Gamification of Education

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Reading through the infographic, it was surprising to see that people on earth spend 3 billion hours per week playing games. Last week in our meeting in Second Life a classmate said that the primary gamers today are women.  I did some checking and found that from an NPD poll done in 2014 showed that 49% percent of gamers are women with an average age of 38.  This was surprising because I had the preconception that gamers are boys in their teens.  But as I thought more about this in a context outside of video games then it was not surprising. I remember one of the things that our family did in our mountain getaway was to play games (partly due to the fact that there were no telephones or TVs).  But even on TV during the ‘80s, there were a lot of game shows such as the Price is Right, Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, etc. And during the 90’s a variety of realty game shows began to dominate the networks. Add sporting events and games become a huge part of our culture.  The focus of the infographic is to show the millions of people play computer games and that educators can take this motivation and virtual environment to promote learning.  They say that this can be done in two different methods. One is through gamification and other is to use games for learning particular skills. Based on my experience taking EDTECH 532 and playing games, gamifying the school or work environment is beneficial. Key things that I’ve recognized is that it increases motivation through points and competition and learning that’s acquired through experience.  For EDTECH 532, this has meant playing games to understand the game type, design, and content.  To think about how these principles could be applied in other situations I thought about the sales department in the company.  To begin one should determine the course objectives. And then plan a variety of activities that would facilitate this learning.  One set of activities would focus more on technical aspects of the content and the other would provide hands-on experience.  Here are some ideas for gamification:

Points and levels: After completing each activity learners would be rewarded with points.  After reaching certain amount of points, they would level up.  The activities could include reading about sales and writing a reflection, critiquing and analyzing a sales a presentation, understanding the buyer, collaborating or helping another member.

Experience: Ideally there would be a simulation game that users could interact with a prospect.  Points could also be awarded for attending workshops, calling prospects, making appointments, and other essential steps for successfully completing a sale.

In South Korea, I teach reading comprehension for second language learners and one of the way I could gamify the learning process would be focus on the vocabulary aspect. I would do this for two reasons one is that building strong vocabulary is essential for comprehension. Also it would allow to me to focus on one section of reading comprehension, which could then be used as a building block. Prior to creating the activities I would review learning and reading strategies and theories on learning. Once having done that I would then plan the different activities for the quests. I would have students create a blog for creating reflections and use 3D GameLab to organize the quests incorporating the different activities and game elements.


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