“Gamification” generally refers to the translation of game elements, mechanics, and dynamics for use in other areas—and often with the end goal of increasing engagement. When used in education, gamification takes on a unique form and raises an additional set of questions, which we will explore through these readings and lively discussion. This discussion’s follow-up workshop invites instructors to create a game, develop a badge, or re-consider how they might make their entire course more game-like. We’ll consider: To what degree is a course already a game and in what ways might a “gamified” course increase student engagement? How might a “game,” simulation, or making your coruse a game affect cognitive load? What is the (potential) distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic game content? In what ways might gamification (either explicit or implied) alienate certain students? And more.
Readings 1 & 2: A very short overview of “Gamification” and some of the thinking surrounding it.
- Educause (2011, August). Gamification. 7 things you should know about…
- Smith-Robins, S. (2011, January/February). “This Game Sucks”: How to Improve the Gamification of Education. Educause Review, 46(1), 58-59.
Reading 3: A simplified yet thought-provoking how-to for designing your own “educational game.”
- Nicholson, S. (2011, September/October). Making Gameplay Matter: Designing Modern Educational Tabletop Games. Knowledge Quest, 40(1), 60-65.
Reading 4: A case study in which an American Politics professor modifies the game Battleship to illustrate course content. Feel free to skim!
- Bridge, D. (2014, April). You Sunk My Constitution: Using a Popular Off-the-Shelf Board Game to Simulate Political Concepts. Journal of Political Science Education, 10(2), 186-203.