Essential Question: Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them?
OH MY GOODNESS!! There are so many aspects to a game that I never considered. "Choosing a theme is the first step in gamification and will set the tone for the lesson, unit, or even the year ahead." This week I was really challenged to think of the storyline or theme for my classroom. I think I was thinking in the wrong direction for how to gamify my own classroom. I was only really considering the game elements and not how to add the story to make it a game. The advise Matera (2015) gives is to "find possible themes from books, media, historical events, and your content." This made me think of one of my favorite series of books, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which conveniently was recently made into a movie. Now that I have my story I need to figure out the other elements.
I think the next part would be making up the teams. I would make the teams represent loops. The teams would just be in one class to test this out and then hopefully each class I teach could be a loop in the future and they could work with other classes and challenge them. In Miss Peregrine's some of the main loops include; Miss Peregrine, Miss Wren, and Miss Avocet. I would give students these as ideas and then let them choose their own loop leader and name the loop after that. This would set up perfectly for characters. Each student could be randomly given a peculiarity. I would give different powers for each peculiarity; able see hollowgasts, lighter than air, talk with bees, invisibility, make fire, resurrect the dead, make fire, prophetic dreams, bee talker, extra mouth in back of head, and incredible strength.
I would also have to think about leveling up. I like the idea of students turning in a weekly sheet. Then I can verify their level and update accordingly. For leveling up I would give XP for "completing required and optional tasks, or by earning achievements and badges, or by participating in free play and special events" (McCarthy 2016). I like McCarthy's idea of having boss challenges, which I would rename hollowgast challenges. Students would have to reach a certain level to attempt these and these would be assessed for grades. "A great tool to set up your leaderboard is Google Sheets. This makes it easy to share with students if you would like" (Matera 2015). I love Google sheets and am already familiar with it so it makes perfect sense to use it. I'm not sure as to the activities in the game yet but know that I would want to provide many choices, maybe a choice board, as McCarthy (2016) suggests by calling it free play. One activity I really liked was an example by Matera (2015) to have an impromptu trivia game using a program called Celly. I also like the idea of side quests to gain more in the game but Matera lists rules that I really like:
Two pieces of advice from Ronan (2015) really stuck out to me as I was getting wrapped up in creating a gamified class room. "Start small, dive in, see what works, and tweak your plans along the way." This really made me consider just doing a class rather than all of my classes. Another idea I really need to think about first is backwards planning. I need to think about what I want students to accomplish before I start planning all of my activities.
McCarthy, J. (2016, October 20). Gamifying Your Class to Meet the Needs of All ... Retrieved October 28, 2016, from https://www.edutopia.org/article/gamifying-your-class-john-mccarthy
Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design [Kindle Edition]. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting.
Ronan, A. (2015, July 30). The Ultimate Guide to Gamifying Your Classroom. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.edudemic.com/ultimate-guide-gamifying-classroom/