WHAT I LEARNED FROM GAMES
WHAT I LEARNED FROM GAMES
TO BOOST MOTIVATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Learning by playing?
games In education
GAME BASED LEARNING
We start learning by playing from the first days of our life...
The first day we enter a school is the first day we begin to difference between funny times and learning (serious) times...
The OLDER THE STUDENT, THE FEWEST THE FUNNY TIMES AT SCHOOL...
OUR BRAIN WORKS BETTER IN A FUNNY ENVIRONMENT
AND THIS IS A BIG MISTAKE...
(Click on the brain to know more)
wHERE CAN I LEARN ABOUT CREATING A FUNNY ENVIRONMENT?
WHAT ABOUT GAMES?
Ok! Games can be the key to make my classes funnier and better but... How can we take advantage of games in the school?
There are two main ways of taking advantage from games in our classroom:
GBL IS THE USE OF ACTUAL GAMES WITH EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES. THIS CAN BE EXISTING BOARDGAMES, VIDEOGAMES... OR specificALLY CREATED ONES.
GAME BASED LEARNING
Here you have two resources to understand the differences between Gamification and Game Based Learning:
In this web there is an extensive and clear explanation of both terms and a simple infographics.
And if you prefer, here is a video that explains it in a simple way.
To sum up: the main difference is that in a gamified structure game elements are used but IT IS NOT A GAME and in Game Based Learning everything focuses on one or several games through which we learn.
Serious Games could actually be part of Game Based Learning, as games are used to learn.
The main difference is that, while in Game Based Learning all kinds of games are used to learn (board games, video games...), Serious Games are games specifically designed to learn something.
This video makes it a little clearer for you:
EVERYBODY LIKES PLAYING, ok, But...
A good bibliographic research on the topic can make us find hundreds of definitions of gamification.Here you can see some of the ones I like the most.
"the use of game elements in non-ludic contexts"
NICK PELLING (2002)
"the application of game metaphors to real-life tasks that influence behaviour and improve people's motivation and involvement"
"the use of game mechanics, its aesthetics and game thinking to involve people, motivate action, promote learning and solve problems"
After reading a lot about gamification, here you have my own definition of the term (as good as any other...)
Gamification is the art of adding to situations THAT ARE NOT GAMES some of the elements that make us all love playing so much.
For a gamified structure to be successful, it should have the following four "legs" compensated.
IN THE NEXT SLIDES WE WILL TALK A LITLE ABOUT EACH ONE OF THEM.
Game dynamics are what the player feels in the development of the game.
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Players want to express their identity, their autonomy, their personality and their originality to other players.
Game is often a context that facilitates this function for the shyest players.
Rewards are incentives for performing a task; the player will be more attracted to the game.
Rewards should be well measured, as they can make participants participate only depending on them and extrapolate this habit to real life.
Being a member of a community and positioning yourself in it motivates you to keep playing.
On the other hand, this is a "double-edged" dynamic, as low status can discourage many players.
Competition is the practice of a game that results in a ranking of participants.
Comparison with others is a source of motivation for many players.
This aspect has its disadvantages in educational contexts (although this is always arguable).
When people strive to help others or support solidarity causes without expecting a reward in return.
It is given more frequently than we can expect in games.
It happens when two or more players do not compete; they strive to achieve the same goal, the same purpose.
In the same game both dynamics can be present, i.e. several players cooperate to compete with other groups of players.
One person is distinguished from the others, for example, by playing with a good strategy.
People feel engaged in activities that give them recognition.
Some types of players are only motivated by this goal.
mechanics are what the player has to do in the game.
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It tries to motivate the user by means of a points system with which to obtain something, such as prestige or prizes.
Reaching a certain number of points can be the main objective of the game or not.
In other cases they may play a secondary role.
A game based exclusively on a system of points can generate that the necessary tasks are completed to obtain them without any interest in them.
An example of a points system are the loyalty cards of some petrol stations or supermarkets with which gifts can be obtained by adding points that are obtained with each purchase.
It is used the hobby of collecting from users and the possibility of showing off to other players or friends of these collections.
The medals, stamps, badges... that are obtained in games and mobile applications can be a good example.
In this way the competitive spirit of the players is exploited.
In educational contexts we may not be interested in this aspect at all.
The comparisons can be individual or between groups.
They can be public or private for each player depending on what interests us.
The participation of each player is rewarded by assigning him a "title" that distinguishes him from those who have participated even less and encouraging them to become more involved.
A good example is the levels given in the Internet forums "Newbie" or "Apprentice" to "Master" or "Expert ".
In education it is especially important that the student has a feedback on the work done.
This can act as a positive reinforcement and can come from the game itself, the teacher, or from other participants.
If this feedback is delayed it may cause the player to lose interest.
While mechanics and dynamics would focus on the "what" of our gamified structure, the aesthetics of the game would focus on the "how" of it. And this "how" is as important as the rest of the elements or more.
