It is Time to Gamify your Classroom!

Gamification is a new term that has recently gained more attention in the field of education. When first saw this term among Coursera online courses, a couple of questions came to mind. Is it similar to the game-based learning? Does it mean playing games to achieve some learning objectives? To answer these questions, I decided to take this course by Prof. Kevin Werbach offered by University of Pennsylvania. It was run from Aug. 27 – Oct. 7., 2012. The course was divided up into 12 units, which were in turn divided into short video lecture segments. Each unit included 45-60 minutes of material, and there were two units per week. There were 4 quizzes, 3 written assignments (including peer assessment) and a final exam. We communicated with each other through the discussion forms and collaborated to create a wiki as a resource for gamification. 

What is Gamification?

It is applying game mechanics,e.g., points, badges, rewards, levels, bar progress … etc to an existing content to make students more interactive, motivated and engaged. 

How to Gamify?

Reading this article, one or more of the following can be done:
  • Add points to tasks that need to be completed
  • Define badges/rewards to be given out after a criteria is met
  • Create a Leaderboard to show top performers
  • Define levels to repeat tasks or to perform harder tasks
  • Earning of badges can be tied to unlocking higher levels

How to start Gamifying your teaching?

After completing this course, I tried some simple steps to incorporate such a new trend in my traditional classrooms. I just tried to gamify my whiteboard. Here are some of my tips:

  •  Divide your students into 3 large groups. Each group will complete some questions. If the students of a group answer correctly, they will get a POINT. At the end of the activity, add up these points and tell them the Winner Group.
  • A list of active students can be created on the right top of the whiteboard. 
  • Smiley faces are given to students instead of points or badges. I can give students a happy face if they did a great job, a wow face if they did an amazing job, sad face if they didn’t complete a task or answer incorrectly … etc. Students love this technique so much because it is a visual funny way that expresses their performances and learning progress.

Leave you with this Video!


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