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

The storyline of our academic game gives meaning to the students' presence in the game. It enhances the importance of the curriculum and gives students a goal to work toward. The theme our storyline is based around is a deserted island. In the game, students are elite plane crash survivors (PCSs) who must learn to live on the island after not being rescued. Throughout the levels, students are asked to build fire, build shelter, find food, filter water, and survive unexpected storms. By mastering each level, students complete the tasks and move onto the next scenario in the game. 

 
Feedback Systems
Grade Contracts
Motivating students to improve behavior and engage in self-directed learning

Grade Contracts are a strategy I use to assess my students' progress towards mastery of defined sets of content and skill objectives and to provide feedback on their development at the end of each level in my blended learning class. Students review the mastery requirements for each level and decide whether they will pursue an "A," "B," "C," or "D" contract; in so doing, they understand and commit to what they must know and be able to do in order to earn the letter grade of the contracts they have chosen. Grade Contracts eliminate the superficiality of number grades on individual assignments and focus my students' attention on authentic demonstrations of mastery over time. This strategy also empowers my students to challenge themselves and to monitor and take responsibility for their own learning, which is an essential mindset shift in my largely self-paced class.  

 
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. 

 
 
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