Gamification of the Classroom


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A Powerpoint Presentation accompanying a talk I gave at Hack The Classroom, Loyola Marymount University, September 28, 2013.

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  • Left Brain vs Right Brain DrivesIn this Octagon, The Core Drives on the right are considered right brain drives, being more about creativity, self-expression, and social aspects.The Core Drives on the left are considered left brain drives, being more about logic, calculations, and ownership.White Hat vs Black Hat GamificationThe top Core Drives in this Octagon are considered very positive motivations, while the bottom Core Drives are considered more negative motivations.If something is addicting because it lets you express your creativity, makes you feel successful through skill mastery, and gives you a higher sense of meaning, that’s a very positive result of being addicted.On the other hand, if something is addictive because you don’t know what will happen next and you HAVE to find out, you are constantly in fear of losing something, or you think about it all day simply because there are things you can’t have, then it is definitely from the Dark Side of the force of Gamification.Keep in mind that just because something is Black Hat doesn’t mean it’s bad – these are just motivators – and they can be used for productive and healthy results or for evil and manipulation. Gamification techniques simply control the “motivation” to do something but not the purpose of the activity. I personally would LOVE to get addicted to exercising and eating carrots.A good Gamification expert will try to implement all 8 Core Drives on a positive and productive activity so that everyone ends up happier and healthier.
  • This is the Core Drive where a player believes that he is doing something greater than himself or he was “chosen” to play. An symptom of this is a player that devotes a lot of his time to maintaining a forum or helping to create things for the entire community (think Wikipedia or Open Source projects). This also comes into play when someone has “Beginner’s Luck” – an effect where people believe they have some type of gift that others don’t or believe they were “lucky” to get that amazing sword at the very beginning of the game.
  • This is when users are addicted to a creative process where they have to repeatedly figure things out and try different combinations. People not only need ways to express their creativity, but they need to be able to see the results of their creativity, receive feedback, and respond in turn. This is why playing with Legos and painting are fun in-and-of themselves and often become Evergreen Mechanics (a good state for Gamification).
  • This drive incorporates all the social elements that drive people – including: mentorship, acceptance, social responses, companionship, as well as competition and envy. When you see a friend that is amazing at some skill or owns something extraordinary, you become driven to reach the same level. Also, it includes the drive we have to draw closer to people, places, or events that we can relate to.
  • Generally, this is a harmless drive of wanting to find out what actually happens. Many people watch movies or read novels solely because of this drive. This drive is the primary factor behind Gambling addiction. Researchers have shown that people irrationally want to see what’s next if there is a chance of a positive outcome – even when they know it will most likely be a negative.
  • This drive is based upon the avoidance of something negative happening. On a small scale, it could be to avoid losing previous work. On a larger scale, it could be to avoid admitting that everything you did up to this point was useless because you are now quitting.
  • This is the drive of wanting something because you can’t have it. Many games have Appointment Dynamics within them (come back 2 hours later to get your stuff) – the fact that people can’t get something NOW motivates them to think about it all day long. In the early days of Twitter, the service kept going down due to bad infrastructure. However, BECAUSE people couldn’t use Twitter when they wanted to, they wanted to use it even more. When it came back up they rushed to tweet before it went back down.
  • This is the drive of wanting something because you can’t have it. Many games have Appointment Dynamics within them (come back 2 hours later to get your stuff) – the fact that people can’t get something NOW motivates them to think about it all day long. In the early days of Twitter, the service kept going down due to bad infrastructure. However, BECAUSE people couldn’t use Twitter when they wanted to, they wanted to use it even more. When it came back up they rushed to tweet before it went back down.
  • This is the internal drive of making progress, developing skills, and eventually overcoming challenges. The word “challenge” here is very important as a badge or trophy without a challenge is not meaningful at all.
  • Gamification of the Classroom

