Category Archives: Gamification and Open Education EDET679

Week 10 Reflection EDET679 EQ focus on how to use the rubric as it stands or to revise parts of it.

Aleta May

Gamification and Open Education EDET679 with Dr. Graham

Week 10 Reflection

This week I started to consider how the rubric would work for me by starting a draft of my plan. This led me to weaving two websites together for the students; the platform Classcraft and Vocabulary.com. I am still exploring the opportunities for using both.

After reading blog comments, I too realized that the story / narrative is such an enormous part of trying to pull all of this together, I wanted to find a way to tame it down. Yes, I see the importance of a storyline / narrative in that themes seem very cohesive. Yet, I believe this takes time and development through ongoing learning. Therefore, finding a way to narrow this down would really help.

Reading posts from people in class this week also seemed to bring about a great review of learning thus far. I needed this week’s blog post to help me with reviewing the various structures and importance of many elements to make a successful project.

I also noticed that coming from the perspective of a multiple subject teacher is different than that of teachers whose topics are more mastery based. Yet, there are some areas of every subject that must be mastered; so finding fun and meaningful ways to accomplish mastery as much as possible, before the spiral “waits” for another day to revisit that topic in a deeper way, is also important.

Apparently, some of the question in a gamified classroom is how much deep learning needs to take place at this fork in the road for this topic versus, how much mastery through fun practice needs to happen? There is always some overlap, but one or the other usually presides.

Comments I made to blog posts:

Kate,

I think your point about number 5 is well made. One thing I considered here when I read it though, is that we are building a gamified environment in the classroom; so the focus is not on the game only. The way you divided this up into components, mechanics and dynamics, including many examples for each, was very helpful to me. It looks like you not only summarized the entire book we read for class, but added so much more support for your points here. A point can be made for drawing students in initially by something that is familiar for them; games and leveling up; then drawing them over into quests and discussions as well.

Gerald,

In your first sentence you brought out that you really don’t care about storyline or narrative. I think you are making a good point, in that I need to reconsider different player types and what does or does not motivate them as learners in class.

One thing about Minecraft is that it has the potential for being used to express comprehension of a story / narrative students are reading about. Maybe the story or narrative is for bringing together a theme in a classroom. However, this is no small task and teachers, in my view, need time to develop this aspect as he/she tries out different gameplay elements and mechanics.

One thing I notice is that students who are using a reading program, called Imagine Learning, are filling in skills they missed and that the badges earned toward playing games that practice words they need review on. This is motivational—but would be more effective if there were units of theme that tied the different section together—especially for those game player types that do learn from the emotional and social aspects in a story line.

Mariah,

Yes, exceeds does look like a lot for being new at this. I believe that the nature of beginning small and developing connections begins with a plan. On the other hand, I also believe that a plan develops along the way as we observe student learning. Maybe gamifying a classroom can be viewed as an overarching theme that ties together centers across the classroom. Gamifying includes technology but also doing a lot of the normal activities; such as, developing think-pair-share, inside/outside vocabulary practice, and other discussion or physical movement activities that lead students toward deeper thinking.

I have struggled with many of the same thoughts you are describing. As I write, I am thinking that gamifying is one part of the story of developing student engagement. There are so many learning strategies right now coming at us as teachers; such as for sheltered instruction for English Language Learners, that we become the artist and start creating.

Genevieve,

I like that you reminded us that Matera’s four aspects of gaming are theme, setting, characters and action. This presupposes that there will be a narrative connection. Maybe the development of a gamified classroom can take another direction. When I though of a gamified classroom as I wrote my thoughts, I started to consider including more than one subject area for elementary levels.

The idea you gave to us in setting up an XP grading system is a very nice and simple framework; which students need in order to set their own goals, and teachers need in order to avoid getting too entangled in picking apart grades and discouraging students.

Heather,

It is certainly a tempting focus to think of this “final project” as something that needs many details. I considered this as I started to write a draft. This project can get very big, very fast. Maybe the rubric needs to have more generalized alternative statements—the details are helpful in many ways, but if we are also permitted to follow each section of that rubric in more general terms, we will have a framework with some details.

I do remember stories being the favorite part of one of my college classes. One teacher introduced many classes with a related story as an example to draw in in and prepare us for the following topic. My concern is that while developing a storyline, I am spending much, much time trying to pull every aspect of the gamified classroom environment together—almost as if I am writing a novelette for the class.

Initial Blog for Week 10 EDET679: Essential Question: How would you change the rubric for the final project to better reflect what is important in games?

