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.