Using Games to Increase Student Engagement
Gamification and Game-Based Learning are two ideas currently sweeping the educational world. These ideas can be extremely beneficial for boosting student engagement in the classroom. Remember: Game-Based Learning is using a game to teach or practice the content (Minecraft, Sushi Monster) and Gamification is using game mechanics in a non-game setting to boost engagement and problem solving (badges, XP, leader boards).
How can we capitalize on the relentless nature with which so many people play games in education?
Students want to be entertained and we want them to learn. Take these two facts, smash them together and gamify your classroom for a more intense atmosphere where students are intrinsically motivated to perform at their highest level.
Michael Matera talks about gamifying his classroom by posting XP (Experience Points) leader boards that were not tied to grades, but represented extra credit assignments completed. He also discussed how handing out physical badges that the students glued to their binders and offering "Side Quests" to allow students to extend their learning on a specific topic of interest raised the engagement level and performance of his entire class.
Extra Credits does a nice job giving you ideas on gamifying education. Pay special attention to our outdated grading system talked about at 1:03.
The following are resources you can use to incorporate Game-Based Learning and Gamification in your classroom!
wizenworld.com This is an online math adventure game. Students can currently practice the application and understanding of fractions and decimals with basic arithmetic, algebra and more still to come!
classbadges.com Free, online tool where teachers can award badges to students for accomplishments or academic mastery.
classxp.org A user-friendly dashboard, student avatars and simple grade reporting are a few features of this website. Using XP and leader boards can motivate students to reach their full potential.
getkahoot.com This is a game-based classroom response system that engages students at a high level. This game is perfect for the B.Y.O.T. environment.
minecraftedu.com Use the world-building game of Minecraft to engage and educate.
The beauty of Gamification is that you don't need access to a lot of technology or devices to get started. In fact, you don't need any technology at all to start offering Side Quests, XP and Badges to your students. Once you get them hooked in your game, you will be surprised at the great lengths they'll go to to top that leaderboard posted on your classroom door.
For more resources on Gamification and Game-Based Learning visit my list.ly:
Written by: Josh Bingham