    1. 1. David Mullich @David_Mullich Hack The Classroom Loyola Marymount University September 28, 2013
    2. 2. About Me
    3. 3. Gamification The use of game design techniques in non-game activities (e.g., work, exercise, education, etc.) to improve engagement, participation, and learning.
    4. 4. Examples of Gamification
    5. 5. The Core Drives of Gamification  Meaning  Empowerment  Social Influence  Unpredictability  Avoidance  Scarcity  Ownership  Accomplishment WHITE HAT BLACK HAT LEFT BRAIN RIGHT BRAIN Yu-Kai Chou
    6. 6. Epic Meaning and Calling  Fill the room with visuals that focus on the primary subject or provide inspiration and encouragement  Create a Student Hall of Fame  Provide real-life examples  Give students quests or challenges instead of assignments  Allow for early successes or award “free” extra credit in ways that make students feel special  Participate in projects that assist a charity  Create a subject-themed “Wikipedia” that is maintained across many classes Use the narrative effect of storytelling and motivate students by making them feel engaged in something bigger than themselves.
    7. 7. Empowerment and Creativity  Create an ala carte menu of course projects and assignments  Reward success by unlocking a more difficult challenge  Reward risk-taking, creativity, experimentation and creativity  Give students the tools to design and build what you hadn’t thought of  Turn your classroom into an Etch-A-Sketch  Make your classroom interactive Make objectives clear, and offer students multiple ways to accomplish them. Allow kids to be creators of their own knowledge, with the teacher becoming an assistant to the child’s learning journey.
    8. 8. Social Influence  Collaborate with others to achieve goals  Engage students in competitions  Use project-based learning where students design the entire process from brainstorming to publishing.  Put students works on public display  Create assignments designed to go viral  Have ahead of pace students mentor below pace ones Use both collaboration and competition between students, encouraging teamwork and preparing them for real-life situations.
    9. 9. More on Teams  Form Mixed Ability Groups Age / Major / Achievement / Diversity  Help Groups Bond into Teams Create a Team Flag / Build Trust / Listen and Participate  Tinker with Struggling Groups Ask If They Need Help / Teach Active Listening  Instill Competitive Unity Earn Bonus Points For Unity / Create A Reason to Win Students can participate in teams to enhance learning, Healthy teams challenge each other, spurring each other on to deeper learning.
    10. 10. Curiosity and Unpredictability  Tease or preview the content without giving the whole story  Give out assignments by lottery  Give out unexpected rewards  Use humor and suspense Introduce an element of chance into the curriculum. As the instructor, you are in charge of this designed experience and chance doesn’t have to be random.
    11. 11. Loss and Avoidance  Trophies Given To New Winner  Lost Progress  Lose Turn / Grounded  Sunk Cost Tragedy  Scarlet Letter / Dunce Cap  Guilting  Coupons with Expiration Dates Students must work to avoid losing something they have gained or an unpleasant result. This “Black Hat” technique must be done with humor or in a game context so that it is not demoralizing or humiliating.
    12. 12. Scarcity and Impatience  Give a reward to the first 5 students who complete an assignment  Create a “Rewards Card” with special privileges given to students who have earned a required amount of points  Students must make appointments or check in at fixed intervals to receive new challenges, missions or announcements  Students must wait a minimum amount of time before they can try a challenge or assignment again  Create a sense of urgency or immediacy in completing an assignment  Tackle challenges in a limited amount of time These techniques emphasize the human desire to strive and compete for things that seem unavailable in quantity.
    13. 13. Ownership and Possession  Build Items from Scratch  Complete Collection Sets  Recruit Other Students to their Project  “Purchase” Items to Customize Their Workspace  Create Their Own Avatars that Appear on Class Bulletin Boards Give students malleable learning tools and resources that they can customize, or “upgrade” to fit their approach to learning.
    14. 14. Development and Accomplishment  Add a progress bar to online tests  Break large assignments into smaller deliverables that can be mastered  Turn grades into achievements  Award experience points, badges and even titles to recognize achievement  “Level up” to unlock content  Post a leaderboard of high achievers Design learning experiences so that students see visible progress on a daily basis.
    15. 15. Badges For Your Classroom Pick Some Targets  Specific Targets  Random Targets  Extraordinary Targets Create Badges  Make Them Yourself  Use Stickers 
    16. 16.  Classroom management site to help gamify your classroom  Activities, badges, points, and leadership boards to motivate and engage students  Pre-built templates for customizable lessons  Free for teachers with up to 50 students
    17. 17.  Social networking site for classrooms  Put students into groups in which they can socialize with each other  Post questions to the group during specific hours  Post interesting articles or video clips and have students respond by posting comments  Post quizzes and award the top score a badge  Create a scavenger hunt by having students complete tasks (send a post, reply to a poll, collect polls, find images)  Sign up for free
    18. 18. Play.annenberginnovationlab. org  Create canvases for self-expression and learning  Circulate content to encourage shared knowledge networks  Connect with other learners of shared interests  Collaborate to foster co-learning and collective intelligence  Sign up now to become a beta tester
    19. 19. Final Points  Mentoring is at the heart of gamification  Emphasize skills and knowledge over information  Design with iteration in mind: one skill builds on the next, and students need it all to succeed  Call upon students to perform their way to competence  Create a plan for constant and frequent feedback  Make space work in your favor  Gamification is not a quick fix  Adding gamification elements can be fun!
    20. 20. Thank You! Session Survey My Newsletter David Mullich @David_Mullich