants me to tap into technology in a way that motivates dedicated students at school. He recently shared with me that if we focus on the students who want to learn, our scores will go up significantly. I add to this thought that by hooking some students, others will want to cooperate in their classes so they can try out a variety of ways of learning through technology. Now ideally, I could coach teachers to gamify classrooms, but if I follow the principal’s plan, I believe I can add in more incentives through the many Learning and Game Mechanics available.

I learned so much from my own research, and replicated a chart that guides serious gaming—defined as gamification of a classroom for the purpose of student-centered learning. In my overview of Matera’s “Theme, Setting, Characters, and Action,” I applied two books to each of these. This helped me think through how using the narrative approach is a way to outline a constructivist approach to student learning and teacher facilitation.

After reading Gerald’s post, I opened and bookmarked the links he had found from an article. I may use any of these for my final project, and I am ready to explore more in depth for a project now.

These are responses I made to blog posts:


I agree that there are so many possible game mechanics! On my WordPress, I published a link where I retyped the chart they had, since it would not allow me to drag it over to upload. The left column is Learning Mechanics and the right column is Game Mechanics. This visual helped me see a division for designing serious games (games created for learning). The chart is only a guide as direct connections from one side to another are not well researched out. I think your ideas are great–and the best way to find out is to test them out. It will be engaging, and their feedback will help them think about what they have learned while also helping you know the students you serve for the next design.

Hi Genevieve,

I just read a book with a struggling reader about living underwater. I think gaming scenes for this would be fun.   Here is a website for using gaming, video clips, and quizzes for underwater settings:

Maybe students need to try to picture setting ideas in their minds before going to premade sites. I wonder what gaming platform we could use to help students build a setting. I know about MineCraft, but there must be others. I wonder if using pictures taken from books, or places around town, or sent to students from family could be incorporated into a storify app:


The first thing that came to my mind after I watched your video clip, was continental drift, then ‘cause and effect,’ That is one mighty acorn! A whole science these could be built around Scrat.

I really like the way you brought out our human need for a focus that allows us to “orient information and make dynamic connections.” As a multilevel teacher in the recent past, it has always made sense to me that thematically teaching is the best way to set up a student-centered environment, because we can easily adjust levels. For example, within a thematic orientation, poetry is available all levels of reading and thought.

I visited the Legacy Project site you posted:

Having a school-wide theme brings a sense of community too.

Next, I watched a video that was embedded within this site:

Some topics that she addressed, are metaphors and asking the question, “what are dreams made of or what is in a dream?”


Life has IF in it. What is the metaphor for your life?

A quest; a mission; a mystery; a maze; a game; . . . or a Dream.

Dreams have. . .

Goals, purpose, direction, meaning, choices, future, control, hope, pleasure and the self. – Susan V. Bosak.

I like the form I found too called the “Dream Reading List” because it provides space for students to thin about the extensive choices for reading: My favorite topic, historical hero, interesting places, exciting adventures, how it works, careers, sports, nature/animals, other cultures/countries, making a difference, just for fun, and not my usual reading—but I’ll try it. (

The reason this thought provoking form list strikes me as something great, is that students have a choice. The one thing I have wondered when we set up a gamification class is how to set up a theme that is for everyone—we really cannot. For older students, we can mainly set up what they need to learn according to the standards for that content, then make it as fun and interesting as possible.


What a great way to teach Interviewing skills! “Quest for Knowledge of Another” through Classcraft is such a fun way to make an interesting topic even more creative! Are the conversation blogs set up within Classcraft? If not, where are they set up?

I would really like to see your major quest! Also, I’d like to see your optional side quests for your next unit when you set them up. This is so much more than what has traditionally been termed “extra credit assignments!” Students want more, you saw that during this first unit, and you are providing this.

If I could have a view-only access to your Classcraft units, I would really learn more specifically how this looks.


Google sheets for setting up a leaderboard is something I read in Matera, but since the different facets of using Google for the classroom are new to me, I am glad you wrote that in your experience with using this—it would help you have a leaderboard “platform.” How would components like badges and points be displayed in Google Sheets? Also, it seems like group badges and points for public view would be best, so students are not exposed for having fewer badges (punished by rewards).

I went to the pdf link you posted:

Thank you for sharing this, because it really clears up for me what you were describing.

I visited the link you placed in your references The Ultimate Guide to amifying Your Classroom.


You wrote:

Liz Kolb suggests that I use gamification software such as GradeCraft, 3DGameLab, Classcraft, and The Virtual Locker.

So I went through and did a quick view of each of the software systems and bookmarked them. With a Quick overview of each I found very valuable links. This answers a lot of my questions about how do I set up a gamified classroom without a specific platform? It is a combination of ways; and I am beginning to think it is just a way to get around the teacher-centered classroom and limited textbook only method.


I briefly visited this site and it asks “What is Gameful?” Then Earn Up; Increased Autonomy; Freedom to Fail; and Tangible Progress.

3D Game Lab: took me to “over 20,000 quests” (showing a Coastal Manager: Saving the Coho Salmon. Great use of iPads!

Our group Classcraft presentation from class was excellent; so I want to try this out now too!

The Virtual Locker: looks like a class management system for gaming.

Week 8 Initial Blog for EDET 697

Week Eight by Aleta May

Essential Question: Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them?

I am hoping that you can double click on the Word or PDF version below it to download the chart I made from Arnab et al., 2015.



Above is a Learning Mechanics and Game Mechanics (LM-GM) Map that I read and charted from the article’s chart. Since “one of the biggest issues with educational games to date is the inadequate integration of educational and game design principles” (Arnab, Lim, Carvalho, et al., 2015, p. 392); it is vital that we look at the relationship between the two areas. The map is an. tool that helps teachers and others who design games to see how various mechanics relate to each other. There is no one certain method to mapping the two sides of the map, but the divided picture helps us to see what mechanics we may need to consider connecting when we develop serious games that are meant for instructional design.

As a reminder of what gamifying the classroom is, I have added in a definition that is cumulative:


“Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to solve problems and engage users.

In order to be classified as gamification an entire unit or classroom must use gaming techniques” Bruder, P., (2015).

“Serious games” is a term that has the goal of teaching something to students. “Gaming principles” apply some game elements to that which may not be a game. However, “serious games” has a goal to teach something to players / students. “Gamification” joins the principles together.

To me, this quest to learn at is the principle of Gamification:

I begin with the idea for my own gamifying for students, that I enrich their reading experiences as much as possible, in order to gain their attention, and deep engagement into the novel. I have used the framework from Matera’s book to help me think through how I could use two different “sailboat” novels in a gamified classroom setting.

Setting the Course from Explore Like a Pirate: Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your learners by Michael Matera—

Can be Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson or Voyage of the Frog by Gary Paulsen

Theme, Setting, Characters, and Action

Theme—“Theme is the frame of your story . . . around an existing unit or provide an alternative environment” (Matera, p. 70, 2015).

Once the theme is in place, the other components of the gamified class experience are set in place.

Setting—“. . .   a big picture view as vast as the ocean” (Matera, p. 71). The specific tangible elements and details outfit the setting .

Characters—“Characters drive the game. They are what your students become—the heroes they cheer on and the villains from which they run” (Matera, p. 72).

Action—“. . . challenges, conflicts, action, “two different timelines” beginning with “quick challenges that help our adventures feel successful” (Matera, p. 73).

Setting The Course

After being asked to take his uncle’s ashes to the sea, inexperienced David faces an unexpected and very bad storm.

 Route One: Theme

Survival on the open sea in a sailboat.

 Route Two: Setting

 th       th-1

Route Three: Character

Sailboat captain / Uncle who had died. Then Fourteen-year-old David Alspeth grew up a lot during the situation he found himself in.

Route Four: Action vocabulary practice for The Voyage of the Frog and

Treasure Island to build an understanding of sailboat and sailing terms.

Game–Master of the Secret Sea

In the game narrative, the new sailor does not know where Sunda is (the place they landed) or how to get a job; townhall. Quests could be added in to look these up.

Then the player can set sail. There is a description of how to use the arrow keys to control the ship.

