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by Lee Sheldon Using Lee Sheldon’s designs to gamify literature circles in the classroom

What are the highs and lows of using a gaming format in the classroom.

FINAL REFLECTIONS ON SHOW AND TELL PROJECT Tying together our Journey to John Knox game where we read The Multi-Player Classroom by Lee Sheldon and implemented gaming in the regular ed. classroom.

Gathering Clues to Remi’s Riddles When we began our Journey to John Knox, we were presented with 5 questions to answer along our journey. Here are the questions and the answers that were discovered along the way: 1. What does game-based learning look like? 2.

How are different groups of students affected by

game-based instruction? 3.

How can game-like experiences be designed for

classrooms? 4.

What is the difference between game-based

instructional design and using games within a classroom? 5.

What resources are available to help develop a

course or curriculum that works like a game?


Map of Wealthier

Riddle #1 - What does game based learning look like? For the creation of the fourth

zone. Different activities were worth different XP points.

Highs and Lows of format

grade literature circle unit, we chose to use a wiki format. The goal was for students to gain a total of 2,000 XP points in order to earn an A. Students were

The wikii format worked really well for my students since they are so familiar with it. My students can easily create podcasts and videos with the

given a fantasy book based on their Fountas and Pinnell reading level and some choice they had after our beginning book talk. Students were placed

tools that are available in the classroom. I could not do this at the beginning of the year when they have so little tech skills. I found that the pace of the game

into guilds where they created a name, shield and chose a path through the Land of Wealthier. They needed to travel to 6 out of the 8 different zones in the

moved very quickly. Students learned that they needed to select zone quests that they were able to complete in the time they had available. They

order that they choose. Daily students had required reading that would give them 100 XP points plus an activity from their

would have loved more time to do some of the more difficult quests for the higher points. Time was our biggest enemy!


Game Based Key Vocabulary

Shield for Lightning Thief Guild


• Avatar - player • Guild - group • Quests presentations • Defeat or fight monsters - Quizzes/ Assignments • Craft - write • Game Master - In charge of the gameplay


Riddle #2 - How are different groups into the dragons territory by not of students affected by game-based completing a zone quest. A favorite high for me as their instruction? The Highs: Every student in my classroom found the entire gaming process to be a great experience. They were so excited to share their daily zone quests and then to work together to decide on how to complete the next quest. They were often on the wiki for hours after school, uploading great content and discussing together their thoughts on the book. I was amazed at the amount of effort they put into their individual pages and how they were able to pull their work together on their guild pages. On the day that the white dragon attacked our classroom, the fourth graders were bouncing out of their chairs brainstorming ways to prevent future attacks. The white dragon is afraid of

teacher was watching them grow as readers and contributors to discussions. They had so much they wanted to share about what they learned in their book. If two guilds found themselves in the same zone, they would have a battle of language skills. Each students had a sword bookmark that had 5 adjectives, 5 adverbs, etc... with pages to find sentences where these words were found. Battles were races to discover examples of language use in their books. They loved this activity!

The Lows: Time was our biggest enemy on our journey. Due to the amount of work students were completing, it was very difficult to keep up with all of the

grading/assessing that needed to be the #5 and students created hand prints with 5 good events and 5 events done. Students that got behind often slipped through the cracks and great that they attached to the frame of the student work was not often doorway. Also, they tried to discover the reason for the attack and assumed highlighted. See Case Study #3 that some group must have wandered reflections for possible solutions to consider on page 4.

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Book discussion quotes from 4th graders



Case Study #3 - Louisiana State University: Intro to the Study of Education Dr. Jessica Broussard taught the gamified version of this course. Most of the students were 18-24 year old females who were familiar with technology, but didn’t necessarily consider themselves gamers. Jessica states, “This need for success is also where the greatest innovation for my version of the course came from. {...] Weekly, students had the opportunity to earn several achievements based on their online quest work for the week, forum discussion participation, and reflective blogs. [...] Other achievements were based on the content of their posts and were far more subjective, usually only one of each was given.” For example, a “High 5” award was given for a comment that the instructor noticed as a high-caliber statement, or a “Golden Apple” for mentioning their practicum experience.

The Need for SUCCESS


At first, Dr. Broussard noticed that students were not excited about earning the rewards, and therefore did not attempt to earn them. Later, she learned that there was not enough incentive for students to do any extra work. When Dr. Broussard turned the awards into extra XP (Experience Points, what all students earned for their regular game tasks), the game was on! Thoughtful student participation increased dramatically. As you may suspect, students sometimes felt that the awards were given on a biased - basis which created conflict among them. They asked that in the future, visual tactics not play a part in the award giving, but simply base it on content. They also wanted the XP to be divided up differently with the more exemplary work done, the more XP points received. Last, they asked that the facilitation of group projects be allowed to be guild based, not individually based.