The aesthetic component of the games is related to emotions and experiences, so we will have to make a design based on the experience of the final user and always taking into account the characteristics and interests of them.
That is to say, in many cases we will have to forget about our personal likes and dislikes.
Although on the other hand, think that ... if the aesthetics of the game does not motivate you ... Hardly motivate your students.
If you're an artist drawing or designing great websites, great! Anyway, fortunately, nowadays you don't need to be a "brush genius" to design websites, cards, maps, characters... with a professional look.
There are a lot of pages and apps that will do the job for you. In this talk you will know a good selection.
In my opinion, there is no doubt that the aspect that will most influence the succesS of a gamified structure is its narrative.
Read adventure books, visit websites of teachers who gamify their classes, play board games, video games, watch series and movies... Be aware of the "fashions" that most attract the attention of your students... With a good base, ideas flow by themselves. Without it, it's much more complicated.
In the next slides you have a good bunch of examples that can get you started.
Another thing that can help you is reading about Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey (also called the Monomyth) or about Propp's Narrative Functions. Both theories have inspired countless books, movies, series and games. Look a this video:
Finally, by clicking on the image below you have a highly recommended article (which came into my hands through Clara Cordero) with narratives that can help you a lot in your first gamifications.
It seems clear that a good way to start is to take a look at what others have done. In the next slides we will see some good examples.
ESCUELA DE DETECTIVES
ESCUELA DE SUPERHÉROES
ESCUELA DE MAGIA
MR RUIZ IS IN TROUBLE
THE MANSION RUFFINNI
This is an example of pure narrative. Actually, the rest of the gamification is very simple. Little technology, few components... The kids enjoyed it a lot and the objectives were met.
In a new school, and finally as a class tutor, I proposed this gamified structure for the whole course.
In this case, aesthetics were important and everything related to the course: the blog, the class, the superhero tips, the cooperative roles, the language topics... was related to the superheroes theme.
The second evaluation cards (proposed by the students themselves) were a great success.
One year after the Superheroes School, with the same group, which already had experience with gamification, we proposed this Magic School following the same line, but with a lot of novelties: A web instead of a blog, the House Cup, four different types and collectibles cards, the weekly challenges from Dumbledore that our owl brought us (which I recommend you all to visit)...
I designed this website for a whole day's workshop at the CFPI, in which there was a theory part (played, of course), a digital treasure hunt and an Escaperoom.
For shorter training sessions, at the end of last year I designed "El Informe G", including cards from Espionage Agencies, which allowed to experience a small team competition and an approach to gamification in a very short time.
The Mansion of Professor Ruffinni has accompanied me in teacher trainings lasting from three to five sessions and it is also possible to visit it autonomously for any teacher who wants to do so (without being enrolled in any course).
To move from one room to another in the Mansion, you have to solve puzzles. If you want to enter the library, look for the password in the frame of the professor's portrait...
The minion laboratory is the last gamification we have done. The students will become minions working in teams in search of a vaccine for COVID19. At the same time, they will have to continue helping Gru in his villain missions...
Collaborative gamification to organize remote work for students in two different Spanish schools during COVID19 lockout.
Original and attractive narrative and wonderful aesthetics in this gamification by Norberto Cuartero to work on maths.
Zombiología is, as its authors say, an alternative development of the Biology and Geology curriculum for the 3rd secondary year. It is an amazing gamified project with Zombie theme.
In a resources section you can download its Didactic Guide in which all its development is justified.
The original idea and implementation is the work of Santiago Vallejo, although the further development of the project has had up to seven collaborators.
Gamified structure for the contents and tasks for both language and maths areas during the remote learning period due to the COVID19 pandemic.
Awesome gamified structure with the aesthetics from the most popular Pixar films to present contents and tasks for the maths area.
No digital tool is needed to create a successful gamified structure.
As you might have guessed, Bitmoji is my favorite avatar creation tool.
You only have to download its iOS or Android app and create a character. After that, you will have at your disposal hundreds of drawings with your character in funny situations.
Avatarmaker.com is the easiest option for you and your students.
You don't need to register. Simply create your avatar and download it. It's that easy.
Obviously, it doesn't have as many options as other webs/apps, but it can be more than enough.
This is the easiest website you can find to create your badges. No registration. Simply edit your badge and download it.
Create nice Warcraft cards with the features you prefer.
Possibly the simplest of all the tools to create cards. At first you don't know where everything goes, but you will figure it out after a couple of cards. It’s great!
Inkarnate is my favorite map generator. After registering, you can generate a fantastic map simply by dragging elements and choosing colors, sizes, letters...
The result is always cool.
In addition, the maps you generate are saved for editing, duplicating, etc.
Time Taco is a simple and cool tool. Enter the date of the event, the background image you prefer, and you're done: you have your countdown and the link in which it is.
