This week we read about game elements and mechanics. I learned there are four main elements: theme, setting, characters, and action. I also learned about the many different game mechanic; like the levels, leaderboards, guilds, achievements, quests, power-ups, etc. I read from Theresa’s blog that being new to gaming, we should focus on one thing at a time, and then as we become more familiar, add another element. I thought that was a great idea, and I think that’s something I will do when I begin gamifying my classroom. I would like to do something in my classroom that resembles Class Dojo, except I haven’t found a behavior management platform I can use for K-1 yet.
This week we listed what we would require instructors to know before teaching a online course we designed. I think one of the most important is to have an instructor that provides an atmosphere that is welcoming. This goes for both online and in class environments. I know that if I felt unwelcomed, or didn’t feel that connection, I wouldn’t want to attend class. I read from both Amy and Theresa’s post that they would either require the instructor to take the class beforehand, or attend an orientation about the class and how to run the program. That hadn’t come to mind, and I thought that was a great idea.
EDET 674 Week 8
Essential Question: What would you require of instructors who taught a course you designed?
When I read the essential question of the week, I immediately thought about sub plans and what the subs would need to know to run my classroom. If I were to design an online class, instructors would need to know, and do a lot to successfully teach the content.
There’s a list consisted of “Functions of Instructors in Distance Education” that they should be able to follow. They consist of content management, student progress, learner support, and course effectiveness (Moore, et.al, page 129):
- Course Management- an effective online instructor should be able to: elaborate on the course content, supervise and moderate discussions, and supervise individual/group projects.
- Student progress- an online instructor should: grade assignments and provide feedback in a timely manner, keep student records, help manage student study, and motivate their students.
- Learner support- a supportive online instructor would answer or refer administrative, technical, or counseling questions.
- Course effectiveness- a good online instructor should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of their course; how well their students are learning and progressing.
Handling assignments is another key component that an online instructor would need to effectively track. According to “Before the Online Course Begins,” they should be able to set up Gradebook, clearly state assignment expectations/rubrics, and staying on schedule with assignments/grading feedback.
Online instructors should be able to interact efficiently in three different ways (Moore, et.al, page 132). The first is learner-content interaction, which is the process of planned learning assisted by the teacher. The second is learner-instructor interaction, which is interacting with the students after the content has been presented. The last is learner-learner interaction; which is interaction between the learners.
There are four sets of techniques instructors should learn for guiding them through the web conferences (Moore, et.al, page 137). They are humanizing, participation, message style, and feedback. Humanizing is creating a learning environment that supports individual and group rapport. Participation is making sure there is enough interaction between the instructor and the learners. Message style is how you’re presenting the information and lastly feedback is how students will learn about their progress. According to “Before the Online Course Begins,” the instructor should create a student contact spreadsheet; which could include, phone numbers, email address, blog roles, etc.
Teaching online classes takes a lot of practice and skills. If I created an online class, the instructor would need to be able to do all of these things and some more. I think the most important is building an online community based on comfort, conferment, and camaraderie, which is basically “the art of niceness,” (page 144).
Before the online course begins . . . (2016, August 21). Retrieved October 25, 2016, from https://www2.uwstout.edu/content/profdev/teachingonline/before.html
Moore, Michael G., and Greg Kearsley. Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
EDET 679 Week 8
Essential Question: Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them?
There are four elements of game design that should be implemented in a gamified classroom: theme, setting, characters, and action. The first thing we should look at is the theme, which is the framework for the unit or course study (Matera, loc. 1015). Some examples of themes are super heroes, underwater, historical events, or explorer. My theme would be used as a “backdrop” for the kinds of activities, point/badge system, items, and the challenges I would implement throughout my unit.
The second element of game design is the setting. “The setting is where all parts of the story come together and the players get specific details about the world,” (Matera, loc. 1028). I would use setting as a way to get my students’ imagination flowing; to help them understand and be able to picture all of the details. It would also be used as the backdrop for all the action and tension in the story.
After choosing the theme and setting of my game for my classroom, I would choose the characters. Characters are what our students will become and what will drive the game. I would create characters to help my students achieve the goals I have set for them. Assigning characters will give students roles or job descriptions, which will give them a sense of responsibility. “The details of your story make a huge difference in your students’ engagement and excitement,” (Matera, 1078).