RIDDLE #3-HOW CAN GAME-LIKE EXPERIENCES BE DEVELOPED FOR CLASSROOMS? Before creating a game-like experience for your classroom, be ready for the time needed for development and implementation. Many hours were spent collaborating with group members on ideas and design and then on the creation of the site. Seeing my students excitement and energy made the time

some very wise women thinkers “....with great difficulty and little sleep, but very high

Enjoy every engagement on the part of all involved” (Pagan moment your and Amanda). students collaborate Here are some simple steps to help aid any with each other educator who is interested in building a gaming and with you. experience for their classroom.

commitment worth every minute. To quote






How many points will students be required to accumulate. Hand out a grading scale at the beginning so final goal is visible.

You can Add levels with a chose to point structure for use paper completion. Turn and pencil assignments into format or quests. You can an online require certain tool like tasks to be a wiki to completed before display moving to the next student level. work and completed tasks. [5]


Give student options to build additional XP points by completing tasks that vary for different abilities, interests, and learning styles.

What about Collaboration In the Learning Environment? As technology brings people closer together, collaboration is inevitable. In some situations, the collective minds can create a far better result than one person working alone. Other times, the differences between individuals create challenging situations. Collaboration in the learning environment is no exception. In our jigsaw “Journey to John Knox” group, four minds coming together to create a game was much better than 1. We bounced ideas off of each other, brainstormed, and created the infrastructure for our experience. Continued collaboration became increasingly difficult as time went on as we were dealing with 4 different physical locations and 3 different times zones, varying work methods, morphing experience paths, and individual differences. In Winona’s classroom, she noticed advantages and challenges to collaboration, as well. Students were placed in guilds of 4 or 5 with other students that had similar levels of abilities and usually interacted well with each other. The bonding of guilds in the beginning of the game created excitement and a sense of

unity. As the game proceeded, however, her fourth graders had instances of personality clashes and personal communication breakdowns. Consequently, the experience was not enjoyed as much. In the case studies of Sheldon’s book, many educators had several individual tasks and some collaborative tasks., but did not reflect on that. In an outside case study with Susan Maunders and CliniSpace, a virtual multiplayer medical training game, 8 individuals worked to save a dying car crash victim. They killed the patient because every player (“doctor”) gave the patient morphine and he overdosed. Instead, they needed to collaborate and have 1 doctor giving the patient morphine. In many “game” situations, we’re not conditioned to collaborate. Therefore, from our observations, we recognize that in a massive multi-player game, users must have some elements where the work together. This will create some chaos and frustrations - you need to expect and plan for that. However, collaboration is a necessary element. Individual tasks must take an important role as well, so that each player can feel their own sense of accomplishment and stay engaged.

Collaboration is inevitable



The Similarities


Both GBL and Gamification of Education want the same thing: student engagement. They require students to wrestle with critical content as well as learn 21st century skills. They require a paradigm shift of the educator from “sage of the stage” to “guide on the side.” Regardless of which method or pedagogy you employ in your classroom, you are providing an opportunity for students who may not have been reach to engage in learning that will allow them to achieve success.

Riddle #4: What is the difference between game-based instructional design and using games within a classroom? Gamification, or game-based instructional design, is a movement toward the entire structure of a lesson/course (or school eg. Quest2Learn) using, or having, game mechanics while game based learning is using games in the classroom (serious games) to support learning activities (eg. Civilization). Game based learning (GBL) is a branch of serious games that deals with applications that have defined learning outcomes. Generally they are designed in order to balance the subject matter with the gameplay and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject

matter to the real world. Often times, gamification and game based learning overlap. However, we were very specific in our research and experiences to pursue gamification of a learning experience rather than just including games into the learning environment. For more information, this is

Both GBL and Gamification of Education want the same thing: student engagement.

a link to great blog that addresses the differences: 2012/01/13/gamification-vs-game-basedlearning-in-education/





Quest2Learn: A school in NYC where the entire structure of learning over the course of the unit, and year, is gamified

Serious games such as iCivics TimeZ Attack

Experiences are turned into games: FourSquare, Gowalla, and LinkedIn

Other games such as: Spent, Oregon Trail, or Civilization


RIDDLE #5 What resources are available to help develop a course or curriculum that works like a game? We create a resources page at: https:// Created by Winona Tinholt and Bethany Lamer in collaboration with the Journey from John Knox Jigsaw Group for the University of Michigan Technology in Education master’s program.


Game reflections  

Bethany and Winona reflect on Game-based learning.

Game reflections  

Bethany and Winona reflect on Game-based learning.