Saturday, August 6, 2016

Game Time: Gamification in the English Classroom- Step 2 Planning

Welcome to the second part of my Gamification series. After doing a lot of research, and then doing some more, I decided it was time to start really considering how this can look and work in my classroom.

 The first thing I thought I could try was doing SP- success points for students who did things that in general should make them successful. Students would earn points for coming to office hours, going to the writing center, coming to class regularly, responding to questions in class etc.

They would also get XP- experience points for their in-class work. To make it more game like I multiplied all of my normal point totals by 10, so a 100 points paper became a 1,000 point paper.

I would let students use the SP points to buy "powers" such as turning in a paper late, getting their paper graded first, or if they got a HUGE number of points they could get a grade bump.

I thought a leader board would work well for this.

For my online, accelerated 8-week comp class I decided to come up with a different plan.

Here I used the idea from Dr. Harrold of QUESTs. Questions, Understanding, Exploring, Synthesizing, Testing. I designed 4 QUESTs that my students would complete. Each was worth 1,000 points. Since my state requires comp students' grades to have 70% of the grade determined by formal writing each "Test" was a paper that was worth 700 points. In Question they had essential questions to consider. In Understanding they had to complete quizzes. In Exploring I had them do activities related to the skills needed to write the final paper. in Synthesizing I included the writing process. In a few places I made it so they could get extra points. This eliminated the inevitable questions about extra credit.

What made this gamification is I decided they could redo almost all of these things at least once to score better. I didn't want my students to give up once they did something. Just like in video games they could try a level again.

I also decided not to show my students percentages or letter grades. All they would see was a total point total going up with each thing they completed. I would let them know what number of points they needed to get to an "A" "B" or "C."

^^ I ended up implementing both of these styles last spring. In my next post I'll fill you in on what went right, what went wrong, and how I plan on adjusting for this fall.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried anything like this?

Did you miss the first installment of this series? Read it here:

 Thanks for reading!