Putting gamification in trial

I tried a prototype of my project about gamifying social studies syllabus in class and I also discussed it with some colleagues for feedback. It was a fruitful experience as it brought my attention to very important points that I should consider while preparing for the project.

At the beginning, understanding the rules of the game was complicated for my students as I did not have time for preparing visuals. One of my students even told me, ” Miss Sally, my brother plays scrabble backward and it is much easier for me to understand” so I had to change my strategy by drawing it on the board and dividing it into levels. That made me realize how crucial it is to prepare a very simple and vivid illustrations for the project details.

After knowing the game rules, they asked about the prize of the winning group and I was glad to know that most of the prizes they asked for is related to the exam (as I already designed my project). However, because of the time factor, we negotiated other options and settled down for chocolate.

While playing the game, I found them active, enthusiastic, and motivated. They found the code game interesting and they were even interested to learn how to make their own code. They also liked how they approached their teachers in a new fun way instead of the traditional approach. As part of the game, I distributed the answer keys on some teachers and asked them to give it to students when they answer one question correctly.

Working as groups was one of the merits of the game. Students are learning better when they receive the information from each other even better than when the teacher deliver it. They were indulged into answering the sheet more when they cooperated together. On the other hand, the competition between groups acted as a catalyst for them to complete the game.

Over all, my students enjoyed gamifying the lesson and found it easier to learn that way. My colleagues liked the idea as well and were intrigued to try it in their classes as well. Without knowing it, we found ourselves creating a community of practice discussing the different methods of applying games in class. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Putting gamification in trial

  1. Awesome. So much that’s awesome here. Yes, a visualization helps explain game rules (there were so many) but also something Ana Salter (edu game expert) told us when she was here is that good game rules are ones you can understand while playing the game… (so maybe as students do different things they get instructions inside the game for what to do next, etc.). It’s wonderful that there was an element of negotiation and that you involved other teachers. Is this game meant to be played only once, or can it be played multiple times with different paths? Can the generic idea of the game (rules, mechanics, dynamics) apply to other contexts of social studies classes or otherwise?

  2. Thanks Ms.Maha for your reply. You are right, there are many rules in the game and it is a great idea to disclose the rules in the right time while playing the game. I believe this can also add the elements of suspense and surprise to the game.
    What I like about the game is that it could be applied to different topics and even different subjects. For example, the game could be used for collecting information about a story character in English, collect vocabulary words related to one topic or even going through the challenges to decipher a grammar rule or its keywords. In science, it could also be used in studying the different body systems such as the respiratory system and so on.
    To repeat the game with different lessons/topics or to change its path or may be the game as a whole … That’s the question. But I think it basically depends on students’ interest in the game after they play it, so I will wait and be ready with plan B.

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