Initial Blog for Week 10

Gamification and Open Learning EDET679 with Dr. Graham

Aleta May

Essential Question: How would you change the rubric for the final project to better reflect what is important in games?

The best way for me to think about this question is to try my ideas out by starting a rough draft of my project plan. Also, I consider in my reflective thoughts what I have learned this semester about what makes a gamified classroom environment. Then I look at the rubric points I posted below from our class. I aim for the exceptional column, yet in some areas may reach meets, since this style of teaching and planning is new for me.

Gamification Plan—Rough Draft

The book read in class blends well with the avatars in ClassCraft: Spirit Animals Wild Born by Brandon Mull 680L ages 8 to 10

Since the book I have selected is an animal fantasy, the idea of using Classcraft matches. Crawley (2014) describes it this way: “Warriors get to eat in class, mages can teleport out of a lecture, and healers can ask if an exam answer is correct.” This platform is a way to engage students, in a learning context that is supportive. Students even have the option of buying pets and gear for their Classcraft avatars—this would likely apply more to high schoolers who may have gotten an iTunes account budget given to them.

Students are motivated by leveling up in the game by earning points that add to group points; therefore, they help each other out, creating a more collaborative environment.

I like the plan of teachers being able to interact with students; but to start with, I will keep the use of this platform simple.

So far in Classcraft, I have set up students who are currently in 5th grade at our school. The Class name is Spirit Animals Wild Born, based on the book they will be reading. I decided to set up the Classcraft platform in a manner where I can send messages to class members, create characters for students on a dashboard for tracking points (badges), and manage class content.

I will connect https://www.vocabulary.com/account/classes/ to the reading of the book and collecting Experience Points for vocabulary activities. At vocabulary.com, I have access to either creating my own vocabulary lists or using ready-made lists. This site found vocabulary words for each chapter of Spirit Animals: Wild Born. Points earned can be converted to badges on the Classcraft site. This may be connected to time spent practicing vocabulary.

Students will join the class by using this URL: http://vocab.com/join/D3PWVD

When students visit the URL above, they will automatically be enrolled in the class. If they do not have a Vocabulary.com account, they will be able to easily create one. They words will be from Chapter 1 of Spirit Animals Wild Born. This site has a place to create a list called vocabugrabber.

Before-, during- and after-reading activities are important factors in learning vocabulary. “Word learning, in many ways, occurs as a result of repeated encounters with the term under study” (Wolsey, Smetana, & Grisham, p. 1).  These thoughts combine to mean that although practicing words in a vocabulary.com context is a good thing, making sure that the words are tied to the book context and discussed among students is another way. They may use sentence frames to talk to each other in small groups or pairs to practice the words after being referred to that work in context.

Here are other platforms students may use to upload audio files, images or text. Along the way, students will be asked in a quest to visit on or two of these sites and produce a way to practice words together:

www.thinglink.com/edu (sidebar)

office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint/

www.prezi.com

www.voicethread.com

www.popplet.com (video without audio on YouTube)

The point is to get students more “intrigued by words and ideas, [so] they dig more deeply” (Wolsey, Smetana, & Grisham, p. 1).

If students continue to struggle with a word, they will be encouraged to visit Wikipedia. Here is an example of looking up the word apothecary from the book that has a picture description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apothecary

A list of the words is provided and a title may be given.

The words are then assigned to a class the teacher has created.

Socially, this can be combined with another school to track progress on Leaderboards Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

To engage students further, There is a place to build a quest at Classcraft. Of three choices, I clicked on Adventures in the Wild Boss Battles because it reflects the nature of the book I am using where the spirit animals are from the wild. There are 9 avatars to choose from called Bosses. I titled the activity as Spirit Animals: Wild Born, Chapter 1 to match the vocabulary.com title.

Next, I chose a whole number to represent a Boss HP; I chose 100. Then there is a place to ask questions of the students. Since this is Chapter 1, naming characters that match spirit animals should be included. Then a link could be added that takes students to images or sites that match with what is read, so they may answer questions.

One consideration I have made is to also include the use of OSMOS math with iPads and connect every correct answer with an opportunity to points toward build badges or XPs with names that extend the theme of Spirit Animals to math. The point here is to add in a social small group math activity that uses technology equipment for independence and motivation toward a more gamified overall classroom. The idea is to expand a theme across a class—especially since my project is an elementary 5th grade project.

Skill scaffolding will include learning vocabulary words as well as building math skills.

