Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Transferring Game Characteristics to the Classroom

There are eight characteristics that have been identified for a good game. They are:
  1. Choice
  2. Failure-lot of it in games. You learn from it by going back and trying again until you succeed.
  3. Progress Bars-you see what you have completed and how much further you have to go
  4. Multiple long and short aidm
  5. Rewards-all successful efforts are rewarded with experience points (XP)
  6. Prompt-feedback is meaningful and quick
  7. Element of Uncertainty/awards-there are know rewards to work for but there are also additional rewards and are give randomly. Rewards ignite and sustain engagement
  8. Socialization
One of the easiest game characteristics to implement into a typical classroom is choice. What is covered in class is mandated by standards but teachers usually have freedom in how they teach it and the projects students do to support the learning process. As schools are adopting the Universal Design for Learing (UDL) model they are encourages to provide choices that meet each student's learning style.

Students with Special Needs benefit the most from this. Deaf students often have below grade level reading and writing skills. Giving these children the choice of writing a report, making a poster or a video or doing a presentation allows them to show what they know without bogging them down in the process. Just moving this single component of games into the classroom allows students success at proving what they know.

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