Master of the Secret Sea – Play Master of the Secret Sea Game – Free Online Games, master of the secret sea online game, ship-boat games, online games, flash games, free games

On the Level Up Tech Quest wikispace, I really like some of the ideas (quoted directly below) put forth for how games are useful in teaching our students:

  • Authoring Platforms: Game is used to produce an artifact, be it another game, a model, visual text, or written text.
  • Simulations: Students use games to test theories about systems and tinker with variables.
  • Trigger Systems: Games are used as a jumping point for discussion.
  • Technology Gateways: Students use games to familiarize themselves with technology.
  • Exemplars of Point of View: Games allow students to take on different identities.
  • Documentary: Students use games to document their learning process and reflect on it.
  • Research Assignments: Students design games themselves and in doing so, research the subject matter of the game.

Farber, M. (2016), makes a good point that to me relates to first, sixth and seventh points above: “Similar to project-based learning, game-based learning puts students in authentic situations that require them to think critically about problems” (p. 37). Also, writing is tied into play when students take “field journal notes, written from the point of view of the roles they chose” (Farber, p. 41).

Another link I found in Bruder’s article (2015), is by Liz Dwyer. One link leads to how a teacher from Atlanta uses Angry Birds for physics lessons. Another link shows how using World of Warcraft can be used for Beowolf and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

(Dec. 7, 2011 by Liz Dwyer).

Tutorial instructions include buttons and leads to how the game is played—

Controlling Ship — Trading Tutorial (ship dock, market, tavern, townhall, ship yard, status, game menu: Trading is difficult and you have to know what to buy and where to sell some goods)

Battle Tutorial

Find Treasure

This game could easily be tied to side quests and writing assignments. Since the students I work with change according to student needs, the vision of principals new to our school, and district needs, I do not always teach the same topic, age level, or student with different needs. As of this new quarter, however, it looks like I will be teaching using a novel and within a month be organizing, setting up and possibly teaching a station rotation reading model. My principal also envisions my motivating middle students to desire to learn technology skills, specifically tied someway to the STEM program. My writing in this week’s blog reflects that.


Arnab, S., Lim, T., Carvalho, M. B., Bellotti, F., Freitas, S. (de), Louchart, S., Suttie, N., Berta, R., & De Gloria, A. (2015). Mapping learning and game mechanics for serious games analysis. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(2), 391-411.

Bruder, P., (2015). Game on: Gamification in the Classroom, p. 56-60).

Game–Master of the Secret Sea

Garber, Matthew (2016). Gamify your classroom: How a middle school unit on the Columbian Exchange has led a social studies teacher to design and use cooperative tabletop games to deliver instruction and engage students. NJEA Review.     

Links referred to in this article:

Matera, M. (2015). Setting the Course from Explore Like a Pirate: Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your learners. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

Paulsen, G. (1989). Voyage of the Frog. New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

 Image of Sailboat in the Open Sea:

 Compass Rose–Bing Image



Reflection for Week 7 EDET 697: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?

Aleta May

Reflection Posts for Week 7

Gamification EDET 697 with Dr. Graham

How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?

Student-centered classrooms are built on the constructivist paradigm. Relationship building is the most important aspect of student-centered learning. The teacher is the one who facilitates this. The vocabulary of a student-centered classroom sets a growth mindset for students.

In my research I found and words that create a positive, growth mindset for student learning and teacher facilitation; and when I wrote about this topic, I completed a literature review of words that have to do with a student-centered classroom environment. Here is the word list:

Independent; flexible; repetition; feeling of accomplishment; challenge; curiosity; exploration; interactivity; engagement; independent; research; interpret; take responsibility (ownership); freedom; personal interest; growth mindset; time management; organization; self-monitoring; persistence.

I really gained a lot of insight by reading several blog posts and thinking metacognitively by thoughtful replies. Every post that I read was thought provoking. Gerald came up with a definition for words in a student-centered environment that has quotes from great people. I watched a video clip and took notes as I listened—helps me think more deeply.

Overall, I believe that a student-centered classroom is key to motivating our students in this day.  Students now do not just accept everything a teacher teaches.  They need to research and see for themselves, write to each other and discuss ideas so that they add to their own schema and so that what they are learning will move to their long term memories.

Below are my replies with a response from Ali on my blog post:


The language of learning gives them a life-long language with a growth mindset for everything they want to learn. At play, it says, “I can learn how to play an instrument, how to become an artist, how to become a gardener.” At work, it says, it is okay to try a new skill, fail (or be imperfect), yet try again and practice. I am a great educator. Sometimes I have compared myself to other educators—and what student-centered learning needs to teach us teachers is that we each have many potential talents but time to pursue mainly our interests.

Nice—that makerspace time is such a wonderful way to build student confidence in their own abilities. Connecting students’ interests outside of school, to being willing to take a risk, is such a great idea.


Wow! The quotes that go with each word are awesome! Thank you for sharing these. I completely agree that we have maintained the stigma that it is not okay to fail—failing has become something like “if you fail, you might as well give that subject area up, because you are just not good enough at that.” I was certainly influenced by this negative mantra that basically says, “you have to be a natural at [fill in the blank] in order to be good at [. . .].

Yes, sitting through standardized testing discussions where we are taught that “the good new is that when you’re at the bottom, all you can do is go up.” Well, why are we at the bottom; and in a bell curve, doesn’t some group have to “live there?” Time to shed that and allow teachers to think for themselves so we can facilitate students in doing the same.


I believe that my focus has been so much on asking myself where do I get a learning management system (LMS) or learning platform to use for gaming, that I was forgetting the most important part of the game for engaging learners; game elements. Creating an interactive classroom that is focused takes time as well. I know that one focus across our district has been to expect our students from primary level to start being less dependent on the teacher and more dependent on their bilingual pair (which is then sometimes put into groups of four). The structure for this starts to look like shared assignments and activities. This is a start.


I remember watching teachers teach students to work together on projects. Most of the time, I went to school in the traditional method; especially middle and high school. It seems that outside of school, it is not easy to be creative or to know what to do with curiosity if most of your do is spent ‘being taught.’ My biggest concern in the afterschool hours was getting something to eat, since lunch had been so long ago.

With your how to speak with parents list, the timing is great—parent teacher conferences are coming up for us. I think your idea of referring to extra credit work as another quest takes the stigma of “being the top of the class” and puts it as “work is an adventure.” What is interesting is that our standards, though sometimes seem restrictive, can be applied in so many ways. We do not need to be driven by the tool called the textbook; rather the standards set a goal and the textbook is a guide that is rich with ideas to quest from, extend from, and frame our student’s interests. They can start at one point in a book, and with internet and other resources, go on forever on that one point—learning in depth, letting one question lead to another.

To Gerald on Sarah’s post:


One of the problems with our high school system is that after missing 10 days, they cannot get credit. That alone affects some students. They come to school, and seem to have no academic direction. What are their options then? But, like you, I try in my role as an educator to reach them all one way or another. . .


(comment awaiting moderation)

Thank you for reminding me of this acronym: FAIL means First Attempt In Learning. This reminds me some of the writing process—the first step is a draft; it is expected that it will not be the end result and that it will take refining.

Resilience and time do go together. I would rather cover a concept deeply and teach students how to learn that cover five concepts shallow and broadly and teach them that we need to turn that page and move on. Sometimes a spiral method helps, and I think gaming helps with the strategies of “coming back to that (or repetition).”

The way you visually set up the SAPS Model is really helpful for me because it is clear; motivating students, is acknowledging that they are different, and different is natural!

I may have students given to me soon, as we have one teacher who is away until January. I think that whatever the content area, the reminder from your post that giving students choice is the most important. Since we are sharing students, I would like to keep my focus on the high students (in this case, students who read well enough to take off on side odysseys) being given choices.


(Your comment is awaiting moderation)

I was very inspired by what you wrote. How do we break out of the grade expectation mold expected by our school districts and parents?

Chris Haskell in the video clip made a strong point when he said that in the next 10 years, schools will change more than they have in the last 100 years. How will this happen. One way is for us to integrate gaming elements into the classroom as much as possible. There is so much yet for me to learn, and from everything I have read, it takes a lot of time initially. I think it would take less time once it is set up. One thing I notice teaching in rural areas, and I’m sure often times in cities, we may invest a lot of our personal time, money, effort to set up an environment, just to be changed to another class grade level to teach or subject area in high school.

