Gamification and Using Games

I’m currently working on a paper about the use of videogames in class to support good learning. In this case, I use videogames as examples of both designed good and bad learning – then ask students to lead discussion by finding a game to similarly exemplify the theories we’ve discussed in class.

At it’s heart, gamification is the inclusion of game-like principles into class. So what I’m working through today – how is the use of videogames as discussion leader examples a form of gamification? What learning is reinforced? How is learning assessed in this assignment since it’s a presentation? What learning is created by the discussion leaders for the game-player, and how am I asking them to assess learning during their presentations?

These are tough questions, but good. What they demonstrate to me is that gamification (and this has been said before) is not a new concept to revolutionize education, but simply a new way of looking at what education has been trying to accomplish for centuries. It’s refocusing education and teaching on learning, learning outcomes, and creative assessment of learning (ie. NOT tests) to create a more engaged, involved student (see Jane McGonigal for even more discussion on this topic).

So, as I write through my assignment, I’m also forwarding an example of gamification in action. How can this one example help others understand gamification theory so they can design similar assignments that best fit their course content, their student population, their classroom set-up?

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