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Gamification and the Blended Classroom – The Tech Edvocate


In a blended classroom, content is delivered using both traditional methods and online learning. Students have some degree of control over pace, path, and time.

This method fits perfectly with gamification: integrating game mechanics into non-game contexts. Game mechanics include points, rules, objectives, levels, and so on.

Benefits of Gamification in the Blended Classroom

Why are gamification and the blended classroom a match made in heaven? Let’s explore some of the benefits!

Motivation

Gamification gives students a goal to work toward, whether it’s winning a spot on the leaderboard, leveling up, or earning points and badges.

Done effectively, these rewards should also be tied to concrete learning objectives. This way, students are motivated to learn content, sometimes even independently and outside of school.

Customization

Most gamification tools allow students to move at their own pace, typically based on mastery. If a student quickly masters a level, he or she can quickly move on. However, a student who struggles may need to spend more time on the level before advancing to the next topic.

Assessment

Assessment is built into the majority of gamification tools. Usually, you can see data on your students’ progress as they move through the various missions or levels.

If a learner consistently fails a level or isn’t earning points and badges at the expected rate, you know that he or she may need some extra attention.

And thanks to the game-based reward system, your students can easily self-assess their progress as well. Gamification promotes independence and flexibility, qualities that are also prioritized in a blended classroom.

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Gamification Tools for the Blended Classroom

Typically, gamification works best in a blended classroom when it involves independent, self-paced play. Some edtech tools that meet this requirement include:

  • Classcraft– In this fantasy-based game, students play as healers, mages, or warriors. After forming teams, they earn or lose points based on classroom performance and behavior. You can also have students “fight battles” against your existing questions.
  • Play Brighter– Students complete missions by answering questions correctly. You can input your own questions or choose from a bank of over 2,000. Students earn currency that can be used to customize their in-game avatars.
  • Minecraft: Education Edition– In a game world related to your content, students collaborate on projects, interact, and share portfolios. Although you can build your own world, there are pre-built worlds available with related lessons.

Of course, if these tools seem too complex, you can simply gamify your classroom using game-based terminology. This includes terms such as points, XP, and levels. You may wish to refer to assignments and activities as “missions” and award digital badges when your students “unlock” certain achievements.

Final Thoughts

Integrating gamification into your blended classroom helps students take ownership of their learning, increases student motivation, and provides measurable evidence of mastery.

Plus, your students will have fun and “buy in” to the content you’re teaching. After all, they have to meet your learning goals in order to earn badges or climb that leaderboard.



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