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Gamification Diaries 4: The Final Episode

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.

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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- 2:34

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- 3:41

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!

Just tuning into the Gamification Series? Check out Episodes 1, 2, and 3:

Gamification Diaries 1: Onboarding and Day 1 and Day 2- 41

Gamification Diaries 2: Day 3- 42

Gamification Diaries 3: Grace Takes Over- 43

Creativity: Grace talks about how she has seen some creativity within her students. As a part of the system, students create their characters and answer specific questions about their character and create a backstory. Grace enjoyed watching her students play their characters and discover their motivations in the story.

Incorporating Learning Objectives into the RPG Story: As a part of the RPG adventure, Dustin and Grace would integrate learning objectives into the story. For example, in one of Grace’s stories they were stuck on an island, with only one empty bottle, some paper, and a pen. She asked students to write an introductory paragraph to ask someone to come and rescue them. They had to include their hook, background information, and thesis statement. Since they only had one bottle, they had to decide which message should be sent.

Can anyone do it?: This was Grace’s first time implementing something like this in her class and she had some doubts. She was initially nervous to use the system in her class, but quickly found out that it can nicely be added onto what she was already doing in class, with several added benefits: developing class culture, encouraging class engagement, developings the student-teacher relationship, and motivating students.

Is the Gamification Kit ready and easy for any teacher to implement?: There is some preparation required for the kit. Grace had to have the EXP cards printed out (this final kit will come with the required cards). Someone also needs to enter the EXP into the system (the tracking system is still being finalized). Grace suggested having a student do something like this. She also suggests being proactive in doing it!

Her initial worry was implementing the RPG story, especially since students control where the group goes in the RPG story. She soon realized, as the game master, that she could easily direct the flow the adventure.

Dustin has some work to do: Dustin is continuously updating the handbook and storylines. The kit will consist of multiple storylines and themes. It will include pre-made storylines that teachers can easily adapt to their classrooms.

Grace’s Execution: Grace suggests to create clear guidelines for what students can earn EXP for. Also, she suggests that items should have been better incorporated in her class culture. She realized there were only 2 or 3 items out of the 6 that students would choose to unlock.

She also suggests that EXP is entered routinely. This is also very important for students as well. It is important they see the feedback (the EXP) from their positive behavior.

Suggestions for the System: Grace suggests a change to the excel tracking system for student EXP. This is one of the major challenges of the gamification system. The tracking system can be better streamlined.

Random Battles (students volunteer to participate and are randomly chosen to compete for EXP, check out Episode 3 to learn more: Gamification Diaries 3: Grace Takes Over- 43)have not always been successful in her class. She suggested using this as a way to tie it into the story.

How much work is it?: The Gamification Kit will come with all the materials and handbook necessary to implement it into a learning environment. Teachers will need to track EXP, so that students can always know how much EXP they have.

Grace goes on to say that some work will be involved in implementing the system by integrating learning objectives into the story. She explains this can be as simple as developing an activity that the students need to complete.

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.

Will Grace use it Next Quarter?: Grace plans to use the system next quarter! The amount of engagement, class culture, relationship building, and enjoyment that comes out of using the system far outweighs the amount of time that the kit requires to implement.

As soon as Grace started talking about the new quarter, students were asking about the gamification system. Grace was happy to let her students know that she will be doing it again.

Be sure to check out the full series!

Gamification Diaries 1: Onboarding and Day 1 and Day 2- 41

Gamification Diaries 2: Day 3- 42

Gamification Diaries 3: Grace Takes Over- 43

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