Over the past few years I have read a lot about gamification. It seemed like every industry was looking at gamification as a way to increase results and foster a stronger commitment from participants, customers and students. After all video games were extremely addictive for adults and children alike, so why not extract some clues as to why. I have personally used gamification techniques to motivate myself and friends towards achieving goals in health, fitness and education. It is fun earning badges or points on a scoreboard and somehow it creates such a great feeling of accomplishment!
Gamification is also a great technique to be applied in classrooms, with young minds, to engage them and motivate them. Using games in teaching awakens a spirit of competitiveness in children as well as cooperation, rewards and challenges. Here are the top practical tips for gamifying your classroom:
1. Make progress a visual experience.
You can create and put up a board with the progress of students in different areas, assigning colors to each task and awarding badges to students who at different levels for their accomplishments. Make it fun and colorful! Before you know it, the students will be motivating each other to get that coveted badge on the wall.
2. Ask students to co-design the achievement/reward system
By involving the students in the making of a new visual tracking system, you will get a much stronger buy in and commitment.
3. Create challenges rather than assign homework
Similar to a gaming environment, teachers can help students see homework and assignments in a completely different light. Rather than assign homework, you can ask your students to meet certain challenges and present homework in a fun way. Of course, students can earn badges and points or other rewards for meeting the challenges successfully.
4. Practice makes perfect
In a gamified classroom, teachers need to be ready to encourage students to learn new skills and not just the information being taught. Part of that comes from students learning from mistakes and failures where they are seen as opportunities to put into practice what students learned and further improve their results.
There you have it! This is far from a comprehensive list of reasons and ways you can start gamifying your classroom but I hope it gets you started. Share with us if you tried fun gamification techniques in your classroom.
Interesting thoughts, thanks for sharing your experience Ed! Gamification techniques are excellent and teachers should pay more attention to them. I'd like to recommend you a relevant article, I've personally tried techniques mentioned there in my classroom: https://unplag.com/blog/gamification-in-the-classroom/, and I hope you'll find them useful too.
Great to hear about your post! I expect Gamificaton is definitely a great way to motivate the students in the classroom! I am relieved to see a practical & scientifically based response to the Gamification course. It is very inspiring to get them going and let the survey what there is out there with the assigned homework given! Ed Vectus - is awesome and fits in very well with Gamification. That a Gamification classroom I can offer my students choice, purpose and the opportunity for mastery so they get quite/completely motivated!