Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them?
This coming week, I am planning on teaching a lesson with story, XP (unrelated to grading), and a leaderboard. The lesson is on time management for several groups of teens.
I had a game-based lesson plan already and am looking at ways of taking it to the next level and gamifying it. Once I started adding in the element of story, I began to get excited! The students will be stranded on an island in the North Pacific (irony: we live on an island). I’m still working on the details and how to work the productivity quiz students will take at the beginning of class into the story.
Students will be divided into groups. I thought about adding in some roles (hunter, gatherer, entertainer, builder) but I think that will be too much information for our short time period. Students will be presented with a list of tasks each worth a certain amount of XP and focused on acting out island survival. Going with the idea that survival involves: shelter, fire, signaling for help, water, food and a positive attitude. For instance, students can earn 1XP for every ounce of water their group is carrying. There are also several activities that involve getting up and moving. Kapp (2o15) suggests not to start with objectives, but with having the learner make decisions which immediately engages learners.
Since I’m concerned that these groups could be difficult to motivate as we’ve never met and they are in a new environment, I’ll have some badges on hand to offer to students who are active in the game. Cox (n.d.) notes that badges can have a postive effect on classroom management.
Matera (2014 Loc 803) mentioned a sundown timer and I thought it would be great to have students finish their tasks by sunset. I was unable to find one, but I found another on YouTube that will work and I’ll just build the sunset into the story.
When the time is up we’ll add up the XP (I’m going to TRY to track points as the groups are working, but it might be crazy) and put the groups on the Leaderboard (just marker on a whiteboard). I’ll then show Eisenhower’s Matrix (see image below) and we’ll figure out how the tasks fit into the matrix. Groups can try for a few minutes, then we’ll discuss as a whole group.
Whew! Sounds like a lot of work for a 30 minute lesson, but I’m thrilled with how adding in a story really gave me a lot to work with and added much more depth to the lesson allowing me to draw on students knowledge of the outdoors, which wouldn’t have come up otherwise.
Cox, J. (n.d.). Classroom Management: Using Gaming Elements. TeachHub.com Retrieved from: http://www.teachhub.com/classroom-management-using-gaming-elements on October 24, 2016.
Kapp, K. (2014, March 12). Eight Game Elements to Make Learning More Intriguing. Association for Talent Development. Retrieved from: https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/Learning-Technologies-Blog/2014/03/Eight-Game-Elements-to-Make-Learning-More-Intriguing on October 24, 2016.
Matera, M. (2015). Explore Like a Pirate: Engage, Enrich, and Elevate Your Learners with Gamification and Game-inspired Course Design [E-Reader Version]. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting.