EDET 679 Week 3 What classroom strategies can contribute to or detract from “flow?”
“Flow” is a state of optimal experience characterized being fully focused and engaged in an activity (Hamari, 2014). When an individual is actively engaged in a challenging activity and believe they have the skills to accomplish it, they experience flow. However, when the challenges and skills are imbalanced, (i.e. their skills outweigh the challenge) they don’t experience flow, they’re experience relaxation, anxiety or apathy (Schweinle, et.al, 2009).
There are many ways teachers can use gamification in the classroom to achieve flow. “Gamification is applying the most motivational techniques of games to non-game settings, like classrooms,” (Matera, loc. 274, Kindle). The role of gamification in school is to enhance what we already do. “The gamification platform is intended to support the students in visualizing where they are in the content, see their progress and find other students who are working in the same area,” according to Berkling.
One of the strategies to keep in mind when designing game-based learning in the classroom, are the 3 C’s: content, choice and challenge (Matera, loc. 354, Kindle). Content is the curriculum and standards, Choice is the open-ended game models and invitation to explore and be creative, and challenges are the quests and twists that keep the learner engaged. One of the approaches listed in the reading about how to start gamifying your classroom, is to in your lesson plan, “overlay our course content with aspects of games,” (loc., 454). I think that’s a great strategy, especially if you are struggling or hesitant to start.
Matera said that “as you set out on our gamification exploration, remember you are not alone,” (loc., 580). He made a good point that we should reach out to our colleagues, students, parents, administrators, our learning network, because we are all on this journey together. Seeking advice from fellow teachers who have used gamification in their classroom is probably the best strategy to help guide you and your students’ on this new learning adventure.
Some motivational techniques teachers could use to help students reach optimal performance, include applying the elements of game theory, design thinking, and informational literacy. Choosing a theme is the first step in gamification and sets the tone for the lesson/unit (loc., 1015). Creating a setting is the next step: the setting is where all the parts come together and the backdrop for the action in the story. Next are the characters, where each student will have a role in the story. Lastly, coming up with conflicts, challenges, or obstacles, to make the game engaging (loc., 1065), and deciding how to reward the students once the task is accomplished. Applying all these elements will help create a fully, immersive gamification experience for your students.
Here is a list of elements to remember when gamifiying your classroom (Sillaots, 2014).
- Clear goals
- Interactive activities for achieving the goals
- Instant and rich feedback to the activities
- Competition among players
- Collaboration in teams
- Clear rules
- Rewards like experience points, scoreboards and badges
- Levels as game units, or rating, or difficulty of the game
- Balance between skills and challenges
- Luck or randomness
- Risk of failing
- Game world – imaginary place in the players’ head
- Characters – avatars and non-player characters
- Game aesthetics
Berkling, K., & Thomas, C. (n.d.). Gamification of a Software Engineering Course. Retrieved September 23, 2016, from https://www.dhbw-karlsruhe.de/fileadmin/user_upload/dokumente/T-Informatik/25jahre-oktober-2014-berkling_gamification-ics-full-paper.pdf
Hamari, J. (2014, August 13). Flow in Gamification. Retrieved September 23, 2016, from http://gamification-research.org/2014/08/flow/
Matera, M. (n.d.). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
Sillaots, M. (2014, October). Achieving Flow through Gamification 2 – researchgate.net. Retrieved September 23, 2016, from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin_Sillaots/publication/267155607_Achieving_Flow_through_Gamification_A_study_on_Re-designing_Research_Methods_Courses/links/5446cfdd0cf2f14fb811cb37.pdf?origin=publication_detail