Week Nine Initial Post November 2016
for EDET679 Gamification and Open Learning with Dr. Lee Graham
Essential Question: How do you currently infuse play into your class? How might you change this as a result of some of the ideas you have encountered?
Currently, I infuse play into my work with students through a gaming, reading program, and using matching cards to learn vocabulary. My primary focus lately has been on teaching one student to read—and he is progressing by leaps and bounds. This has been a very intensive road, for he and I, but as a 5th grader, I vary the methods I use to teach him as much as possible.
Something that interested me the most in the reading from Matera (2015) is the use of side quests. According to Matera, “An important learning opportunity provided by side quests is that students become less dependent on their teacher for initiative and content acquisition” (p. 215). He also states that a side quest can only be turned in one time, have a connection to the current unit, and turned in before the unit test (p. 215). One idea that I think would be great for weaving into a trade book reading that involves exploring an island where the characters experienced a tropical cyclone, would be to have students take quests on a Pacific volcanic island or study tropical cyclones as compared to Atlantic hurricanes (Spires, 2015). Making connections across the curriculum through taking quests are endless. Mapmaking for geography, the study of science and weather, art, music, and digital reading are all examples of using quests to cross the bridges between content areas for a more thematic learning environment that includes gamification in the classroom
When learning is set in gamification, themes, and quests, children are learning in their natural element. “According to Piaget, play becomes more abstract, symbolic, and social as children mature through different developmental stages,” (Plass, Homer, & Kinzer, 2015, p. 259). Children develop cognitively when they activate their schemas.
Constructivist, behaviorist, and cognitivist elements may differ in many ways; however, “playfulness serves as an enriching yet orthogonal dimension—a dimension that can be present no matter what model of learning a game is based on” (Plass, et al., p. 261). There are multiple ways to engage students. What they all have in common is playfulness.
Intrinsic motivation tap into what learners are interested in. Game designing should keep this type of motivation at the heart of gaming, in contrast to external motivation (Plass, Homer, Kinzer (2014). Intrinsic motivation includes meeting the needs of students by “providing immediate feedback, providing control over the material, and inspiring curiosity . . . because learners want to participate, knowledge improves. . .” (Brull, Finlayson, 2016, p. 373).
The chart below describes Playful Learning in a Cognitive Map. It is from Plass, et al. (2014): Figure 1. Integrated Design Framework of Playful Learning.
Please click for the chart to go to the wordpress link:
For the next six weeks, I will be working with a wide variety of students. One small group of high school students will study pre-algebra skills, while two others are reading novels for Novel Studies class. Another student comes in for repetition of math skills—he can read really well, but his math skill retention is very low and therefore must be visual and hands-on. Two students work with one-on-one assistants. I have a wide variety of opportunities to engage students in playful learning. I think this chart helps keep me focused.
Brull, S., & Finlayson, S. (2016). Importance of gamification in increasing learning. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 47(8), (372-375).
Plass, J., Homer, B., Kinzer, C. (2014). Playful learning: An integrated design framework. Games for Learning Institute. White Paper # 02/2014. http://create.nyu.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/G4LI-White-Paper-02-2014-Playful-Learning.pdf
Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich and elevate your learners. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Reading: Chapters 8, 9 & 10- Explore Like a Pirate
Plass, J., Homer, B. & Kinzer, C (2015). Foundations of game-based learning. Educational Psychologist, 50(4), pp. 258-283.
Spires, H. A. (2015). Digital game-based learning: What’s literacy got to do with it? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 59(2).