Since 1.2 million students fail to graduate from high school every year in the United States, solutions need to be found in order not to have that many fails. To higher the number of graduates, gamification came out of the cave. Gamification is the use of game content in a place where you are not supposed to game. This idea is brilliant in the world of teaching in school.
A good example of gamification is Classcraft? This software, used in classrooms, allows students to create their own characters and to play an entertaining game during class. As they level up with their own characters, they earn experience points; experience points give students rewards by doing good work like answering questions, helping teachers or having a good behavior.
HOW DOES IT WORK
With their own devices (iPhones, SmartPhones, name it), students create their own characters. It is like a video game. They may create Warriors, Mages or even Healers. When the class starts, teacher asks students to log in and to pick their characters. As the day goes, they earn Experiences (XPs).
XPs : By acting like a good student, earning XPs allows them to have palpable rewards. For example, earning XPs and leveling up (To pass from level 1 to 2 for instance) they can receive rewards like: Privilege to ask one question during an exam or they may have a homework pass.
Characters : Students can change the look of their characters to make them look likes them (Well, this is a kind of avatar, so they may create something that looks like them, but it is all fake).
NOTICE: To clarify some points, Classcraft is LIKE a game, but this is NOT a game. That being said, Classcraft is more concentrated on students behaviors. That means that is they are acting like good students during classes, they will earn XPs. Students cannot fight or enter dungeons while playing this game. It is not as interactive as a Role Playing Games (RPGs) or MMORPG.
PROS and CONS
- Easy to use
- HIGHLY motivate students to be kind
- Not enough developed
- Some students, more often girls, don’t see the fun of playing a game
« Best classroom product since the textbook! » -Tyler, W.
Classcraft has allowed me to engage students in a way that I thought I would never be able to. I have seen student growth and engagement double from last year just because of the reward system Classcraft offers students. Students become immersed in a world of learning that used to be out of reach with traditional learning methods.
Gamification benefits in education
It has been demonstrated that gamification has a lot of benefits in the world of education. According to Ashley Deese, gamification helps the development of cognitive elements in children’s brain. It enhances brain’s stimulations which is very useful for brain in development. Gamification also helps students to be more engaged in classroom. Classcraft enhances students’ motivation and engagement in classroom so it results in better learning.
Teacher point of view
As an ESL teacher, I must say that Classcraft is brilliant. Because we can’t control the use of online games of many students, Classcraft is like fighting fire by fire, and it works. According to Carina Hilbert, Classcraft is a class changer. She said that she had a group of very disturbing students and when she introduced the game, students turned into motivated students who want to know which event is gonna be the event of the day. That being said, Classcraft improve students’ motivation for boys as much as girls. I totally agree with Carina Hilbert. As a future ESL teacher, I am sure that this game of game in a classroom will improve students behavior and motivation. As a kid, I have always dreamt of a world that mixes knowledge and game. Classcraft is the perfect mix and will certainly be in my future ESL classes.