Seeking Help with Gamification

I am working these days on a project about the gamification of my social studies curriculum. I have noticed that most of my students tend to spend their time in playing games which they give priority over their school’s learning. For them, the traditional way of learning is very boring especially if compared to games. So, I am interested in gamification to engage students more into learning. This week, I surveyed my students’ interests in playing games as well as their ideas about the gamification of learning. I also searched the topic on the internet and went through some examples of the gamification of different lessons or courses. However, there are some points that are challenging for me.

So, here is where I need your help the most about the best way to gamify my curriculum. Could you give me any suggestions on the following points:

  • Competition, Collaboration or both: If I give students points or badges for completing missions or tasks, they will want to complete as many of them as possible which might affect the quality of the work done. On the other hand, if I had a more collaborative environment, students with different abilities and academic levels could work together to complete the work assigned in the best way. Yet, is it possible that this affects their engagement level? What if I assigned a group (most probably boys) competing against another group (that will be girls)?
  • Students at the bottom of the leader board: Some students might lose their motivation and feeling of competition because they cannot win as many points as others. So, does gamification demotivate below-level students? Is there any way to avoid that?
  • Rewards: Should the rewards be virtual points and badges only that could be translated into grades? Or is it better to relate it to real-life rewards as well?
  • Time allocated: Should I put due dates to the missions that students are required to finish or design the curriculum as self-paced?
  • Learning and Grading Platform: With teaching many classes and a large number of students, I need an effective platform to help me in recording and following-up points or grades. Any suggestions?

I guess that’s it for now…. I appreciate your feedback.

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2 thoughts on “Seeking Help with Gamification

  1. Hi Sally, these are important questions but you are asking them a little early. It is important to ask if a game will be cooperative or competitive because this will affect a lot about the design, but you never explained anything about the design of your game so I can’t help you with the specifics. More important than the other questions (game mechanics I think they are called) is what will make students enjoy playing your game and keep playing it? What kind of learning will they get from “missions “? Sure, using teams helps have both collaboration and competition. I would try not to do girls vs boys. As a kid I liked it, but as an adult I would only do it if a game included physical touch in the cooperative aspect. I am happy to give more feedback when you go further in your game. Let me know how you are thinking after you see the game baladna.
    Keep in mind that when your foal goal is for them to learn, you want all to learn, so you don’t want one person/team winning while others don’t. So you want a way to encourage others to complete missions, as many as possible, right?
    Ok I will stop now. Looking forward to hearing more. I know you are a creative person so looking forward to hearing about it

    • Thanks Dr. Maha for your comment. You are right, I did not give you details about my project. I will explain more about it in my next post.
      Concerning the boys versus girls issue, I thought about it as an advantage because it was suggested by the majority of students and upon my experience, it works pretty well in motivating them and raising their engagement level even in the simplest activities. Mixed groups, on the other hand, created communication problems and demotivated them to do their work.
      I checked “Baladna” game and I find it well-designed and engaging. I also find the objective of the game very important to be addressed especially with kids.

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