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

The leaderboard is a display of both academic and behavioral progress for my students. The results are tabulated separately in the academic and behavioral games. In the academic game, the focus is on the experience points earned by students in academic activities. Experience points in the academic game are only awarded to students once they have mastered an activity. Once they have mastered the activity, points are added to the leaderboard. We review the academic leaderboard and recognize individuals who have made it to the top or who have made significant progress in the class. For the leaderboard in the behavior game, I use Classcraft to display students' points. This display can be sorted by experience points, health points, or action points depending on what is the required view. From my experience, the two leaderboards help steer a cooperative sense of competition among a lot of my students. It also motivates them to continue learning and sharing. Although much of this is external motivation at the beginning of the year, I see a shift towards internal motivation in regards to behavior and academic progress as the year continues. Students are much more willing to learn for learning's sake instead of a prize or written/verbal recognition as they become more accustomed to these behavior and academic qualities. The academic leaderboard displays the rankings of students in all three of my earth science classes. The behavior game on Classcraft is solely based on the students in that particular period.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Modified Flex Model with Gamification
Motivating students to improve behavior and engage in self-directed learning

After five years of traditional teaching, I broke away from direct instruction and moved into a self-paced, blended-gamified classroom. My students flexibly move through the curriculum while self-directing and managing their learning. This is done through the use of Classcraft, an online education gaming software, and our classroom game “Isle of Nosredna.” The addition of game elements into my classroom has helped my students stay on track and motivated as they progress through the science curriculum.

Number of Students: ~20 students/period

Number of Adults: one teacher

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 51 minutes

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Haiku Learning (LMS); Classcraft; Google Classroom; Doctopus (Add-on in Google Sheets connected to Google Classroom); Educreations; Flipboard; Symbaloo; Kidblog; ThingLink; Socrative; Kahoot!

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: iPads (1:1); SMARTboard; Apple TV

Key Features: competency-based; student agency; project-based; gamification; innovative use of space

 
Learning Apps
Jessi's Digital Content and Tech Tools
Motivating students to improve behavior and engage in self-directed learning

There are an infinite number of digital content providers and tech tools and education programs a blended teacher can choose to use in her classroom. Check out how and why Jessi uses specific digital content and ed tech tools!

 
 
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