Creating a Gameful learning space, not gamified education (gamification)

Gamified, or gamification in education was all the rage a few years back, and why not, kids love video games, naturally if we make education like video games they will love it too!, well it is never really that straightforward but that didn’t stop people talking about it. It seems that gamification is still in the air in education circles, and it has found a big place in business and industry.

“many, many hours of plays testing”

My concern with gamification is in its implementation. Sure, adding game elements sounds fun, but doing it right is tough. There is a reason why a typical video game has many game designers, years of concepts and interaction, and most importantly many, many hours of plays testing.

I know when I was designing lessons for my class, to keep these original and engaging I would often come up with them the day before, or on the spot – my play testing was done in the class and changes made on the fly. Good luck finding the time to really take a gamified approach to your lessons.

The other issue I have with the way gamification is often tackled in class is the extrinsic motivations it adds, are students really engaged in the content? Are they completing their latest activity because they really enjoy it and can see a positive result in their lives…or just so they can get to the top of the leaderboard?

“they are given a space in which they can put that learning in action in an engaging, challenging and, at times, competitive way”

These are all the questions that are coming up as I work on my current project. And my answer? well, it is a rather complex system, one I can’t just show you yet, but it basically comes down to the learning space.

I want to focus on creating a learning space that is engaging, challenging and playful – the game or play space. (I am working on an online space, but this could be your school or classroom) and some lessons that empower its users to learn by doing and create media artefacts that speak to this.

Think of it like a sport; game of football. Football takes a lot of training, commitment and, well, hard work. Yet every weekend our students come together and put this work into action on the sporting ground, they are given a space in which they can put that learning in action in an engaging, challenging and, at times, a competitive way. They are working together to achieve a goal bigger than themselves.

This is the space I want to create. How?, well, that I hope to show you soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s