Simple Tips to Gamify Your Classrooms

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Gamification is a new term that has recently gained more attention in the of education. When I 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. Here is what I found:

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.

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