Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gamification of the classroom

I have been thinking about this concept for months now. I have read many posts about why you should do it and why you shouldn't do it. In the end, I concluded that I want to gamify my class.

Leaderboards, leveling up, badges, achievements, virtual goods, points system, coupons, locked stuff, progress bar, etc. I don't want to sugarcoat it so much that the learning is lost; I just want it to be gamified (not just the traditional carrot and stick of grades).

I teach "Game Development," so, it only fits that the class' content is delivered via a gamification system. How do I do that? It would be great if Edmodo (or another awesome LMS) had gamification built in. I wish @Edmodo would have an API, so I could (possibly) create a plugin. Alice Leung's blog talks about using Edmodo's current features (or lack there of) along with OneNote to gamify a science unit lesson. That was a pretty cool read.

What does "gamification of my class" mean? I am not 100% sure.

But, I do know that I have some questions I want to get answered.
  1. Can I have leaderboards? - if so, how? - It would have to be anonymous, because showing grades is illegal! Can I show points or levels or badges???
  2. How could virtual goods be brought in?
  3. Would badges be worthwhile?
  4. etc...

Earlier today, I watched @gzicherm's Google Techtalk "Mastering Gamification" video. During the Q&A period at the end, a audience member asked if gamifying something that already had intrinsic value was a good thing and how? Gabe basically said, "intrinsic is done!" and he basically said that once a user knows there are similar products out there with rewards (besides the product itself), the user demands the same or better rewards from your product. His example was JetBlue that started its business withOUT frequent flier miles. They thought their new, clean plans with great service would be enough to win customers. After a year, they added TrueBlue (their frequent flier program).

I believe gamification does have a place in education. I just want to make sure I do it tastefully and correctly?

So, who else out there is interested in doing this? I would love some ideas and guidance.

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