Academic Culture

Gamification

Motivating students to improve behavior and engage in self-directed learning

Gamification is the process of adding game elements to an environment that is not traditionally a game. I use Gamification as a strategy in my blended learning classroom to motivate my ninth grade students to engage in the curriculum and to buy in to my social and behavioral expectations--all while keeping learning fun! We have two games going on in our classroom---our academic game and our behavioral game. Our academic game is based around the storyline of the Isle of Nosredna and features an island-based theme with a leaderboard ranking based on students' engagement in our self-paced learning environment. Our behavioral game, using the Classcraft online tool, is based on health points, experience points, battles, and powers. Students work as teams to keep each other "alive" and progressing in both games.  

Strategy Resources (3)
Teacher In Action
 
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This screencast demonstrates how I use Classcraft events to add an element of chance to our behavioral game. The random events can be positive or negative, giving students XP or HP as a result. The event can be anything you choose. One event that I particularly enjoy is when my entire class must use non-verbal communication the entire class period.
Article
 
 
The first blog post discusses the early excitement within the classroom as game elements were introduced to my students. The second blog post reflects on the elements of gamification I have implemented in my classroom, the three things I've noticed after implementation, and the differences between my behavioral and academic games.
Teacher In Action
 
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This screencast demonstrates how I use Classcraft events to add an element of chance to our behavioral game. The random events can be positive or negative, giving students XP or HP as a result. The event can be anything you choose. One event that I particularly enjoy is when my entire class must use non-verbal communication the entire class period.
Article
 
 
The first blog post discusses the early excitement within the classroom as game elements were introduced to my students. The second blog post reflects on the elements of gamification I have implemented in my classroom, the three things I've noticed after implementation, and the differences between my behavioral and academic games.
Jessica Anderson
Powell County High School
Deer Lodge, MT


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Ninth grade
Similar Strategies
Academic Culture
Classcraft
Motivating students to improve behavior and engage in self-directed learning

Classcraft is team-based, role-play gamification tool that I use for classroom management. It focuses students to self-manage their learning, stay on task, and positively collaborate with their peers. When students are seen positively collaborating, working hard, or helping another student, they earn "experience points" (XP), which allow them to "level-up" and gain "powers" (ability to buy privileges in class). However, if they are distracting other students, not following classroom rules, or negatively impacting the learning of themselves or peers they are deducted health points (HP). If they lose all of their HP, they "fail in battle," which means that a random student-generated consequence is then assigned to the student. The fall in battle causes each student on that individual's team to lose HP and face greater risk of also falling in battle. The sequence continues until either all teammates fall to battle or someone on the team has enough HP to survive. Besides HP, students earn 4 action points (AP) every day. Action points allow students to purchase privileges if they have "learned" a power. The AP allow students to ask the Game Master if a question is correct on a quiz, to automatically advance within a level, or to "teleport" to their locker or the bathroom. AP, HP, and XP can all be impacted by the "Daily Event." The Daily Event is a random event that impacts the game in a positive or negative manner. For instance, the event may give the person with the least experience points 200 XP in the game or it may deduct 15 HP from a random player. We never know what will happen, which is what makes the game so interesting to most students. After using the game for nearly two school years, I have seen my students interacting more positively with one another and accomplishing more in class. It has been an awesome addition to our classroom culture and very easy to implement!

 
Small-Group Instruction
Guided Microscope Investigations
Motivating students to improve behavior and engage in self-directed learning

Guided Microscope Investigations are investigations done by two students. The student pairings are usually chosen by the students or made by me as a result of the students’ progress on their current level. During these investigations, students examine slides they've created during labs. They work as a team to complete a task related to the content being covered in class. Students often record what they see in the microscope using Educreations, an app on the iPad. As a result of having a blended classroom where students progress in a self-paced way, I’m able to provide this one-on-one guided instruction without having to worry about what the rest of the class is or should be doing. 

 
Learning Apps
QR Codes for Labs
Motivating students to improve behavior and engage in self-directed learning

QR codes are simple and easy to make codes that allow classroom resources, like videos, websites, and assignments to be accessed with little effort. These codes can be made easily using the Chrome extension goo.gl URL shortener or a website like qrstuff.com. They can be displayed on an interactive whiteboard, printed on an assignment, or printed and taped to a wall at a station or on a lab desk. QR codes take away the barrier of typing in long URLs or shortened website links, and get students to resources quickly.  

 
 
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