References

ClassCraft: https://help.classcraft.com/hc/en-us/sections/204016697-Classcraft-101

Crawley, D. (May 31, 2014). Classcraft makes the classroom a giant role-playing game—with fermium pricing

Vocabulary.com: https://www.vocabulary.com/account/classes

Wolsey, T., Simetana, L. & Grisham, D. L. (2015). Vocabulary plus technology. The Reading Teacher, 68(6). literacyworldwide.org

So far, the Rubric created below looks like it will fit my classroom gaming plan.

  1. Clear purpose that correlates with multiple learning objectives standards pertaining to coursework (20)

Exceeds  The game requires deep understanding of multiple learning objectives and provides opportunities to demonstrate higher level thinking.

  1. Narrative Context/Storyline (20)

Exceeds  Provides opportunity for the player to explore other avenues of learning/adventure. Allows the player to deepen knowledge about various aspects of the game and naturally develops a deeper understanding of the context or storyline.

  1. Well-organized, risk oriented problem solving (20)

Exceeds  Problem solving opportunities are recursive and transformative. The player is able to finish the game with an added skill set or transformed world-view. The user is able to create their own environment and scenarios that can be shared with other users. Users elicit their own discussion about the gaming experience.

  1. Engaging and Motivating (20)

Exceeds  The game is so engaging it is difficult to stop playing. The games learning environment offers an ideal mix of fun and challenging material. The game provides and excellent risk/reward system.

  1. Interactivity (Collaboration): students are able to interact with other and the game (20)

Exceeds  Interaction with others and/or with the game occurs regularly during game play. Collaboration is encouraged and allows the player to progress in the game while receiving support from other players and the game.

  1. Skill scaffolding and mastery (20)

Exceeds  The level of challenge provided by the game and player ability converges quickly. The difficulty level and pace of the game adapt to the player. Different levels of the game build upon prior learned skills.

  1. Encouragement and Feedback (20)

Exceeds  Feedback is immediate and specific, offering support for the player at least 60% of the time, allowing the player to learn from his/her mistakes.

  1. Utility (20)

Exceeds  Game play is intuitive and requires little or no administrative guidance for use. Game play encourages modification and customization, allowing for imagination and ingenuity. Examples might include: creating an avatar or some design elements like building/creating a home.

Week 9 Reflection: EQs–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?

Reflections for Week 9

EDET 679 Gamification and Open Learning with

Dr. Lee Graham

by Aleta May

November 2016

Currently, I am building in the use of hands on and visual activities in math so that my two students who struggle with math can see the math. We have a Dream Box math program that uses the same or similar manipulatives that I am using. Two boys are using concrete manipulatives which will prepare him to use the ones on the screen that do move and are a bridge from me to that math book (that will not come off the page except for now in his mind from our lessons).

I use Imagine Learning for a learning mangagement system (LMS) for reading. The lessons I teach one particular student one-on-one, come to life off the screen exactly where he needs reinforcement for reading word work and where he needs new language arts concepts taught to him. The part I find trickly, is the balance between letting him try and fail on the computer before turning the volume down that “reminds him to answer now” for going on; and using quick reminders. For example, there are words that are ee/ea and new plural/nonplural nouns and now pronouns. If I help too much while the game is operating and moves him to that level outside his zone. I find that this and other students love the gamified approach to this program, where they build up booster bits.  It would be more appropriate set in a class where there are other opportunities to use ways to learn these concepts in other ways.  It is different to vary activities as they get older and spend more time in the resource room.

Today, I explored the ClassCraft.com game. I really want to use this gamified classroom Learning Management System (LMS) so I can add lesson plans, post resources and eventually get students to talk about an assigned topic in the discussion portion I read about. I wrote to the company, since I did not seem to have a path for just purchasing this LMS portion on my own. After spending time exploring the site, I really think that very useful aspects of this platform are the features I listed. There is a portion where teachers are asked whether they would use this to teach an online class. Since this is at least one direction I am preparing for, this gives me another reason to try different ways to use this. Also, I think storing resources and building plans on the go over the summer without actually needing a physical notebook would be an advantage. I could add in a class topic related to items found to (like brochures), pictures in nature that relate to nature for geography and biology, what people do when they make things and the jobs they are in, and build up correlated lesson plans that match the content area standards. Last summer, we had the electric company put electricity to the shop.

Another platform I want to use even this week is one Ali discussed on this week’s post. She likely uses it, though may have researched it only. Either way, once I clicked, I could see ways to use Prodigy math for a variety of students. I will be working with one group from 9th grade who is working on basic math skills; and another student who has many gaps in his math skills since he had not started reading until recently.

