Week 8 679

Week Eight Essential Question: Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them?

Choosing a theme is the first step in gamification and will set the tone for the lesson, unit, or even the year ahead. Theme is the frame of your story, and it provides the backdrop for activities, items, badges, and challenges (Matera, 2012).

This will be your unit that you want to study with your class.

The setting is where all parts of the story come together and the players get specific details about the world. Setting is one part location and two parts description as we create a world that awakens the imagination (Matera, 2012).

After you have your theme and setting you will need characters. Characters drive the game. They are what your students become— the heroes they cheer on and the villains from which they run (Matera, 2012).

Every good story needs some action or conflict. You can have students create stories about a theme that you are exploring. Students can write a paper using theme, setting, character, and action or conflict. I think some students would really enjoy creating their own story.

Siring (2012) said, “Gamification at the basic level involves concepts of games to motivate and engage our audience.” He goes on to say that we need to understand that gamification is not about gaming but, about understanding the tools and motivators we see in games and bringing those in the classroom to engage students.

Some other concepts that Matera talks about would also be useful in the classroom.  I like how he talked about having each student type out a standard résumé that lists their strengths as well as their areas for growth— but they don’t put their name on it. Leaders then would look at the list and choose their teams by their strengths. I think this is a wonderful idea, because it would replace students being picked because they are friends or popular with them being picked on the basis of what they can do.  Another good concept that I liked is when students formed TAC or Teach, Advise, Coach models. I think this would be a great motivator so students are not missing any work. I like how he set up a challenge between the different classes. I think that would motivate some students. I think using badges may be a great idea as well but would need to learn how to make them.

There is a lot that I still need to learn about game mechanics. Some of the wording is new to me since I do not play games. I think starting easy with stories and badges would be a great start and then, when I feel more comfortable with these concepts, adding more to the classroom. I think when I do students will be motivated and excited to learn and be in my class. Not only will they be learning but I will be as well.


Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Siering, G. (2012). Gamification: Using Game-like Elements to Motivate and Engage Students. Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://citl.indiana.edu/news/newsStories/dir-mar2012.php.


6 thoughts on “Week 8 679

  1. Theresa- What a great idea having students write resumes, and “apply”, and then the leaders choose base on their strengths and how they can contribute to the team. That would be great for secondary classrooms, and a great way to practice writing resumes. I am new to gaming as well. I think you’re right that choosing a theme, and then focusing on one thing at a time (like badges), until we feel comfortable and then adding another game mechanic, will make a smooth gaming experience for yourself and the students.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Theresa,
    I found that creating a story helped me get ideas flowing. I came up with the theme and challenges after I had an idea for a story I liked.

    You asked about games to use in the classroom, a really easy review game is to break the class into groups of 4 and have them take out one piece of blank paper per group. Ask a review question. One person in the group (with input from the others if necessary) writes the answer on the paper. When the group is done they raise their hands. A point is given to the fastest group with the right answer. The writer rotates with each question asked.

    When I taught Spanish my students LOVED Pictionary and Jeopardy. I have some tips on how to manage those games and minimize prep, if you’re (or anybody else is) interested I’ll type it up.


  3. Thanks for sharing what Matera said about using a leaderboard without actual names on it. This would be a great way to keep students from feeling bad about their placement on the leaderboad, plus I also like the idea of the leaders picking their teammates based on their skills instead of their names. The leaderboad was something I was planning on using, but these ideas will make it even more useful in my classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you about starting slow with game mechanics and badges. I have been thinking about how will I give the badges. Will I actually create paper/sticker badges or will they be digital. If I have digital badges how will they be managed. What are thinking for badges? I found this cool YouTube video, the teacher uses Pokemon as his theme and he shares his badges on his blog. https://youtu.be/z-78rvo8pOw

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thinking paper/sticker badges would be easier. That is a great video! How do they come up with things like this? it is so creative! I am not sure that I would be able to create anything like this. Kids would love this!


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