One of my favourite sessions at the Future Schools Conference 2016 was Marg Meijers "Let them get on with it". She gave us some really good ideas for making learning fun through Gamification and I wanted to share those here. These slides are from her presentation and her contact details are at the bottom of this blog. She is a motivated and exciting teacher - I wish I had been fortunate enough to have a teacher like her when I was at school.
As we all know with teaching, there is no guarantee students
have previous experience in your subject. Some students can
program apps and some have never had computers at home. Marg likened this to being the equivalent of dropping students into
algebra if they can't count yet.
To cater for this huge range of abilities, she wrote different levels of a game where students could drop into a level at the right stage of their ability.
She wanted students to be able to work at their own pace and not repeat work they had already mastered. The goal was to have students engaged and motivated as well as challenged and extended. So she made a game that covered all of these requirements.
Each level has badges and a "SkillZ Boss" they have to beat before they can move up to the next level. I particularly like the idea of the Boss level as it covers all the work and effectively is the test. Her slide on the difference between the Boss level and a test is enlightening. I really love this. Isn't this exactly what we want to have our students do?
She also includes Health bars where she can add health for good work and remove for off task behaviour. There are random fun elements as they go and various challenges as extras. She uses a spinner for those that can't decide which challenge to do when there is a choice.
If you are looking for reasons to gamify your class - here they are:
Marg's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out these games she has made to learn coding: Alice Scratch
I wish all classes were like this - imagine how much fun learning would be!