Gamification – putting ideas into action

The more I research the more I see that gamification seems to be a hot topic in education with many people weighting in on how and why it should work, however what seems to be lacking is many accounts of teachers actually putting these ideas to the test in classrooms.

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Currently I am on practicum and am going to take this opportunity to explore how I can gamify lessons to see whether it does have an impact on students engagement and ultimately see them achieve flow state.  I have found myself in a very fortunate place as my Associate Teachers are open to me experimenting with their classes and eager to observe and comment.  So now I need to come up with a game plan (ha!) of how I am going to put this into action.

Csikszenmihalyi outlined four components essential for a person to achieve flow state: attention, control, curiosity and intrinsic motivation. So thinking of gamifying I will need to ensure that lessons to the following:

1. Use game thinking – getting the students thinking bigger than themselves, building in an element of fantasy that students want to participate in

2. Clear goals, guidelines and expectations – setting up the parameters of the activity

3. Time constraints – using countdown timers as a call to action and drive intrinsic motivation

4. Thinking prompts – visuals, audio tracks or stories. I feel this is essential to hook them in at the beginning and spark their curiosity.

5. Competitive collaboration – use of small collaborative group work.

6. Option to ‘do over’ – enabling students to try again and ultimately giving them control of this process.

Next week I will be putting these into action – lets see what happens

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