These notes from the video sum up what we have been looking at in class, plus some:

What’s worth knowing or doing vs. what grade do I want. I like this simple outline he provided as well: The future of education

~~No Homework

~~No Due Dates

~~Student Choice


~~Better Tracking

Incomplete homework tells us which students are either overloaded or unmotivated and who has parental support (I’ll add for a variety of reasons), and puts a punishment onto the student. Schema has to do with what we know in a certain environment than anything else.

I like Chris’s definition of class design: We play a class! He are elements we see in Matera’s book as well:

~~Experience Points

~~Levels, Badges, Achievements

~~Allow and reward failure

~~Remove punishment

~~Multiple paths/Choice

~~Define a winning condition

~~We call it . . . Quest-based learning

Thank you for sharing this link, Ali. I got a lot out of this 5 minute video: (2012, September 27). Blowing up the grade book. [Video]. Retrieved October 20, 2016, from

From Ali to my post:

You wrote: “Although routines and clear expectations are important, relationship building should at least be the primary focus.” I agree with your statement. I always feel that the routines and procedures can be taught in the moment. As the problems/issues occur I address them and use it as a teachable moment. It is very important to build relationships with students and to allow students to build relationships in the classroom with their peers.

I replied to Ali:

Using teachable moments are an excellent way to address problems and issues that arise. In a gamified environment, behavior issues could be addressed in small group discussions and a social problem solving environment that the students address.

EDET 679 Week 7: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?

Initial Post Week 7

EDET679 with Dr. Graham

by Aleta May

Essential Question: Week Seven: The Language of Learning 

Essential Question: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?

In order to set the tone for a student-centered classroom, is important to spend the first week of a semester focusing on relationship building. In contrast to relationship building, teachers usually focus on routines and clear expectations (Tucker, 2016). Although routines and clear expectations are important, relationship building should at least be the primary focus. Tucker (2016) referred to this link that is not designed for the high school classroom, but were 36 questions that gave her a great place for students to get to know each other: . Tucker used these with index cards, one question per card, then had students pair up for “four minutes to ask and answer its question; then students rotated to different partners” (p. 87). These questions could be put in an online space where they choose two or three to answer—in writing or in an audio recording.

Another example for beginning with a student-centered classroom is using Socrative’s Space Race for group quizzes that have 20 questions common to the interest of high school students. “. . . students work to answer in groups of four. Groups compete against each other. . .” (p. 88). I found a pdf guide for socrative:


Image by; found at Bing—Classroom Space Race (socrative)

Next—I explored student-centered teaching (facilitating)/learning and words related to this (in contrast to tradition teaching/learning) by reading about and exploring is an example of using an online tool to gamify the classroom (older students because of adds) in a manner that students can join the class by visiting a pre-approved invitation URL (they will need to create a account as well as the teacher):  Like this–

Independent and flexible learning opportunities were effectively added to vocabulary learning that has not only an integrated dictionary, but can be developed into challenges, use a visual context (I didn’t explore that far—but maybe it can be added in by the teacher if it is purchased), repetition, context, “immediate feedback, feeling of accomplishment, and success of striving against a challenge and overcoming it” (Abrams & Walsh, 2014, p. 50). Non-examples would include look up the word in a dictionary section only or “shooting-based and time-based games [that] distract[ed] students from focusing on the vocabulary at hand” (Abrams & Walsh, p. 50). Repetition is also in this game in that a word bank of missed words is built up for practice.

I went to this site to use the trial version. First, I read the word within an example sentence. Next, I read the word and chose one from four answers, an example phrase came up. A more in depth and in this case, a more historical example for how the word could be used was included.

When I started building up points in Word in the Wild, I collected 100 points for each correct word. When I got one wrong, I did simply did not receive any points. By clicking on Word in the Wild (the word was used in a sentence) I received 50 points after getting the answer correct.

“Gamification is rooted in problem solving” . . . in contrast “edutainment feeds the player information, rather than encouraging curiosity and exploration” (Abrams & Walsh, 49). Other rewards students can earn are: “badges, like the green crown (signifying a perfect round), numbered medallions that indicate correct consecutive answers. Learning by doing is much more effective than just memorizing—Gee, 2007 was quoted in this article; Gee has conducted a lot a research about the social aspects of gaming. Students are motivated when there is interactivity and engagement. Sara is a teacher who created custom word lists, developed from class readings and used this method for all of her new ligerature units. She found that bringing her vocabulary into the game context, was “engaging her students in collaborative play for 40 minutes of the 50-minute class period” (Abrams & Walsh, p. 53).

In summary of the above article, I have compiled a list of student-centered facilitating and teaching above by making words from my reading of this article bold: independent, flexible, repetition, feeling of accomplishment, challenge, curiosity, exploration, interactivity, and engagement.

Though 15 minutes, this You Tube describes the Student-Centered learning classroom:

A student-driven learner needs to be creative, have curiosity, put in effort and willing to share in self-discovery (Matera, 2015, pp. 38-39). Even from the beginning, students need to address and overtime ask their own questions, learn how to research for answers and interpret their findings. When students take responsibility for their own learning, it becomes engaging—especially when they are allowed the freedom to take off into a direction of personal interest within site of the big goal or idea. Learning is for real-life problems. This inquiry based learning style builds or constructs from their personal previous learning. Students build learning, knowing that they can apply what they learn to their own lives—motivational and a growth mindset (Dole, et al., 2016).

Students who have not experienced this style of learning may have a fixed mindset (this is as far as I am able to learn). Therefore, “their learning must be highly relevant . . . If I try at this, will I succeed? Or will I fail again? (Nolan, et al., p. 43). Extremely important skills that go with student-centered learning include these words as well: time management, organization, self-monitoring, and persistence during independent work” (Nolan, et al., p. 44). The authors of who wrote this article suggest a blended learning environment. I believe a gamified classroom brings out the best of all of these. Matera discusses the S.A.L.L. (Second Attempt In Learning) to avoid the pitfalls of the fixed mindset. Students can redo or try another way to learn a project or answer a question in order to reach mastery according to their instructional flow range.


Abrams, S. and Walsh, S. (2014). Gamified vocabulary online resources and enriched language learning. IJournal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 58(1). International Reading Association, (pp. 49-58).

Andersen, Paul at TEDxBozeman, April 24, 2012. Retrieved 10-21-16.

Dole, S., Bloom, L., & Lowalske, K. (2016). Transforming pedagogy: Changing perspectives from teacher-centered to learner-centered. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning.

Image by; found at Bing—Classroom Space Race

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

Nolan, J., Preston, M., & Finkelstein, J. (2012). Can you dig/it? Kappan. User Guide retrieved 10/20/16 at:

Tucker, C. (2016). Don’t waste the first week: Establish relationships, not just routines. The Techy Teacher. ASCD/222.ASCD.ORG.

This link was embedded in the article written by Catlin Tucker. Retrieved on 9/20/16 from:

Wright, Shelley at TEDxWestVancouverED:  The power of student-driven learning: June, 2013.

EDET 679: Reflection for Week 6 Gamification and Open Education

Reflection for Week 6

EDET 679: Gamification and Open Education, with Dr. Graham

by Aleta May

By reading and commenting on several posts and reflecting on Gerald’s reply to my post, I focused on this topic in a way that caused me to really consider the strong impact different gaming types has on designing a plan for the classroom. The interrelationship between gamer types, personas, and pleasures that motivate (draw players into the game) is much more extensive than I had realized.

Following is a description of what I learned during our Tuesday session within a group of three:

In class this week, I felt like I learned how to participate in a group and give what I could at my level. Since the site was new to me, I found myself exploring what would be useful to me. I am so glad that in our group, we had two teachers who were already familiar with this site and wrote on our power point how they use this site in their own science class. It is simply amazing that we all pulled together our experiences to create such a complete power point within just 30 minutes, with two of us more experienced at using and myself new to this. presentation/d/1ysaR_ 1C9Ehoroc78uhE6e4YSoSapYKDO2CX 5UzhSOgk/edit?usp=sharing

In this power point I learned about how teachers can connect lessons to national ans state standards. I learned about how books for science can be downloaded and one of the two Sara, Sarah’s in my group relies more on the book in than the text. By exploring further after our class session, I saw how I could build my own flexbook that in turn would be available to others interested in the topic I explored; Sketchup.

