Noah Wilson Mini Course: Gamifying Course Design


ETAP 623 FALL 2015 - Byrne & Zhang section 8550 | Noah's Portfolio Page


Overview and Purpose

Engaging students in their learning is increasingly challenging as more and more things are vying for their attention. While certainly deserving of its fair share of scrutiny, current research into gamified classrooms hold promising developments for addressing 21st century student needs. This mini course is designed for educators who want to learn more about what gamification is and why it may be a useful to implement in their classroom. During this course, participants will learn about the different gamer-types and how to motivate them, the distinction between the various gamified experiences, and also an opportunity to design gamified lesson plans of their own. Participants will engage in online discussion boards, reflective blogging, create gamified lesson plans, and explore how their distinct gamer-type can contribute towards an ongoing class wiki project.

Needs Assessment

A learners disengagement is often due to their lack of motivation. While extrinsic rewards are not without merit, intrinsic motivation can be a powerful resource. Creating opportunities for students to choose and impact their educational environment are important ways to increase their investment in their learning. Gamified learning as an instructional approach offers educators an opportunity to create environments that are student centered, conscientious of student's intrinsic motivation, offers students agency and choices in regards to assignments, rapid feedback, and scale-able challenge through the learn-by-failure technique. While not a catch all, gamified learning offers another approach for the instructional toolset that can address attention and engagement issues in the classroom.

Performance Objectives

Educators will be able to....

  • Identify themselves as one of four gamer types:Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Competitors by taking the Bartle Test and then complete the reflection grid, comparing how their gamer type align with their actual preferences.
  • Read 2 assigned articles/readings and find 1 outside, peer reviewed source of their own explaining Self Determination Theory; engage in discussion with peers; and self assess their discussion contributions.
  • Utilize a rubric to produce 2-3 real life examples of the following: game, gameful design, gamification, and serious game/simulation.
  • List the 5 steps of the gamification process by completing a module to module curriculum guide/checklist.
  • Develop a gamified course plan of their own design which includes a curriculum map and 3-5 lessons.

Course Units

The following pages are essential for participation in the course:

Gamify Course Design Group Discussion Area
Gamifying Courses Wiki Page
Gamify Course Design Learner Profiles

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Why Gamify?


This first unit is all about learning what gamifying course design can bring to the classroom toward addressing the needs of learners. In the first half of this unit, participants will learn about the four primary gamer types and what motivates each one. Participants will then take the Bartle test themselves which will determine what role they will have in regards to the discussion board experience. The second half of the unit concerns self-determination theory and then discussing ways that it can be used to make the most of gamified learning.

Unit 2: What is Gamifying?


This second unit is all about gamified experiences and how to distinguish between them. The first half of the unit has participants engaging with readings and videos that explain the differences between games, gameful design, gamification, and serious games/simulations to then develop a rubric to be used for the second half. The second half of the unit tasks students with finding real-life examples of all of the different gamified types as determined by the rubric. Students then must discuss a prompt chosen by the leading killer participant from the previous unit. Participants then complete a conclusion blog and self assessment of their discussion board participation with specific attention to their current role.

Unit 3: How Do I Gamify?


Now that participants have explored 'why' and 'what' gamifying is, it is time to actually begin creating lessons. The first half of the unit provides participants with a five step process for gamification but also a rubric for assessing and choosing sources from the course wiki to include in their course design. Participants will spend the second half of the unit completing their 5-10 lesson plans for their gamified course.

Extended Resources

Sheldon, Lee. The multiplayer classroom designing coursework as a game. Boston, MA: Course Technology/Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Werbach, Kevin, and Dan Hunter. For the win how game thinking can revolutionize your business. Philadelphia: Wharton, 2012. Print.
Jesse Schell's Site
Victor Manrique's Epic Win Blog