The last element I’d look at when gamifying my classroom are the conflicts, action, story plots, etc. “We should build challenges and obstacles that our students need to overcome,” (Matera, loc. 1065). I would start off with small, quick challenges to boost my students’ confidence, and then adjust to larger more challenging quests.
There are a lot of game mechanics to consider when gamifying your classroom. For instance levels, leaderboards, guilds, achievements, quests, power ups/items, skills etc. I would use levels to show where a player is in the game (loc. 1225). Leaderboards are used in games to show the standings of the players. I would use it as a way to provide data and show their rankings. It can also be used as a motivational tool to keep students on top of things.
Guilds are student groups. In gaming terms, guilds are used to form alliances. I’d use guilds in my classroom for small group work, collaboration, and teamwork (loc. 1295). Depending on what your theme is, you decide what to call your small groups. Some examples include tribes, clans, districts, or family. Achievement is another game mechanic to think about. An achievement is anything that is unlocked through gameplay (loc. 1408). Badges or items can be used to show achievement, it gives our students a sense of accomplishment.
Quests are missions with objectives (loc. 1471). Based on your theme, you can call quests tasks, missions, voyages, expeditions, battles, etc. I would use quests as a way to move my students’ through the game/course, and as extra credit. My quests would have rules: all quests must relate to the current unit, turned in once, and turned in before the end of the unit (loc. 1513).
Based on what your theme is, you can choose what game mechanics and elements to include in your course.
Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
This week was a busy one! I experienced the need to stay organized in online classes, otherwise things are going to get jumbled. As a student taking online classes, I see how important it is to stay motivated, as Dan says, “students should be motivated to log on to the site as least once a day,” and that “procrastination is the number one enemy of distance learning.” I don’t want to jinx myself, but reflecting on my history of taking online classes, I think I’ve been quiet responsible and motivated to continue my education. I have set myself goals (which is what keeps me going), and I definitely am far from being the teacher that I want to be, but I know someday I’ll get there. There are many things instructors can do to help their students stay on track, and be successful, and I know that you (Lee), have been very helpful throughout this program.
Purpose-driven learning language is key to help students become more motivated, independent, confident, risk takers in the classroom. I learned how gamification and using this type of language, could change the way students experience learning. I read from Gerald that the education system has been focusing too much on test scores and it affects students engagement, motivation, and risk taking in schools. I know where I am as a teacher, and where my classroom is on this “scale” of direct instruction to gamification. I have this vision of what I want my classroom to look like in the future, but sometimes I feel like all the demands gets in the way. Someday…
EDET 679 Week 7 Essential Question: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?
Students go to school to learn; not to get good grades. The content we teach will most likely be forgotten, however the experiences we offer our students, can be lasting. “The focus should not be on what we teach, rather it should be how we teach it,” (Moreno, 2015). Your use of language in the classroom could play a huge role in the way your students think about learning in school.
There are ten key words Moreno identifies that should be used in the classroom to help students be successful not only in school, but in life: confidence, creativity, enthusiasm, effort, focus, resilience, initiative, curiosity, dependability and empathy (Matera, 2015). Whatever language you choose in your classroom or school, should stay consistent. Use the language daily, in report card comments, when talking with parents, and before, during and after projects.
“The keys of purpose-driven learning put the focus back on building the skills that create a successful learner… they empower the student to take an active role in their learning,” (Moreno, 2013). Here are some examples of using purpose-driven language in the classroom:
Instead of telling students to work towards an A, explain that “your group, (or yourself the teacher), are depending on them to do their part so the next step can be successful.” Instead of answering their questions, praise them for their curiosity and challenge them to research and share their results.
The keys of purpose driven learning, can also change how you speak with parents: (Moreno, 2013).
“Your child has fantastic enthusiasm, but needs to be a little more focused.”
If a student is shy say: “Your child should be confident in their ability and take initiative to lead class discussions.”
If a student gives up too quickly say: “Learning can be hard sometimes, and resilience often leads to success.”
If you’re planning on gamifying your classroom, it’s good to use that game’s terminology. For instance using the terms badges, quests and life can change how students view their learning. As well as applying those gaming elements and posting them daily, like leaderboards, levels, avatars, and social elements (Figueroa, 2015). When giving extra credit, refer to it as another quest. If a student fails, teach them that it’s their “first attempt in learning,” and they should attempt to SAIL (second attempt in learning), (Matera, loc. 735).