Teachers can create groups for each class; Biology, 8th grade Science, Earth Science and Physical Science. Within one group page, Biology, for Nelson Island School, there are quizzes and life quizzes embedded. On the left is a list of places to click and go into: assignments, reports, Q&A; shared resources, members, settings.

Further, the other teacher in our group created a PLIX Series for Physical Science and Chemistry. I want to explore PLIX more, as I noticed that it is not just for Science.

The page with example concept maps for both math and science drew my interest, since during my Reading Specialist program, there was a lot of emphasis for students to visually see how main concepts/vocabulary words relate to subconcepts and vocabulary words.

Also, it looks like the separated Nearpod Lesson program (where some lessons may need to be purchased) may be embedded within the class creation.

So between the constructing a powerpoint with a small group about an open education site where I draw from others, and they in turn can use my flex book that I created from that; while researching and discussing gamer types with peers in class; this was a productive week for me.

Replies to peers in class:


I think that if our class has an overall game design, patterns of relationships would arise. This would make good discussion as a class about what is happening; what is working and what needs to change. It also seems like a good idea to have gamers of like interests get together for specific planning as the need arises. Maybe, for example, socializers could collaborate on how to draw in people who seem to want to socialize, but do not know how to break into a group who is already tied together; or how to help those who socialize ‘without rules or values.’ Overall, it seems like dividing groups that are well balanced for different purposes would help students gain perspective from the point of view of others. A teacher can create their own assignments out of ready made materials; attach multiple resources into a lesson; and view the latest practice and quiz scores.


That is a good point; seeing ourselves in a gamer type test, versus seeing ourselves as others see us! We may agree or not, or partially agree, but either way it is worth listening to.

I really like the Image of Bartle’s Player Type that you found.

I know that a large part of my personality is to explore the details. I ended up being Ace (achiever) on Bartle’s test, but I know I am also strong in being one who explores for details.


Thinking of multiple modalities when writing lesson plans compared with designing virtual worlds that considers a variety of personalities and interests is an analogy I had not thought of. I agree that there is overlap in player characteristics between player types.

Grouping students by answering questions sounds like a good way to design game learning in the classroom. I wonder if students could asked to answer gaming questions and along with everyday life questions in order to compare socializing in both virtual and real world environments: or achieving goals, grades and awards carries over as much from one environment to the next, would be a good way to get a truer snapshot from students. Some questions could allow space for them to provide examples from their virtual and real world environments.

There may also be students who are not gamers, who would not know how to answer the questions if there is not a variety of ways to describe themselves as interacting preferences.

Hi Heather,

I think that looking at motivation, behavior and preferences in some detail could help us set up our gaming environment better than it would otherwise be. As I think about Dixon’s statement, my mind goes toward using these three categories with a list of examples under each, then using these as a type of check list for students to think about as they consider what motivates them to play, etc.

Exploring side quests sounds like fun to me. I’m sure there are many who would either join me in exploring, or leave me behind to socialize, conquer or achieve.


It makes sense that if you love being outdoors and traveling that being an explorer type in a game would be the connection between your real life and gaming life. Sometimes the player can freely explore when it is not possible to explore away from home; such as when our schedules get busy and there is little time off. So exploring in a game can be an outlet; this would hold true for our students as well.

The graphic image you provided, along with your description of the axis, is very helpful for me.

Your scavenger hunts and treasure maps, sound like a lot of fun for your students.


Focusing on achievers, socialites and explorers seems to me to be a positive focus for classroom activities. I like to think of the killer as a risk taker instead; especially for in class gaming.

I think achievers would do well to stretch their focus over into the explorer and socializer realms as well. Maybe a game could be designed for achievers who like to collect to have a reason for those items to benefit the group, rather than just collecting to gain the most of anything (points, levels up, graphic embellishments).

It is so true that educators have been seeking to teach to a variety of learning modalities for years. I think the biggest change came when Public Law 94-142 was enacted in 1976, stating that we could not just push students out of school for having serious learning challenges. This stretched to the students who have a variety of different learning needs. Then we included the gifted and talented. I think now we are actually at a point where we can get past much of the wording/labeling and just plan for students. The biggest hang-up, in my view, seems to be the issue of how to grade students who are included with the class; yet. at the same time, cannot reach the goals at the same level as many of their peers. Gaming environments allow for all to succeed and be a part of the whole environment.

Gerald’s Response to my post:

                  unicyclepro says: 
.comment-author .vcard October 15, 2016 at 5:23 pm (Edit) 
.comment-meta .commentmetadata I found the same kind of results in terms of classifications for players. Bartle may have started it initially, but others have put in their “2-cents” worth since then. I commented on Sara’s blog that I think these player types are just real people’s profiles in “life.” Your results seem balanced between the four types. I was not this way. I was a little sad to discover that my score for socializing was the lowest in two tests I took, not just low, really low. A little ironic, I think, since I’m a teacher, but I think I prefer single player games and doing things solo, so it makes sense. Your blog for this week is very comprehensive. I didn’t think I did justice to the topic in mine, and it was long too! Nice job. It’s really important to realize the different player types in multi-player games to develop great games.


My reply to his response: 


Thank you for your compliments; and for sharing! I know that my blogs get too long. I tried to add in more images like from YouTube and a table graph to balance it out. I found this topic interesting, especially when I read from LeBlanc’s Taxonomy of Game Pleasures, in Schelle. Maybe since you are a teacher, that solo time is treasured even more. Once I get into table games with friends, I break out of the desire to be left to our (husband and I) own private world after school actually grows and I have a good time. Not socializing for me has a lot to do with self-confidence and trying to figure out how to associate with different personality types.

My reply to Gerald on his blog post:

Nice summary of Bartle’s 4 player types. On the test, I was, in my opinion, too much of an achiever. I thought it was because I am a product of my era of education (I’m a Late Baby Boomer), but then I have heard peers in this program who are likely in their late 20’s and early 30’s talk about being achievement oriented. Maybe a testimony to “it’s time to make changes in education!”

That is awesome that you came out high in the Explorer range—consistent in two tests! I have not played in video games as much as you have (I am assuming you are a gamer), but I do plan to spend a lot of time gaming once I am finished with coursework. Besides wanting to learn more as an educator, what a great way to relate better to our 7 to 13 year old grandkids at home, and learn directly from them how they respond and the types of games they like to play.

I would like to game with my husband, but not in a competitive game J

I really like the environmental aspects of a game as well: the wind, weather, etc., that you brought out. As I read, I was there—like the survival mode of Minecraft.



EDET679 Week 6: Essential Question: What is the implication of player type on game design?

Aleta May

EDET 679

Week 6 Initial Post Assignment:

Week Six

Essential Question: What is the implication of player type on game design? 

Part I.

Bartle four types is a model that begins with the behavior of players based on four main categories of players and the types of corresponding pleasures they seek. Bartle’s model divides player types based on his multi-user dungeons/Domains observations, where he concluded that achievers, explorers, socializers and killers have different motivations (Dixon, 2011). “. . . motivations, play styles, behaviors, genre preferences and pleasures . . . are grouped as: categories, typologies or taxonomies (Dixon, p. 2). Dixon points out that this is over simplified since there are invisible pleasures, game elements that draw players in, that have not been placed into Bartle’s Model. As stated by Schell (2015), taxonomies by Bartle and LeBlanc “have gaps and when misused can gloss over subtle pleasures that might easily be missed” (p. 129).

Bartle’s Taxonomy of Player Types, in Schell (2015, p. 129):

Achievers: “want to achieve the goals of the game; . . . challenge”

Explorers:   “get to know the breadth of the game; . . .discovery”

Socializers: “interested in relationships with other people; . . . fellowship”

Killers: “competing with and defeating others; . . . imposing themselves on others”

You Tube Version of Bartle’s Taxonomy:

This is a great video clip for explaining Bartle’s Player Types.

