A New Term (for me:) GAMIFICATION

Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging.” (http://gamification.org)

 

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. 😉

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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.

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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 🙂

 

[1] 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 

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Aysun, I really liked your post. It is really engaging for teachers , too. I especially hightlight that I like the term ” snoring” student 🙂 It is fun. As you also mentioned, Integrating games is a great tool to make them active. CLassroom Surveys are also good like games,. Thanks again

    1. Thanks for your comment Dinçer, as you see interacting eith proplr leads me to find and learn new things about my profession, of course integrating games into lessons is not a new strategy but the term gamification and its content is kinda different, so we are learning…

  2. Hi Aysun,

    The use of games in class are very popular. A friend of mine who is also a teacher in my school usually says that for students anything looks like a game and more often than not they are anything but a game. One of the concepts in gamification and game-design in a course that I took this semester that really called my attention was playability. One of the participants of the course that is a chesmistry teacher in high school and who is also taking a second graduation course in game-designing called out our attention to this aspect of gaming. And then I remember my friend at school when she said that what looks like a game is not a game at all. So, I’m exploring and reflecting about playability in the activities that I use in class. And how that alone can make them learn and enjoy what they are doing.

    I wrote in my blog a bit about it when I was analysing and observing students playing Hungry fish without any reward at all. And I had played this many times before, but never thought that the way I set the play could make the difference and for that I tried to use the concepts of gamification I learned in the course.

    Have you seen a video from Barbi Butjas? I found it pretty interesting and with lots of game-design concepts into lesson planning. I hope you enjoy it.

    I am very interested in gamification and planning to explore Graham Stanley Digital play website and book this summer.

    Tks for the blogpost.
    Rose

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