Educational Trends

Gamify Your Classroom

Take learning to the next level in your classroom by gamifying some of the components that happen there. Find out how to get started in this short post.

Are you interested in making your class more engaging for students? Why not gamify your class? In a previous Lunch and Learn webinar, I shared some gamification resources, tips, and tricks. In case you missed that episode, here are some ideas.

As you know, gamification is the use of gaming principles to get students involved, engaged, and excited about learning. It consists of adding game elements to a non-game situation and introduces concepts like badges, levels, achievements, and game points to the classroom. Students are rewarded with these when they succeed. By introducing a system of rewards without harsh penalties, students are not afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and fail. By removing their fear of failure, we encourage them to learn.

Gamification Resources

  • Brainscape Brainscape is a web-based platform that is designed to help students study smarter. The program creates flashcards and changes the pattern based on what students know and what they seem to be struggling with.
  • BreakoutEDUBreakoutEDU creates engaging learning games for people of all ages. Games (Breakouts) teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem solve. You create the perfect breakout for your students that includes an emphasis on the content they are learning! Learn more about this concept in this previous blog post.
  • Class Craft Class Craft is a free online, education role-playing game that teachers and students play together in the classroom. Students can level up, work in teams, and earn powers that have real-world consequences. It provides a layer around any existing curriculum in order to transform the way students learn.
  • Class Dojo Class Dojo turns your class into a game of rewards and instant feedback. It is a classroom management tool to help teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It improves specific student behaviors and helps engagement by issuing awards and recording real-time feedback.
  • DuoLingo – DuoLingo is a massive online web platform designed to help students learn a given language online. Beginners start out with basic, simple sentences from the web, while advanced users receive more complex sentences. As a student progresses, so does the complexity of the sentences he is asked to translate. Skill points are earned as students progress through lessons.
  • Ribbon HeroRibbon Hero is an add-in game, available as a free Microsoft download, to help educate users of Office 2007 and 2010 on how to use the tools available in the ribbon interface. Once installed, the game can easily be initiated from any of the key Office programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Once in the game, the user is presented with challenges which can yield points if completed.
  • 3D Game Lab 3D Game Lab is a gamified content creation and student tracking platform where teachers can design and share quests and badges to create personalized learning for their students. Students “level up” through the curriculum, choose quests they want to play, and earn experience points, badges, and awards.

 

Ideas to Gamify Your Classroom

  • Foster collaboration – Present the classroom syllabus as a form of a game and have students create classroom goals and rules with you.
  • Provide instant feedback – In a game setting, feedback is essential for students to know how they are doing in the game. If a student makes a choice in a game, it is usually known immediately if that choice was the right one.
  • Make progress visible – Progress bars and levels in games allow students to set goals for themselves and celebrate success once achieving them.
  • Create challenges instead of homework – In games, students are constantly required to meet challenges, such as identify patterns or break codes. The same element can be applied to homework and projects in a fun, yet challenging way.
  • Give students choice and a voice – Games often give students various choices. Instead of simply issuing a test, you can allow students to take different paths to demonstrate their understanding of the material.
  • Offer badges and rewards – Badges or other rewards are a good way of recognizing student achievement and giving students an incentive to continue reaching their goals.
  • Allow for second chances – When a challenge is failed in a game, students are able to learn from their mistakes and try again.

 

Try using one of the resources and ideas above to enhance the overall learning experience of your students. Or, if you’d prefer to learn more about gamification, take a look at this infographic. Also, don’t forget to join us for our upcoming Lunch and Learn webinars. Register here today!

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About the author

Diana Benner

Director of Professional Development at TCEA
Diana specializes in leadership development and all things Google. She has served as an instructional technologist, instructional designer, and an online learning specialist, supporting districts all over Texas and in state government.
Diana earned Masters of Education in Educational Technology from Texas State University – San Marcos. She also holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Spanish and the other in Political Science, from Texas State.

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