What Type of Gamer Are You? [Bartle Test]

Are you a mix that trends with other types; or are you mostly a single type.? In Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORGs), Yee adds to achievement and social players, the Immersion player. The Immersion player seems to me to be a lot like Bartle’s Explorers; immersion includes “Discovery, Role-playing, Customization, Escapism” (Dixon, 2011, p. 2).

Achievers—“prefer to gain points, level, equipment, and other concrete measurements within the game. Though the points and achievements may have little or no game player benefit, they enjoy the prestige of having these. Collecting items or special effects is simply prestige that is satisfying.”

Explorers–“like doing things that the programmers did not think about. They mingle with each other. Player vs. environment.”

Socializers—“role play or acting like other characters in the game, learn more about other people and interact with them in online games; often extends into private messages and voice chatting, involved in drama. Make tutorials; make new friends”

Killers—“thrive on competition. The artificial intelligence (AI) becomes too basic to work out. Villian; and in sandbox games they like playing with those who build or destroy a virtual society. Multi-player games, killers are into ranking against each other and may be playing with values; others do not like the rules of the game.”

Here is another 4-type player I found on YouTube:

The Reader—Enjoys the narrative; dialogue, game roles, read guides; Compatible with the completionist, the analyst, and the introvert.

The Builder—Archetecture; simulation games, interior desisign; Compatible with the analyst and the introvert.

The Introvert—Single Player Haven; relaxing escape and worlds to explorer; Compatible with the analyst, the reader and the builder.

The Analyst—Solve puzzles, problems, they like little instruction and abstract problems. Compatible with the introvert and builder.

As I compare the two Four-Types of Players between Bartle and the one found on YouTube with the interesting types listed: Reader, Builder, Introvert, and Analyst; there is overlap, but also some opposite trends. I find the reader to be similar to the explorer in that they like to read about and look at the details. There is also overlap between the reader and the socializer, since the reader is out and about exploring; but the reader will read the manuals and guides as well. The socializers seem to be the opposite of the introvert.

Kiang explains that understanding differences between gamer types helps a teacher to form groups in a classroom. Kiang also notes that students may be divided into collaborative groups where one of each type of player is included, or start with diving groups by likeness: Explorers to research; Achievers to formulate a plan; Socializers to find ways to share out the process with others; and Griefers/killers to locate any flaws in the game as a whole.

Below is a way to identify what pleasures motivate gamers to play. This is key to game design for understanding what details will make the game more inviting. As I read through Downey’s History of the Vvirtual) Worlds, one point he made is that the 1997 – present generation of computer gamers are the recipients of extravagant embellishments. Graphics have become more clear, more 3-dimensional and with large screens can truly provide a sense of “being in the game.” “. . . today’s home computers . . . produce rich, vibrant visual worlds that draw users into the game an feed their desire to explore and play” (Downey, p. 59).

LeBlanc’s Taxonomy of Game Pleasures, in Schelle (2015, pp. 127-128):

Sensation: “Seeing something beautiful, hearing music, touching silk, smelling or tasting delicious food . . . this pleasure . . . can often make a good game into a better one.

Fantasy: “the imaginary world . . . imagining yourself as something that you are not.”

Narrative: “. . . a dramatic unfolding of a sequence of events, however it happens.”

Challenge: “. . . every game, at its heart, has a problem to be solved.”

Fellowship: “. . . friendship, cooperation, and community.”

Discovery: “. . . exploration of your game world, . . . discovery of a secret feature or clever strategy. “

Expression: “This is the pleasure of expressing yourself and the pleasure of creating things.”

Submission: “ . . . entering the magic circle—of leaving the real world behind and entering into a new, more enjoyable, set of rules and meaning.”

Nic Yee’s long term quantitative study of Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs) revealed three main components and 10 subcomponents for player motivation. These are listed in a table below from Dixon (2011, p. 2).

Nick Yee’s Player Motivation Main- and Sub- components:

Achievement: Social: Immersion:
Advancement Socialising Discovery
Mechanics Relationship Role-playing
Competition Teamwork Customization

It seems like there are so many player sub-types with overarching types, that the game designer needs to be aware of the many personas within each player. This makes me think of how I believe we all have many gifts; but some are focused on more than others at different times of life, in different settings, and in different situations. A variety of games brings these out. While Dixon (2011) brings out player types mentioned in Klug and Schell’s research; Competitor; Explorer, Collector, Achiever, Joker, Director, Storyteller, Performer and Craftsman; game design needs to recognize the personas that come with such a variety.

Part II.

Here is what the introduction said for The Four Player Types Test:

“Remkiie. Hello Quizzy. “Are you an Innovator? A Strategist? What about an Effector? Or maybe you’re an Ace? Take the quiz to find out.” This quiz is Remkiie’s updated version to Bartle’s test. The Multi-User Dimension/Dungeon (MUD) game player’s type is determined in this informal quiz that describes the task as treating the questions as there are no other choices for options, sometimes the same way players would be restricted in a gaming situation.”

Your result for The Four Player Types Test

The Ace  —  56% Ace, 17% Effector, 50% Innovator and 47% Strategist!

  • You scored 56% on Ace, higher than 84% of your peers.
  • You scored 17% on Effector, higher than 8% of your peers.
  • You scored 50% on Innovator, higher than 49% of your peers.
  • You scored 47% on Strategist, higher than 64% of your peers

My game results:

“Aces are players that like to gain mastery and prestige, i.e. they tend to be achievement hunter types. Aces are self-oriented in that their experience and achievements matter most to them, regardless of group experience or involvement. This isn’t to say that Aces are selfish, but rather that an Ace is motivated largely by extrinsic rewards and might not see the benefits of group participation if no rewards exist, depending on their secondary nature. The definition of “reward” is different for every Ace– it might be loot, social recognition, badges/titles, or simply having complete control over their skills. 

Whatever the reward, Aces are willing to put in the time and dedication necessary to achieve it. As such, they tend to be highly skilled at whatever is necessary to meet their goals, be it knowledge, combat skills, strategy, or other. This can sometimes result in Aces being generally uninterested in or unknowledgeable about subjects that do not serve their needs. On the field Aces tend to be highly offensive players, since generally a high offense is the quickest way to achieving their goal. If they wield any type of specialized skill, they will aim to be complete masters of it so that they can use it in precisely the best, most effective way possible. They also tend to be highly skilled in some form of fighting or weapon.”

My response to these game results:

Before taking this quiz, I viewed myself as a defensive player rather than an offensive player. I think this is because I lack the experience of deep role play gaming. I am interested when I see family or friends playing and watch intently. I noticed, though, that when I played in Minecraft, I liked to explore on my own, and at my own pace, unpressured. I liked to build, and being guided by Scott and Mia in a class, allowed me to explore and build at my own pace as they built and transported all around me. At the same time, my husband was in the Minecraft space, and immediately caught onto skills that came from a wide background knowledge of gaming. Some of this had to do with him using gaming over the years for his down time after work, while I took care of other needs in the home. So I watched in between. One game I got into for a while was Mario. This was during a three-week break. I played when others were busy doing something else; what I noticed about myself was that as I got more experienced, I was less concerned about awards and more motivated by level ups.


Bartle, R. (). Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who suit MUDs. Colchester, Essex; United Kingdom: MUSE Ltd.

Dixon, D. (2011). Player types and gamification. Vancouver, BC: Canada. (Bristol, BS16: University of the West of England

Downey, S. ( ). History of the (virtual) worlds. The Journal of Technology Studies, pp. 54-63.

Kiang, D. (). Use the four gamer types to help your students collaborate. (originally from Edudemic). Edtechteacher. Retrieved October 9th, 2016 at:

Remkiie. Hello Quizzy. The four player types test. Retrieved 10-09-16 at:, J. (2015). The art of game design: A book of lenses. Boca Raton, London, New York: Taylor & Francis Group.

Youtube references are embedded in text:

What Type of Gamer Are You? [Bartle Test] by MrPaladin Retrieved 10-14-16.

What Gamer Are You? Builders to Analysts – Part 2 by Jess McDonell:  Retrieved 10-14-16. (reader, builder, introvert, analyst)


Reflection Post for Week 5 EDET679: How do Materia’s claims compare to other research?

