Things that were GREAT!
–>> BADGES — >> Awarding badges to students for earning at least an 80% on the unit assessments was a HUGE hit! I originally gave students badges which represented a specific level they had reached. After a conversation with my PLN on Twitter last summer, I realized that giving students badges, and then making them essentially “pay” for tools to use on the test wasn’t exactly what I wanted to accomplish. I thought back to my days as a Girl Scout – I didn’t turn in my badges in exchange for anything – the badges represented something that I had achieved. THIS is what I wanted in my classroom! I was also interested to learn that students during this digital age were so adamant in receiving physical badges … I responded to that mandate!
–>>TOOLS FOR THE TEST –>> Students LOVED earning bonus points, peppermints, and candy bars for use on test days. Leveling up eventually became extremely important, which was so awesome to see! Then again, who wouldn’t be excited about candy and bonus points? 🙂
Things that could be BETTER!
–>> KEEPING UP WITH XP –>> Holy moly, I need to do better with this. For each unit, students could earn XP for viewing/interacting with instructional videos, completing unit modules, participating in online discussion boards, landing a spot in the top 5 during review games, and more. Next year, I’ll make a habit of updating XP at least weekly – more on this goal later!
–>>XP OPTIONS –>> Students were offered EXTREMELY LIMITED options for earning XP – basically, do what you’re supposed to do and you get XP. While my original goal when implementing this concept of gamification was to encourage students to not only complete assignments/activities, but to go above and beyond those classroom expectations – and reward them when they do. I’ll definitely be “leveling up” my XP options in the future 😉
–>>Reworking Levels –>> As I’ve shared in the past, I am a complete gaming novice … unless we’re talking about Super Mario Brothers of the 90s … in that case, I’m awesome. Therefore, I really have NO CLUE about levels (other than warping-wow, I’m dating myself!), specifically which colors or precious gems are “higher.” With the help of my students, I’ll be reworking my levels to be sure that Ruby and Emerald are higher than Silver. Apparently, that’s a big deal?!
–>>Quests –>> This summer, I’ll HOPEFULLY be able to dive more into EXPlore Like a Pirate (and will probably reread Teach Like a Pirate) to learn more about creating meaningful and exciting quests for my students. Maybe it’s just me, but completing a unit module is probably not extremely exciting for my students 🙂
–>>Side Missions–>> I dabbled in Side Missions this year, specifically with my end of the year meme activity – holy moly, this was so much fun! A correlation, at least in my mind, can be easily made between Side Missions and bonus opportunities in a “traditional” classroom. I will DEFINITELY “level up” my Side Missions game next year – so many puns – ha!