During a chat with my dear friend Tony Gurr, I heard this new term “GAMIFICATION” while reflecting about my last lesson in which I used a game to engage my students more with the new structure. After talking about this term for a while, he encouraged me to write about this and I made a research about the new term. 😉
In my research, I found many sites about gamification but they are mostly about computer games or social networking games such as Farmwille. As an old fashioned teacher, rather than putting these electronic games into my schedule, I prefer putting classical board games or any other kind of games which are played without computer technology. I’m not saying that I won’t use them but as a starter I will use the classical ones.
As is explained in the description above, we can integrate game dynamics in our lessons for a better participation of our students.
So you can ask me why I should use these game dynamics in my lesson?
1-Competition: This is the first reason of my integrating games in my lesson. It is because even the snoring student in your class can easily wake up with the idea of competition and game. As we know students even the adult ones like playing games soooo much. 🙂
2- Self-expression: By playing games, students may find the chance to express themselves better. They may find the chance to interact with their peers as well.
3- Achievement: During the game a student can be an altruistic one, communicate with peers in a positive way and also at the end of the game the feeling of achieving something is an urge for them; an urge to make what they learned a more meaningful one.
4- Rewards: Everyone loves rewards, especially students. I really like seeing the happy faces of my students after we play games. What’s more I like rewarding them even with a bar of chocolate 😉 So this rewarding causes them to like playing games in class and also it helps the teacher put games in his/her schedule while dealing with difficult structures.
As you see, here are the reasons of using games in your lessons.
There is no harm putting some FUN in your lessons…
If students and also teachers feel that it is fun to be in that class, even the hardest subject can be digested easily.By doing this games can enhance traditional methods by making teaching more fun and engaging, while still keeping the traditional way of teaching.
“According to current research, new generation children, who grew up with the Internet and computers all around them, are more likely to engage in online games than to interact with other students or teachers in a real life environment”(1)
In my lesson with my A level students, I was teaching uncountable nouns and containers and in the last 20 minutes of my teaching I prepared a game for them: Memory game. The first student started by saying an uncountable noun with a container and the next one first repeated her friends saying then added a new one and this went on like that and through the end it got harder and they especially liked the harder times when it was really difficult to remember what was said 🙂
The good thing here is that was the first time they saw uncountable nouns and believe me with the helps of the game they were pretty successful 🙂
Please do not hesitate to share your experiences wit games in lessons 🙂
 L.A. Annetta, M.R. Murray, S.G. Laird, S.C. Bohr and J.C. Park, “Serious Games: Incorporating Video Games in the Classroom,” EDUCAUSE quarterly, No. 3, 2006