Aleta May

Reflection Post for Week 5: Gamification and Open Learning

EDET:679 with Dr. Graham

Essential Question: How do Materia’s claims compare to other research?

I read a lot out of Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world, by Don Tapscott. I especially enjoyed reading the section about how the Net Generation who has grown up with games, social media, mobile devices, and use the Internet to look up any topic with the touch of a finger has led to the brains of these students to be wired differently than people of generations, such as my own; the Late Baby Boomer Generation. I am so thankful that I have pushed myself to learn more and more about how to incorporate technology into the classroom. Also, I am very happy with learning how to design my own gamified classroom, which includes the use of computers and other smaller devices, and thematic elements that connect different modes of learning to each other.

It seemed natural to me to divide my initial post into three claims that Materia made in his book, Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich and elevate your learners. I knew I could find more claims, but I looked for claims that stood out the most to me; then I supported these with other literature. I found myself so interested in what Don Tapscott had to say, that I ended up reading a lot of it. His perspective was one I could relate well to, since I also have a daughter and a son-in-law whom I observe, watching America Ninja Warrior and America’s got talent the same way Tapscott described; with phone in hand. Unlike teenagers, they were not interested in the voting amongst peers—maybe between themselves; but Nicolyn was gaming on her phone, while Joe was checking out Craigslist for great deals. Either of them could describe in detail their opinions about what was going on in the show, although they missed as few parts. No problem, they are accustomed to the pre-record and rewind features they grew up with most of their lives.

After reading seven posts, a common theme I noticed was that students are engaged to learn when the work is fun and engaging. The fun needs to include discovery and both self- and social-elements (Matt).

Math hoops by 1-2-3. I read this and watched the video. A basketball, math game in several villages would likely be very well received. I know I’d like to try this; since it is definitely more related to their interests than math problems based on things not related to their lives. I also like the way it supports basic math skills that include decimals with adding/subtracting multiplying/dividing and gives meaning to statistics.

Since the standardized test scores on the group using this game almost three times higher than the control group not using this game, that sounds like a very significant change that can be attributed to using this game to engage students.

Here are my references for my initial post:


Folkins, J. W., Brackenbury, T., Krause, M. and Haviland, A. (2016). American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 25, pp. 111-121.

Fredrick, K. (2014). Play along: Gaming in education. School library monthly, 31(2). pp. 24-26

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich and elevate your learners. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

Tapscott, D. (2008). Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing.

Wiedmer, T. (2016). Generations do differ: Best practices in leading traditionalists, boomers, and generations X, Y, and Z. Educating the Whole Child. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin: International Journal for Professional Educators. pp. 51-58.

Winner, M. C. (2015). Why video games matter. Library Media Connection. pp. 36-37

Below are comments I made to posts in the class:


I really appreciate your emphasis on students’ ownership over what they will learn, how they will reach a goal through discovery while given a fun environment in which to create. Helping them reach their goal through facilitation and equipping them with materials and ideas, or giving them a starting point for finding ideas on their own are so important. The traditional part I feel constrained by is the extreme limitations on time constraints. I realize we need order and a schedule is part of this. But we are often so compelled to maintain the strict schedule, it is difficult to allow for that extra 15 minutes for the child who is working in the flow.


A point you made about how we as adults use games to connect with each other is so true. I remember playing pinochle with a couple once or twice a week. We laughed and continued staying in the game as long as we could. Though seeking to be the winners and passing the winners plaque to be presented in that couple’s home, the competition was only part of it.

I was updating computers last week, so that the Internet textbooks would be interactive in certain sections. As I think of your example of a student who used an app and was very happy using it, then got bored, I thought about how we as teachers are constantly thinking of variations for learning. Over time, the goal is that they would pursue their own paths related to the objective, but in a way that suits their individual interests. You are very busy with 4th Graders each day.


Thinking about students being passive receivers of content instead of active reminds me of who we are teaching. We are teaching little kids all the way through the stages of young adults. The students at all of these developmental stages need to be able to physically move and have input. Though we guide their learning, if we don’t teach within their flow range, they will seek escape or just sit there and zone out. Another option is that they will become that person who can give out answers, but not necessarily care enough about the topic to apply it to anything “real world.”

Presently, I think of the way to reach students—sometimes that is limited by constraints placed on teachers. For example, a last minute change to a schedule from one subject to another does not allow teachers time to prepare for engaging text either in book form, on the computer, or in activities. This happens at our smaller high schools more often than not. Having access to computers to start a topic while waiting for those books to arrive is one way to address this situation. It is not easy to be a teacher—in any form. Right now I am working with individual students. Keeping them engaged is even a challenge, much less a large class of students with wide ranges of abilities.


A very important comment that you brought up was about providing feedback that is positive, while honest, and clear is so important.

Another great point is that teachers are “changing right along with students, although we may not be able to keep pace.” What keeps me motivated to continue to learn and press forward in how I teach is that I can motivate students by modeling “curiosity, enthusiasm and interest,” and all within a culture of education that seems to be between traditional and more student-centered. I am teaching students that are more visually oriented from their use of computers, phones, etc. They may not have as much access, because of limited data or limited computers in the home as would students in other areas. This gives me the opportunity to pace my learning a little less behind students than would be in places where most students have more Internet access.


My mind goes directly to “video games” when I’m thinking of games as far as school and my daughter and grandchildren. When I play games with our friends who are from the Boomer Generation, my mind goes straight to card games and sometimes board games. Is there an online version of cribbage? My dad and I used to play this game repeatedly. It kept his mind strong.

In my readings, I am aware of some of the comments about video games being a waste of time. However, I became educated myself as I read how in games like World of Warcraft (which I have not seen in action) requires the more experienced player to not only challenge others, but invite people new to the game and be a leader who networks 40 players to work together! Can this be applied to Environmental Science? I would definitely give this a resounding yes. Your point about making parents more aware is so important. Sometimes grandparents are just as involved with the student’s education as their parents. Maybe they need to be invited in to see just how gamifying the classroom, especially as a theme, is tied to their learning.


When you mentioned visual arts in teaching through gaming experiences, I looked up this topic. This also ties in with fun learning from your blog. By the way, the makerspace is, in my opinion, part of a gamified classroom 🙂

The Essention Question in the article I found by Han (2015) is “How can students benefit from visual learning courses set in 3-D Animated Virtual worlds?

Although this 3-D space was developed at a university for a Civic Learning Space in college, students in High school can use “role-play to explore different roles in civic studies.”   The author brought out how digital natives, Net Generation, are willing to delve deeper into learning in a 3-D that is part of what their brains are already wired for.

Below is Figure 1. Civic Multiple Learning Heaven in Virtual Commons for Education and Research (VCER):

Look at this Figure 4. Storytelling Fairyland in Virtual Commons for Education and Research (VCER):

I can think of a book for younger students that would go with this world, but they would need to be patiently guided as they learn to build in a 3-D environment. Students build persistence as noted in this comment, “. . . they expressed feeling tired by the end of the project, they were also very excited to be able to create an object in the virtual world.” Students are working at the top end of their own flow level, willingly motivated by a visual environment that challenges their minds that are already used to expressing themselves and recognizing the visual before the text. There are interactive tools to use while learning, and your own observations may be shared at places like Facebook.


 Hsia0-Cheng (Sandrine) Han (2015). Teaching visual learning through virtual world: Why do we need a virtual world for art education? Art Education.


Self-elements and social-elements are the categories I had not read about or heard of yet. I like how the individual and social gaming elements combine to reach a common storyline goal that reaches across abilities for a shared theme.

I went to (to the projects section).   Then I clicked on the category “Space.” Then I clicked “Measure and Map Our Galaxy.”This looks like a massively open online learning experience (an element that can be added to a class project.

There is a Milky Way Project Tutorial that shows how the tools presented in the activity may be used. Then there is a place to go to a discussion or add comments; this one is called Milky Way Project Talk.” People can collect and share their own data. Thank you for sharing this site.