No registration is required, but if you do, you will be able to save your "timetacos" and edit them later.
Another very simple tool. Without registration of any kind, you choose if you want a stopwatch or a countdown, style, time and ready.
As a snag, I'd say it's over-advertised. If you want to get rid of it, choose the "super fullscreen" mode.
Below you can select a cooler type of stopwatches. Select "Classroom Timers", you'll love them. And if, as I do, you're overwhelmed by numbers, try the "Sensory Timers" below as well.
This is the easiest option. No registration too.
Enter the roulette elements and click "go". It's that easy.
There is a little trick to save the custom roulette with the elements chosen you have already chosen. You can read it here.
Quizizz is a WONDERFUL TOOL. With Quizizz you can create quizzes and students enter them with a code. Unlike Kahoot, each one is answered on its own device, it is not necessary to see the questions on a large screen. One of its virtues is that the response time can be prevented from affecting the score, which reduces the stress produced by other tools, such as Kahoot. Preparing tests with Quizizz is super simple, and you can also take advantage of questions from tests performed by other professionals. Finally, the information provided by Quizizz on the results of each student is very extensive and easy to see. One of my favourite pages, without a doubt.
Kahoot is perhaps the most famous quizzes page. In recent years has been adding features to compete with other sites. One of my favorites is the possibility of assigning tests as homework instead of in class.
Many of you may have thought... "Yeah, but I don't have mobile devices in class (not to mention how my center's wifi is going...)". Well, we also have a solution for those situations, and it's called Plickers. It is much simpler than the previous ones but it has a great advantage: the students do not respond from a mobile device but with printed QR codes that the teacher scans from his mobile/tablet. It seems like magic! I encourage you to try it.
More and more famous and more and more complete. ClassDojo is a free classroom management platform with web access and applications for iOS and Android. It is based on the creation of classrooms in which students can receive badges with positive and negative value that add and subtract points. All this with a very amusing aesthetic (perhaps more focused on primary, although it can be adapted) and with great ease of use. The teacher (or the class) can choose according to which behaviours or skills the badges are earned. The evolution of each student or class can be seen in reports generated by the application itself in real time, which is very practical.
But that's not all, with ClassDojo you can also manage communication with students and families and you can publish news and class work.
It was created by Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don in 2011 and is currently used by millions of users worldwide.
On the other hand, using ClassDojo in the classroom without more, can not be considered gamification, because we would fall short (we only add badges and dots to the class ...). As the rest of the tools we are seeing in this talk, ClassDojo is just that, a "tool" that will serve us to implement the gamified structure we design.
This website has a very good graphic appearance and, especially for older students, an aesthetic very similar to the role-playing games they like so much.
During the game, students can improve, work as a team and gain powers that give them privileges in real life.
Each student must choose a character from one of the three classes in the game: Healers, Magicians or Warriors. Each of them has its own characteristics and powers. They are customized throughout the game and can even have their own pet. Characters are grouped into teams and can use their privileges and rewards with their teammates.
Depending on what the teacher has marked for the game, participants may earn or lose health, experience, power, and/or gold coins. With these points you can buy rewards in the real world also, of course, defined by the teacher.
Like other tools we have seen, it has applications for all operating systems and allows access to parents to control the process. There is a premium option, but with the basic option I think it is enough.
Wordwall can be used to create both interactive and printable activities.
Choose one of more than 30 templates that include familiar classics such as Quizes and Crossword. You can also find arcade-style games like Maze Chase, and there are classroom management tools like Seating Plan.
To make a new activity you can start by selecting your template and then enter its content. It's easy and means you can create an interactive activity in just a couple of minutes.
The activities can be embedded in your web or blog and played from any device/browser. You can even play in a multiplayer mode!
Genially is the multipurpose tool I would most recommend of all. The great advantage that this Spanish web application has is that, learning its simple handling, you can use it for a lot of different things: you can make interactive images, great presentations, games, breakouts, maps, digital teaching units, infographics, video presentations ...
The appearance of the products made is very professional, and the options to share it, insert it in a website, download it (in the payment option) ... are many.
This course is completely created with Genially.
DeckToys is one of the least known tools of this list and yet it is a great website that can be used in gamification. With DeckToys you can generate a kind of "videogame" with several stages that have to be passed on a path to travel. You enter question and answer tables and they become several different game types (memory, crossword puzzles, joining pairs...) It's those games that are introduced in the different stages of the path. The students play from their tablets and from the administrator's console you can see the results of the players. Come and try it!
Myclassgame is my favorite tool for gamification management. It allows you to give points and virtual coins to your students. They can buy the items you previously designed with the coins they have earned.
Add villains, random challenges, battles, team management... and you have a wonderful gamification tool.
LET'S REMEMBER WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE USE OF GAMES IN EDUCATIONAL CONTEXTS.