How we choose our words can alter our students behavior towards learning in school. If we use the language test scores, GPA, right or wrong… that’s what students will work towards. However if we use purpose-driven language, students will come to school feeling more confident, resilient, focused, and enthusiastic about learning.
Figueroa, J. (2015, June). Digital Education Review – Number 27. http://greav.ub.edu/der/
Matera, M. (2014). Entering the Realm of the Nobles: Michael Matera. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFG3Vk-MCf8
Moreno, A. (2013, February 7). Keys of Purpose-Driven Learning. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://edbean.com/keys-to-purpose-driven-learning/
Moreno, A. (2015, February 3). Purpose Driven Learning. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://www.mrmoreno.com/blog/purpose-driven-learning
EDET 674 Week 7 Essential Question: How can we support students in being successful in our online course?
There are many ways we can support students being successful in our online courses. First of all, students who have never taken an online course before should attend orientation. This could lessen the tension or anxiety the student might have. The orientation meeting can help students become familiar with procedures, expectations, course materials, accessing content on the web, submitting assignments, etc. (Moore, et.al, page 153). The orientation can also discuss ways to be successful when taking online classes. The discussion can include: time management, study skills, goal setting, motivation, learning preferences, and technology skills (www.pcc.edu).
Another way we can help students be successful in taking online classes is making sure each and every one of your students has access. This could be access to the Internet, access to support services, access to technology, etc. (page 157). I think one of the biggest factors in determining the success of your students, is learning about their cultural and educational background (page 160). They might not have Internet at home, or lack of support in their education. Learning about your students can help you provide the support or access they need to be successful online learners.
“One thing online and in-class courses have in common is that students still need a place to study or complete assignments, whether that’s at a coffee shop, the school library, or at home,” (Lytle, 2013). To help students be successful online learners, we can advise them to have a consistent study schedule and location. We can also teach them how to stay organized, or find their own ways to stay on top of their work. “Students really need to be organized from the beginning to be successful in an online course,” (Lytle, 2013).
According to Morrison, we should provide students resources in technical, academic and study planning, to help them be successful online learners. Resources for technical skills include basic web skills: e-mail, uploading files, using Google drive, bookmarking sites, Blackboard, etc. Resources for academic skills include: writing help (OWL, e-tutoring, grammar, and math (Kahn Academy). Resources for study skills include study habits, time management, tracking due dates, and staying on track.
There are many ways we can help our students be successful online learners. A few things that have helped me be successful are staying consistent and organized. I set myself schedules, and keep everything organized. I think these two factors go together. I know for sure if I wasn’t consistent and staying on top of everything, my work would be unorganized and I wouldn’t be able to complete my assignments.
Lytle, R. (2013, January 14). 5 Tips to Succeed in an Online Course. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2013/01/14/5-tips-to-succeed-in-an-online-course
Moore, Michael G., and Greg Kearsley. Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Morrison, D. (2014, April 09). Resources to Help Students Be Successful Online in Three Areas: Technical, Academic & Study Planning. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/resources-to-help-students-be-successful-online-in-three-areas-technical-academic-study-planning-skills/
Portland Community College. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2016, from https://www.pcc.edu/about/distance/students/tips-for-success/
I learned a lot about online assistive technologies. I mentioned in Amy’s post that before this last week, I was uncertain of how I can differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students if I were ever to teach on online class. I certainly feel more confident in choosing what I can use and what will help students along the way. There are things I never heard of before like face mouse. Josie mentioned she used several online assistive technologies, which made me realize the apps that I use in my classroom with my students are assistive technology. My students use Raz kids, which has speech to text and some other applications.
This week I learned that there are four types of gamers: killers, socializers, achievers, and explorers. When I took the test, my results indicated I was an explorer; which I wasn’t surprised with. I learned that you be more than one type. I am also a socializer, and an achiever. I read in Matt’s post that if we play on gamifying our classrooms, we should have our students the test. I thought that was a real good idea. He also mentioned that we shouldn’t base our game around one type, just because not all students are motivated by the same things.