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.