Gamification (part 2)


Last week I posted two video’s about gamification:

Today, in part 2, we’re looking at the characteristics of games and how we can use these ideas to improve our education.

Let’s start with Jane McGonigal, she speaks on the skills students are learning from games, like defining very clear goals, finding different opportunities to pursue these goals, accepting failure as a part of the game and working together with other people:


James Paul Gee described 36 learning principles “what video games have to teach us about learning and literacy”. I’ll show you a selection:

  • “Learners of all levels of skills get rewards from the beginning;
  • Learners get lots of practice in a context where the practice is not boring;
  • Learning is a cycle of probing the world, doing something, reflecting in and on this action and forming hypothesis, reprobing the world to test this hypothesis and then accepting or rethinking the hypothesis;
  • There are multiple ways to make progress or move ahead. This allows learners to make choices, rely on their own strenghts and styles of learning and problem solving while also exploring alternative styles;
  • Meaning and knowledge are built up through various modalities (images, texts, symbols, interactions, abstract design, sound etc. not just words);
  • Learners get a lot of output with a little input;
  • The learner is given explicit information, both on demand and just in time, when the learner needs it, or just at the point where the information can be best understood and used in practice;
  • The learner is an insider, teacher and producer, not just a consumer.”

We can improve education by exploring games and game mechanics and by asking students why they love playing games. The next step is to choose one or two strategies and to integrate these strategies in our lessons. Like defining a clear goal and creating different ways to achieve this goal, introducing “group rewards” to encourage teamwork and using symbols and visuals to reduce text.

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