Rely to my post:

Sara Lucas says:

.comment-author .vcard

October 9, 2016 at 6:13 am (Edit)

I found the first claim that you mention to be true as well. I think Matera really makes a very simple claim. If I look at how much things have changed over my lifetime I can see huge differences and I am only 27. I remember getting a computer and when cell phones first came out. So much has changed so quickly and kids are latching onto it. I think the 2nd claim you mention is at the heart of gamification. Students feel challenged and are inspired by games. They get in the “flow” and that is a place where they can really learn. I think claim 3 is always true. I find it to be even more true in bush Alaska. Planes come when they come and we must adapt to whatever comes our way.


Thank you for your reply! It really must seem like extremely fast change to be in the age group where getting a computer was still a very big thing. I still remember how clunky the cell phones were at first and wondered when we went back to larger phones, why people would want to “go back.” It is a miniature computer in my hand–I understand now.

One thing I really like about being in an area that is out of the mainstream, is that kids have a balance of technology and creative play.


I wrote on Sara’s reflection—because I discovered that I was a part of her reflection comments.


In your reflection, I felt a connection to you. Our students in the bush may be the ones most likely to latch on to how to use Internet as a tool in their own lives. I find that many students want to either leave and come back or stay here. Over time, services have improved substantially; so I’m sure they will continue to be upgraded.

Essential Question: How do Materia’s claims compare to other research?

Aleta May

Initial Post Week 5: Gamification and Open Learning

EDET: 679 with Dr. Graham

Essential Question: How do Materia’s claims compare with other research.

Claim One: “The educational structures built on the needs and desires of our great grandparents’ generation are fundamentally different from those of students today” (p. 25).

One very important point is that as teachers, we must change our roles as the one who has all the answers to one who is “allowing them a certain degree of frustration as individuals work to problem-solve” (Winner, p. 36). When playing in the game, players are engaged and use “skills such as critical and creative thinking and building on their previous experiences” (Folkins, Brackenbury, Krause, & Haviland, p. 114). The Net Generation expects to have freedom; “without interference from her parents or other adults” (Tapscott, p. 75)). By comparison, people in the Baby Boomer generation discussed below, “are competitive and are angered by any perceived threats to their authority or prestige” (Wiedmer, 2016, p. 53).  Generation X; 1961-1981; were often referred to as latchkey kids because parents were away at work or single parent homes. Generation Y; 1980—1990; started having access to Internet and mobile devices. The parents were more available to their children.

These stages describe myself, as well as the way our daughters grew up in our home. I remember the whole family gathering around that slow dial-up computer, and being right on top of getting a mobile phone as soon as we could afford it. I watched as Internet improved with great concern for whom my daughter was talking to as she entered in MySpace online, while not wanting to take that freedom away from her.

I would say that there are many characteristics in the development of a child that remain the same, but growing up digital has changed how they learn. I also agree with Tapscott (2008), young people “. . . read more online than offline, and that’s usually non-fiction, “ (p. 111) and that as adults, we still need to model reading novels, and enjoying quality fiction literature.

Claim Two: “. . . the human spirit awakens when we are inspired and challenged to confidently go beyond our limits” (p. 29).

Gamers build personal perseverance when they are operating in a flow state; between being bored and anxious. (Winner, 2015). Baby boomers were born between 1946—1964; and are further divided into Early Boomers, 1945-1955 and Late Boomers, after 1955 (Wiedmer, 2016). As a Late Boomer, I remember being taught by traditional means. However, I would also call us as generation of educational change in that new ways were being argued and considered. For example, one of the schools I attended in Anchorage was a brand new open wall school (with sliding walls). The first thing most teachers did was close these walls.

Also, I remember the emphasis of reading step-by-step directions learning how to use a remote control. The Net Generation or Generation Z that are in our classrooms today have been connected to the internet, mobile phones, and have been able to access information from around the world. In this era, our students “can search for and organize information containing links to other information . . . they develop hypertext minds. They leap around. It’s as though their cognitive structures were parallel, not sequential” (Tapscott, pp. 104-105). Even in college, students do not follow step-by-step instructions provided to them; rather they relate more to images and links. By making such a change in the way we present a platform for learning on the computer and in the classroom, scores will likely increase up to 16 percent, as they did in the college class study (Tapscott, p. 106). Game theory builds on the idea that across the generations, “Play is the way that human beings learn about the world . . . That’s how we discover how things work” (Fredrick, 2014).

Students operate best when they are in a learning environment that allows for discovery, works on their natural inclination to work as a team (since social networking is the norm now anyway) and when they are challenged. Game elements are uniformly woven into the gamified classroom; they are not linearly organized. The mechanics and elements, as well as the aesthetics; like feelings, values, creative design and action motivators; are networked parts of a whole system. Each design element of the game is incorporated to support this fundamental theme, whatever it may be” (Folkins, et al., p. 113). In order for our students to learn critical problem solving skills, and learn based on the characteristics of the Net Generation, the game needs to lead students to be intrinsically motivated—the Discovery principle promoted by exploring and experimenting (Folkins, et al., p. 114).”When students feel ‘the flow,’ their brain is able to retrieve the skills and knowledge necessary for completing the task at hand without the student needing to actively seek it” (Winner, p. 37).

Claim Three: It is important to be flexible and create fun for the students.

Fredrick (2014) stated that, “What we need to do, to some degree, is sort of return to an era of free-range children, where there’s more play, more discovery” (p. 26). When we look at incorporating gaming elements that are connected to content objectives and common core standards, they will be learning in a variety that most students are used to being challenged within anyway. And as Winner (2015) stated, “Students are expected to master a myriad of skills in order to achieve college and career readiness. . . If learners are interested in the subject, the content becomes less about work and achievement and more about play and exploration” (p. 36).


Folkins, J. W., Brackenbury, T., Krause, M. and Haviland, A. (2016). American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 25, pp. 111-121.

Fredrick, K. (2014). Play along: Gaming in education. School library monthly, 31(2). pp. 24-26

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

Tapscott, Don (2008). Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing.

Wiedmer, T. (2016). Generations do differ: Best practices in leading traditionalists, boomers, and generations X, Y, and Z. Educating the Whole Child. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin: International Journal for Professional Educators. pp. 51-58.

Winner, M. C. (2015). Why video games matter. Library Media Connection. pp. 36-37.

EDET 679: Essential Question: How can immersive virtual reality enhance gamification?

Aleta May

Reflection for Gamification and Open Education Week 4, with Dr. Graham


I understand more about how broad Virtual Reality (VR) is now. For example, I can use computers for students to explore different places simply by having them use the keyboard mouse to look around in a virtual environment. I would really like for our students to use Google Cardboard in the classroom, however we have two major roadblocks. First, our school will not allow student access on their personal devices, because this would require a password. The password is then shared and people in other villages use our school district access. Second, if students use their own phones, their families have very limited data allowed to them per month because of the cost. This would mean that they would have to use my phone in a VR head band to get the full effect.

Embedding computer tours onto a website students are given access to is a great way to use VR in our school; and the teacher can project these onto the interactive whiteboard.

I believe that having students use actual headsets for VR is a much more immersive experience for them than just having them view 3D VR tours on computers. However, if phone use is not an option, or headsets are not available, it is still a great tool for students to access in a gamified classroom. The more immersed students are in an activity, the more they are able to ignore distractions around them in the room. This puts them into the flow of learning, where they may experience more fully “going to a place” they had not been to before.

After reading several posts, I learned about other websites and explored some of these. As I watched Kate’s YouTube video, I visited two sites she referred to and bookmarked them incase I need to assist students in similar activities or to share with content area teachers. I took notes from the rich gamified environment ideas she was so willing to share with us.

Replies to Class Peers for Week 4

Replies to class peers for week 4:


Ethics—I agree that sharing devices is usually acceptable. Sometimes parents may take issue with this as far as who will pay for the smart phone if it is broken by another student during a shared activity. Another ethical consideration is that the google cardboard or even other more, well structured 3D VR Boxes could hide from a teacher what is being viewed by students, especially in a larger classroom. This is a problem to be considered, but does not mean it eliminates the use of this tool for teaching.

Pedagogy—When we make direct connections to our curriculum (and the standards the curriculum represents), we have a lot of freedom to teach creatively.

