News, ideas, tips, and information on gamifying learning.
1. Build the Missions in Modules
Build your Missions (lessons) in Modules. Pick a consistent naming convention so that it is easy to assemble lessons later.
Each lesson should have at least the following components:
- Resources for students - websites, pdf’s, videos,
- An assignment that shows some mastery.
- An optional challenge.
Module 1 (Mission 1, Adventure 1, etc) could follow the following structure:
- Page: M1 01 Mission Objective
- Assignment: M1 02a Maneuver OR
- Quiz: M1 02b Maneuver
- Page: M1 03 Challenge or Debrief
- Assignment: M1 04a Challenge
- Quiz: M1 04b Challenge
- Page: M1 05 Debrief
2. Add Covert Operations
Covert Operations are just additional assignments you can provide that are not part of your main lessons. These can be any lessons you don’t have time to cover in class but you would like to provide to students. These are optional for students and are worth additional eXperience Points. (XP)
Consider finding assignments that reach multiple learning styles such as having students create a song, make a video, write a poem, make an infographic, etc.
3. Designate Ranks & Levels
Ranks and Levels can add another dimension to your gamified course. While this is a standard game element, earning the points that help students level up gives them a sense of completion that they have done something hard.
Make sure your lessons and Covert Operations are built in a way that students master a skill or an objective as opposed to just doing something. Give them choice and freedom as they earn their eXperience Points (XP).
You want the course and its gamified elements to be something students want to complete and lead to intrinsic motivation. While you can add rewards to each level, they can demotivate and crowd out the intrinsic motivation that was already there.
4. Create Badges and Use Badgr
Badges can also give participants a sense of accomplishment. Badgr is the best application to award badges in Canvas. Each badge is awarded based on module completion. Since each lesson is housed in a module, participants can see their progress as they complete each mission.
The criteria you set for a badge in Badgr is portable data for the participants in your course. You can also provide a link back to the content mastered for future reference. These badges aren't just digital stickers anymore. They are stored in the student's backpack and can be referenced well after they leave your course.
5. Make a Cool Home Page Using Thinglink
Well-designed lessons following sound curriculum trumps all in a gamified course. However, having a cool home page doesn't hurt. When participants log in to your course, you want it to be aesthetically pleasing. Well, you want it to look cool.
Thinglink gives you the ability to take a picture and add links, videos, hotspots, and more to it. This way, you can draw student's in by providing a more game-like feel to the course.
Add Hooks to Your Gamified Course
- You must escape from somewhere.
- You need to win a battle.
- You need to take possession of something.
- You have to rescue fellow soldiers.
- You need to traverse through though terrain to get somewhere.
Once you have the hook, you can insert some obstacles as the unit of study progresses.
4. Atari Breakout
5. Arts & Culture
8. Smarty Pins
Smarty Pins is an online game combining Google Maps with historical trivia questions. The questions come from broad categories like science, history, current events and entertainment, and it's possible to narrow your questions to just one of the categories. Use this as a group game and award top teams with XP.