As I read Gerald’s post, I thought of how I want to incorporate math art design into geometry. He said he has done that. It would be wonderful to see pictures of his students’ work when he does that. This brings up the word gamify—what constitutes gamification in the classroom. Well, I definitely believe art is emotional, intellectual, and playful expression. Art is both playful and that indescribable endeavor to tie things together in learning.   Drawing is an expression of reading comprehension; so too it is in math. Gamifying then includes what Ali led us to in watching the YouTube interview with James Paul Gee. In my notes from watching him, he discussed how the mind learns new ideas by simulating them visually and with actions or experiences and dialogue. Gee’s whole topic was the way gaming and learning are closely tied. Even if the game is not exactly literal—such as changing a scientific concept from the actual laws of nature and changing them to science fiction—much of the vocabulary and understanding overlaps both real and pretend worlds. Learning is connected this way.

These are replies I received from my post on Week 8–where the EQ was; “Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them?”  

Mariah Smith

mmedowsmith@gmail.com

67.58.18.106

Aleta,

I really enjoyed reading about your theme of sailboats and being stuck. There seems to be intriguing aspects to your story that students will enjoy. You seem to understand how planning and playing around with ideas and thoughts is necessary to have a successful and interesting gamified course for our students. Thank you for your input and we are excited to see what you come up with and any more ideas that you share with us!

Sara Lucas says: 
.comment-author .vcard October 30, 2016 at 10:36 pm (Edit) 
.comment-meta .commentmetadata I think this was a similar topic for all this week: Theme, Setting, Characters, and Action. Genevieve talked about this and I talked about it as well. I think it is so central to starting to fantasize about how to gamify your own classroom. As I was picking a theme I couldn’t help but get to the rest. I just started to get really excited once I had my theme. I was wondering where I could put certain elements and how they could be most useful. Then I ran out of time to ponder due to my other duties. It was actually really disappointing. I can imagine if I get this excited my students will have not choice but to be excited with me.

Below are responses to blogs I read during Week 9.  My views of gaming were greatly expanded just by seeing through the window into their educational practice and their responses to same and similar readings.

Anthony,

I think your idea of building rapport with your students through the teacher getting points when students get wrong answers is great. You found an example from Matera in House vs. the Teacher—this sounds fun!

Wow—combining the basketball hoop and Classcraft XP sounds awesome. The rule for earning points for shooting into the basketball hoop for 25XP and adding these to the Classcraft characters has inspired me to start using Classcraft.

I remember paper football from middle school.

It seems like mini-games are an easy way to get started on gamifying a classroom. From there, it may next emerge into a theme.

Genevieve,

Card matching games for capital and lower case resonate with me; since I notice that even older struggling readers may struggle when there are words with all capitals for emphasis.

The math bingo games give students an incentive to complete the work they’ve already learned in order to call bingo! I had not heard of Reflex Math before—does this cost? iPads are so fun for kindergarten and first grade students! They are so tactile and visual. In my readings this week, young children need a variety so they are not only using digital. It is awesome that your students get some of each.

Earning points as a group for Class Dojo so they can choose a game sounds like a good idea.

Thank you for giving a peek into your classroom life with K/1.

Gerald,

I visited the clicker site in your references: https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/clickers/ and what stood out to me were the many types of clicker questions this system can be used for: Recall, Conceptual Understanding, Application, Critical Thinking, Student Perspective, Confidence Level, Monitoring as well as classroom experiments.

It makes sense not to require students to solve all of the problems if they don’t need that much practice. I can dream up ways that they could apply problems in real world situations by using math; but I am picturing that you have several larger classes of students per day, and little access to something like a shop (wood, mechanics, sewing, a 3D printer for geometry, etc.) and little time between classes.

Maybe you should not underestimate the power of clickers! I want to try them out. Though you acquired a set, do you know where to purchase one? It seems like a great tool for teachers to take turns using.

Gerald wrote to Matt:

Gerald ScarzellaNovember 4, 2016 at 10:29 AM

I love games, but trying to gamify a math class is still a struggle for me to put my mind around it. Even games in general. There is so much to cover in a high school math course, that time is valuable and limited. If I do have extra time, I teach a nice unit on math art. Stuff like Escher-like tessellations, perspective drawings, mandalas, and knot designs. Those activities seem more enlightening than playing games, and it introduces students to a great niche in art that incorporates math.

I replied to Gerald: Gerald, I think adding in the math art sounds like a perfect way to show how math is applied in one of so many areas. Art is relaxing as well.

Matt,

The side quests draw me in as well. They seem like such a natural way to add in choice, interest, and a practical way to add project based learning as a mini-unit.

I’ve thought about the time in a day a lot lately. Even elementary is affected by this now. At our school, we have a 4th 5th grade dual language team teaching and they have tried different ways to follow the program that has been prescribed for them, as well as, get those fun projects back into the day. The way it is set up seems so separated to me; for example, 50/50 of the day in each language and a language of the day.