Creating an immersive community—keeping students focused on an Earth Science topic like the fieldtrip through the Rockies seems like such a fun way to engage students and would create discussion of what they saw/noticed. There may be categories for students to write about in a group about what they saw related to layers in mountain areas, etc. and then shared out with other groups who focused on another aspect of what they noticed in the same fieldtrip.


A very significant point you made was when you noted that the VR tool may be exactly what students need in order to visualize a place they had never visited. There are many students, including people who do not travel much and live in the country or in a village, who have a perfect view of where they live and interact on a daily basis. But what about understanding what a book is talking about when a desert is discussed if a student has never lived in or seen a desert.

Thank you for this information and these links below!!

There are games which try to simulate the journey of these explorers (Go West Across America with Lewis and Clark –, but how much more powerful would it be for a class to put on a set of Google Cardboards ( and float down a raging river or walk across the endless prairie?

Even higher quality VR boxes are inexpensive! This is an awesome breakthrough for educators to begin using a tool that engages students by connecting them to the environment they are learning about; all without needing a fortune to do so.


It is interesting how our brains have trouble sorting out reality from a virtual world. Related to this idea is that the player feels powerful, even though the sword fighting (for example) skill is only possessed by the player’s avatar (game character); while the player is gaining levels on a virtual skill that helps keep the player motivated. According to Schell (2015), when designing a game, “Often, the key to a fun game is finding the right mix of real and virtual skill” (p. 182). For our purposes, we would keep this design principle in mind when we enhance learning platforms on a wikispace.

Going to a virtual zoo sounds fun to me right now.

Thank you for telling me about math game software systems Blender and Unity to create their own worlds using math. Virtual Reality: Mathematics. (2014) STEM Career Lab. [Video files]. Retrieved from I want to look into this. I found a 6’ video on VR: Mathematics (Blender). Going into another dimension to view 3D shapes to find not only x and y axis, but also the z axis.

They also visually showed that a Parabola—can be X2=Y The use of math in a 3D environment would have helped me to understand shapes and axis, and more, a long time ago!


Schell, J. (2015). The art of game design: A book of lenses, second ed. CRC Press: New York: Taylor & Francis Group.


What a great insight—we do need engineers that will develop quality VR experiences. The more the better. I was surprised to read that just 37% of 13-17 year olds have smartphone access.. Where we live in the village, the amount of data students are aloud to use on a family plan has a financial impact. I just asked students who were early to school this morning why most of them were using their phones. First, it was because their access through the school was blocked unless it was a school device. Second, it was home data limits. I do recall the issue we had with GCI saying people in other villages were using our school internet from afar—so access passwords were no longer shared.


McGonigal talks about visual attention in her book (referenced below)As I read what you wrote about being immersed in a virtual environment, players block out outside distractions. What McGonigal explained was that the visual processing part of our brain is taking over more when a game has continuous visual elements to process. “. . . ideally, a pattern-matching game like Tetris or Candy Crush Saga” (p. 37), because pieces are interactively moved and connected – taking a lot of focus.

When you brought up that sense of presence and a feeling of being there, students are playing in the flow; and the quality of the game (not necessarily the difficulty of the game) comes from being absorbed with our full attention focused .

This immersion may be something we need to think about for our students who deal with the effects of trauma in their lives. One trial study McGonigal highlighted was one where “a twenty-minute session of casual game play decreased left frontal alpha brain waves which typically indicates improved mood.

I agree that elementary students would benefit from different types of VR related to the curriculum. Google Cardboard activities can take them to places talked about in children’s literature.


McGonigal, J. (2015). SuperBetter: The power of living gamefully. New York: Penguin Books.


When students use virtual reality to explore and learn without knowing they are learning, they may just enjoy the exploration at the beginning; then they could add in shared writing that is open for them, but guided toward content standard. Or maybe they could create a Pictochart brochure to invite others to view the world, by highlighting main features that will draw viewers in. This might also be a great parent night activity students can share for younger students.

For students who are tackling math shapes, parents and/or other audiences, could be drawn in with a set of brief instructions on how to view or create shapes on the 3D computer environment.


Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Thank you, Anthony, for showing this site to me! This is awesome. I took notes after I signed in and explored.

Here is a link for how to provide a lesson:

To be interactive: the teacher can add open ended questions, polls, quizzes, draw it (Nearpod’s version of an interactive whiteboard), fill in the blanks, and matching pairs. Once the activity is created, the teacher can drag and drop the activity anywhere in their lesson. Also, to create lessons, teachers can add slide, add content, can add multimedia (slide editor, a slide show, virtual fieldtrip, audio, PDF viewer, Live Twitter Feed, also add a website by adding add web content)

Students can join this session by opening the Nearpod app on another device (or going to and inputting this PIN into the ‘Join Session’ box.

As you advance to the next slide on this “teacher” device, you other “student” device follows along.

Along with you–I see so much potential. It would be easy for me to just jump in and start using VR and save the careful planning for second. Careful planning first, then figure out second what needs to be different next.


English language learners in my school really benefit from images to help them make connections to their learning. I remember learning that the closer we as educators can get to the real object, the easier it is for students to understand a concept that they have not seen or heard of before. VR seems to be better than just a picture, since it is immersive, therefore, very attention focused—where the student in learning in the flow and may ignore outside distractors around them.

I really like your idea of adding Google Cardboard as part of gamifying a classroom.


When I looked through comments, I found these links that I want to explore:

I don’t know what you teach for science but have you heard of the augmented reality apps Anatomy 4D

and Elements 4D A former colleague of mine used to use them in high school science.

Kate’s YouTube Recording—Notes taken

Gamification and Immersive Technology

streamed live on Sep 26, 2016

Kate Hodges of Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati, OH talks about the gamification of her high school English class with particular attention to immersive technology through Google Virtual Reality Apps. She is a 2nd year Language Arts teacher who teaches 9th, 10th and 11th grade students who range in reading skill levels from 4th grade through 11th grade.


Lesson plan for Animal Farm

Russian Revolution Simulation (understand the allegory of the Russian Revolution); pull in current events.

  1. Background before tasks, scaffolding, formative and then their final. Give background versus lecturing them about the Russian Revolution – being an active part of the simulation.
  2. Creature Utopia—students selected their own creatures that they felt fit their personalities. They chose where their Utopia would be (could be at the bottom of the sea). They added circuits—copper circuits, and LED lights. Students were creating simple circuits to light up their group flag. They earned badges for their society and they got extra XP for their leader board.
  3. Fill in your graphic organizer (plug in and play). Earn 5 XP and get a badge.
  4. Purging and the voting—eliminates popularity; but need to say —

Gulag online

Press forward—I can walk through the buildings and get an actual view of a gulag.  3D gamification, can use the controls on the computer keys. Can do a 360 panorama. The 3D tells what it would look like at the time. There are 3 minute videos; so she wrote questions related to the views inside the gulag and after watching the 3 minute videos.

Their original utopias were not randomly drawn (as students think they are), rather they were differentiated—this is the teacher’s roll to keep things balanced and equitable for all.

In a gamified world, the students’ focus is on the next task, challenge, the next quest.

Lee—flow is that immersive experience where you get lost in it, and you just move forward; so adjusting the games for differences.

There are different variations where you can go in and start in beginner mode, middle, or advanced.

Kate–Removing the risk and just allowing the learning speak for itself.

Lower level kids are more apt to take a risk and encourage other students to do that.

Chipatronics Circuits with LED lights were used for creating group flags related to the communism studies.

Google Cardboard—Let’s take a trip to the Catacombs (Cast of the Montetoto), then Venice is another place to explore.

Downdoad Google Cardboard app onto your phone. Then the app we are on becomes 3D and matches up to the Google Cardboard.

There is a filter button in on the YouTube.

Google lit trips—a converter from chromebooks

Google Expedition has annotations in there. Google cardboard is much more you run. Water, climate of the ocean, science.

Using the buddy system—the students fill out a form (likely for sharing devices).

Phones would have to be connected to WiFi

We can gamify even without technology.

Math—Discovery Channel—climb to the top of the pyramid; make objects; measure;  Google Excel—making images collaboratively.

Next book—The Yellow Wallpaper