Why I Should Try Gaming Dynamics with My Students

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Gamification increases engagement and student motivation. 97% of students game whether on a computer, tablet, gaming console, phone, or handheld device. How can teachers compete with the hyper engaged environment of games? Schools will have to compete with and leverage gaming dynamics to simulate  hyper engagement that students feel while playing games. If technology is an obstacle to bringing in game based learning (GBL) for students, there are dynamics that can be leveraged.

Why? If engagement is not enough, game based learning presents players with situations in which they have to infer, think critically, problem-solve, collaborate,and synthesize. Games are about engaging the player in a satisfying experience.. Below are gaming dynamics that can be incorporated into the classroom without using technology.


Power up- This is a tool or skill that is awarded that improves the ability of the player. Maybe the student is awarded a calculator, computer, or the key to a map. 

Leveling up- If you are not proficient, you do not go to the next level. We have been doing this in schools fore

ver but not in an engaging way.  Gradual and scaffolds new learning, leveling is about 

Badges- Students earn points (maybe on assignments, for consistent attendance, participation, asking good questions, etc) These points earn badges once mastery or proficiency is achieved. Different badges can represent different things; for example, critical thinker, problem solver, innovator, etc. represent different skills you are looking for in your students. These should be visible to students like a leader board.

Progress Bar/Countdown- Simple tool to use to give students motivation to complete tasks. If there is a project or unit with multiple steps, have students fill out a progress bar and display that in the classroom. They can manage their own bars for management purposes. A countdown acts in the same ways only driven by time (4 days until essay is due.)

Google Drive forms includes a status bar option
Progress Bar Timer (Google extension)

Challenges/Quests- This can be a class project, a collaborative presentation, the designing of a webpage. It can be any activity that involves reaching a final, tangible goal. Students thrive on challenges and when they begin to figure out difficult problems, engagement goes up.

For more, a great slide show on gaming dynamics and what makes a good game.


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