Week 11 – Gamification in Education & Reflection on the Term

I hope that as we finish our time together in EDCI 336, you will find this week’s topic interesting, engaging, and a bit fun as we tackle Gaming and Gamification in Education. I’m looking forward to some good discussions and engaging hands-on experiences in our class time together on Friday. Enjoy!

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the kinds of features that can make them games effective learning tools
  • Understand how gameplay can be used as a tool to make traditionally less popular topics more engaging for some learners
  • Be able to discuss the pros and cons of learners using games as consumers, compared to learners creating games (like subject focused escape rooms for example)
  • Critically reflect the big ideas you tackled in EDCI 336

Pre-class Activities

Skim the American Psychological Association article on Gaming to Learn, and if you feel inspired, please highlight and comment passages that speak to you in a positive or negative way using our private Hypothesis group (EDCI-336-2020-09-A02). While skimming, please ask yourself these questions from the article:

  • Do certain features make a computer game more effective in promoting learning?
  • Do people learn useful cognitive skills from playing an off-the-shelf game?
  • Do people learn academic content better from playing a computer game than from conventional instruction?

Watch a CNN interview with Jon Roozenbeek on GetBadNews (4 min)

Skim the Bad News Teachers Guide, and please ask yourself the following questions as you skim:

  • Does inoculation theory make intuitive sense to you? 
  • Is there any evidence that inoculation theory works in practice?
  • How effective do you think Bad News would be at inoculating middle and high school learners from “fake news” in social media?

Test, video game, or cool inquiry project?

  • As you watch the video, please reflect on what motivates you, or demotivates you, to learn new skills or new information. 
  • What are some of the unstated assumptions that are made in Mike Rober’s video?
  • Could Mike’s projects be framed as inquiries?

(15 min)

Digital Escape Rooms in Education? 

  • Reflect on whether or not teacher-created escape rooms would be effective tools for learning or reviewing concepts and information in the subject areas you specialize in.
  • What would be the potential benefits and drawbacks of having learners create escape rooms as class projects? Could this be an effective capstone or cross-curricular activity?

(15 min)

Class Time

Do games belong in schools? Please think back to times that you played games when in K-12 and as yourself these questions:

  1. What types of games have you seen played in a school setting?
  2. How have you seen or experienced electronic games being used in school settings? 
  3. Have you ever played a multiplayer educational game?
  4. What concerns do you have about introducing games as a teaching strategy?

Let’s have a bit of fun and play the educational game, GetBadNews.com which aims to teach people how to critically evaluate the news and social media posts to help them identify the truely “fake news.”

Bad News
Bad News – Inoculating learners from fake news in social media and elsewhere

Open GetBadNews.com in a tab in your web browser, and then as you play, please reflect on how well the creators of the game did the following:

  • Did they do a good job overall?
  • What did they do particularly well?
  • What would you do differently?
  • Why do you think they made the game interface so simple?
  • Did you learn any tips about how to spot fake news? 

(4 min)

Hands-on Lab Time

As you play the games below, please think about the following:

  1. Is a game appropriate for this topic?
  2. Are there instructions & explanations about underlying concepts?
  3. Does it include adaptive scaffolding mechanisms & guidance?
  4. Does gameplay offer just doable challenges?
  5. Are there dynamic in-game scores that provide learning progress feedback?
  6. Is a learning attitude promoted without time constraints or penalty scores?

Game time!

Going Forward

The Big Ideas from EDCI 336

(8 min)

Some selected big ideas in EdTech that we discussed this semester:

Going Forward

It has been a pleasure working with all of you this semester! Please know that after our time together in EDCI 336 is coming to an end, I’m always available to chat about EdTech questions or bounce ideas off as you move into your own classrooms over the coming months and years. You’re all going to be wonderfully engaged teachers!

Learning Pod Time

  • If not completed already, please work on finishing Assignment 2
  • If you have any blog posts outstanding please work on them as well

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