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Gamification Diaries 3: Grace Takes Over- 43

Episode Overview

In this episode of Board Gaming with Education, Dustin sits down and talks with Grace Withmory about gamifying her curriculum. If you listen to our Gamification Diaries mini-series you will learn about the process Dustin and Grace used to gamify a high school English language classroom. In this episode, Dustin discusses his design choices in creating the system and Grace and Dustin both discuss the successes and challenges of implementing the system in Grace’s classroom.

Become a playtester before we fill up! Only 20 spots for the first round. You will need to fill out this Google Form.

Read more about the episode and take a look at the games they talk about in this episode below.

Our new Facebook Group for Educators: Games-based Learning, Gamification, and Games in Education

Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the wonderful contribution of their song “8-bit Heaven” for our sponsorship segment. This song can be found in full on this music archive.

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Episode Topics

Amped Up Learning- 0:31

Amped Up Learning, a teacher owned company, that strives to make
learning fun, engaging and competitive with their unique games and
teacher-created lessons.

Check out their game FRECK!- A new tabletop card game AND classroom resource aimed at teaching your students key social studies vocabulary in an engaging, competitive & creative way. Easy-to-learn game steps, quick-hitting clues & dynamic gameplay make FRECK! a must-have for every history classroom.

Dustin talks with Gregg Williams from Amped Up Learning. Be sure to listen in for the full interview, or read a concise version of the interview below.

The Gamification Kit- 1:43

Dustin talks with Grace about day 3 of using a gamification system in Grace’s classroom. Be sure to listen in for the full discussion, or read a concise version of the discussion below. You will also find some of the same resources Dustin and Grace used!

Grace Takes Over: Grace gives her insights about using the gamification kit in her classroom. The kit allows students to create characters that gain experience points through leveling up, earning achievements, and completing tasks. The kit helps to reinforce positive behavior, develop class culture, and encourage participation.

Is it Automated?: Dustin was not in Grace’s class for the last few weeks. Grace ran the system on her own. Dustin asks Grace if you take “Dustin” out of the equation is it possible for a teacher to implement this system in their class. The handbook will soon be finalized and you will be able to implement this system. We are looking for “playtesters.” If you are interested, you can complete this Google Form. We are limiting it to 20 playtesters. So, be sure to fill out the form as soon as possible!

The biggest challenge for Grace was developing the adventure stories students participated in.

RPG Stories and Themes: Throughout the quarter/system/unit students traverse through an adventure. This gives meaning to their characters and helps to develop a collaborative spirit. The gamification kit will come with a theme and storyline. The themes and stories are being finalized. In Grace’s class, we used an Interdimensional travel device as the theme. This allowed for a lot of freedom and flexibility in the story. You can check out Gamification Diaries 2 to learn more about the start of our story.

Grace talks about the storyline she continued, and how her students end up in a jail cell with a dog. Her students consider eating them?! How does it end? Be sure to listen in to find out!

Classroom Culture: Grace talks about her experience with her students and during their adventure. Throughout the adventure, the students are required to collaborate and communicate with each other. Certain student characters helped the group get through various parts of different scenarios. This added weight and responsibility to each individual student. It gave each student in her class a sense of ownership in the class.

Student Engagement: Grace’s students loved earning EXP in class. It allows them to receive recognization for their work as they compete to be the player with the most EXP. The students also love being able to unlock different items in class to use as special abilities like turning in work a day late.

Random Battle Days: At the beginning of class students participate in a random battle. If a student wants to enter the battle the teacher will take the character cards of those students and randomly shuffle them. Then the teacher will draw, at random, two cards to compete in the battle. They must answer a question correctly to earn the EXP.

Extrinsic versus Intrinsic Motivation: As teachers, we want to encourage engagement and motivation. It is important we use this gamification kit as a way to move towards intrinsic motivations of relatedness, autonomy, and competence. Some research has shown that extrinsic motivation can lead to a reduction in intrinsic motivation through the overjustification effect.

The system is also meant to highlight positive reinforcement. It is not connected to a student’s grade. So, it is important that all students have an opportunity to earn EXP through their individual talents.

Better Listening Skills?: The old expression, “correlation doesn’t imply causation” should always ring true, Grace saw her students’ listening abilities increase this quarter. Can we blame the RPG adventures? They definitely developed their listening abilities, but we cannot be sure they actually were responsible for their listening scores.

Will Grace use it Next Quarter?: Grace ends the episode by saying how much her student-teacher relationship has grown. So, will she use it next quarter? Be sure to tune in next week to find out!

Finally, check back soon for the final part to the mini-series “Gamification Diaries!”

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