Theresa,

There is a high school teacher here who started using Kahoot and really loves to quiz students this way since he can watch their responses to know how many more need to respond—and most students really respond well to the competition.

I need to learn how to make badges to integrate them into learning as well. Is using ClassCraft a good way to get started with this? I need to get into looking at this more closely.

I remember reading about Mega Tic Tac Toe. There were several guidelines, like start up in the left corner, then go to the center, etc. What I would really enjoy is coming to your classroom and having us both try several of these ideas together. We could draw in those low motivated students together.

It is so true that games connect people. This is true for table games as well as digital. I am more willing to take risks, because we can just finish off that game and try again with that newly acquired knowledge.

Ali,

Thank you, Ali for sharing about the Prodigy math site! I then noticed the 1st through 8th grade range, aligning to the standards for our own state. Since I will be working with a variety of age groups over the next five weeks, this will be a fun and helpful way to fill in math gaps for them.

I am working with a few 9th grade students who are in a basic skills math group, I can offer this to them and see if they like it or if it helps.

I use visuals as much as I can to help teach students. Then if possible, we use manipulatives as well. I know this is what the STEAM programs with robotics are trying to do. Even in my reading program, the idea of making reading meaningful to kids by seeing that words in their environment mean something relates to this idea.

Notes I took while watching the very valuable video you posted. By watching, and note taking, I could slow down my thinking, and “see” what Gee is talking about–Thank you for sharing this video; James Paul Gee he is so important in education today!

Gee in edutopia.org. on YouTube:   “The basic unit of 5 people with different skill sets. They have to be deeply skilled at one skillset, but has to understand the big picture, so they can integrate their skillset with a very different skillset, the other people. In the world of high tech work, this is called a cross-functional team; that has to be able to work together with and understand others role in their team.   Often the players that play games outside of work will go to an affinity site, research the game, discuss it and write about it. They are using vocabulary and concepts of physics even though the world they play in; such as, World of Warcraft; in order to get better at the game—the game is only half of what they are doing then.

Running ideas through the mind simulations of images, actions and experiences (goals and dialogue), that the words refer to is what helps them to learn. We have handed the manuals to students without the games. Bring the activities, problem–solving, surmise new possibilities, live in the worlds of chemistry and algebra that are connected to the books. The text/world is not understood by abstract generalities. “

Week 9 Initial Post–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?

Week Nine Initial Post November 2016

Aleta May

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:

playful-learning-an-integrated-design-framework

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.

References

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).

 

 

 

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:

Matt,

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: http://www.neok12.com/Marine-Animals.htm

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: https://storify.com

Larissa,

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: http://www.legacyproject.org/guides/dreamtheme.html

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

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=41&v=tyJrRfgf-1M

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

Metaphores—

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. (http://www.legacyproject.org/activities/readinglist.pdf)

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.

Anthony,

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.

Sara,

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:  http://openingpaths.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Gamification-Players-Sheet.pdf

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.

Gerald,

You wrote:

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

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/epic-fail-win-gamifying-learning-liz-kolb

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.

GradeCraft: https://www.gradecraft.com

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: http://rezzly.com 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: https://thevirtuallocker.com 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.

chart-2

chart-2

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

“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). http://leveluptechquest.wikispaces.com/Graphics

“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:

http://www.q2l.org

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

Kahoot.it 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

http://www.microoyun.com/games/play/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. http://wowinschool.pbworks.com/w/page/5268731/FrontPage

(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.

References

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). www.eddigest.com

Game–Master of the Secret Sea  http://www.microoyun.com/games/play/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:

     https://leveluptechquest.wikispaces.com/Gamification

     https://www.good.is/articles/how-gaming-is-changing-the-classroom

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.

http://mrsbettyswiston.weebly.com/uploads/2/3/0/3/23036434/voyageofthefrognovelunit.pdf

 Image of Sailboat in the Open Sea: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=voyage+of+the+frog+paulsen+survival+on+the+sea&view=detailv2&&id=F9800F742C00BD1B996CCCA465DEAB9CD5C61B29&selectedIndex=0&ccid=lthc5nwm&simid=608022711538814056&thid=OIP.M96d85ce67c26163053fedbff668b79afo0&ajaxhist=0

 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:

Kate,

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.

Gerald,

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.

Heather,

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.

Genevieve,

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:

Gerald,

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. . .

Theresa,

(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.

Ali,

(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

~~Play

~~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 https://youtu.be/atMlkVgzx-Y

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.