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Gamification and Education: Escapist Magazine

Posted by: Ryc0v

Tagged in: The Sims , ryc0v , gamification , extracredits , exp , escapist , Education


There are many fields that Gamification could theoretically be applied to, but it is one thing to theorise and hypothesise, and quite another to actually test and draw results. 

Extracredits (a content creator for Escapist Magazine) recently posted a short video answering some questions by educators world-wide, centred around how to implement gamification techniques in the field of Education (Primarily at Secondary/High School levels). 

They touch on many different techniques, but the one that stuck with me the most was the reinvention of our current marking system. We currently mark in an exclusionary fashion, were we look at an ideal piece of work as worthy of full marks (for example 100%).


This means that when someone obtains less than this (the statistical majority), they feel as if they have not achieved the best they could, ultimately lowering their final result.


Extracredits reasons that we should emulate the XP (or EXP) system from gaming. When you complete something, you get points, extra points can be awarded for exceptional work, but the primary focus of this should be to make completion and school work an additive process, rather than a subtractive process. Thus every time you complete something you see your points increase. 

Assisting your peers or reaching certain point levels or combos results in modifiers being applied to your next assignment, for example, helping 5 other students get a decent point return on an assignment could result in you receiving a +10% modifier for your term essay, or something similar. 

If this all seems a bit too ridiculous, suspend your disbelief for a bit longer and bear with me, I'll be continuing to this topic in a few days time.

(In other news, I've started balancing the amount of time I work with my relaxation times, in an effort to apply a "The Sims" kind of approach to keeping my life productive. Hopefully it'll work out to my advantage, currently "Diseased" is winning!)



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Comments (3)Add Comment
written by Point Scoring, May 14, 2011
The Games model provides a useful comparative framework for assessment in the education system. However, even at primary and high school level, not all assessment strategies are necessarily punitive and vary depending on the nature of the discipline, the sizes of classes, teachers' understanding of the purpose of assessment etc.

Some argue that a shift from old school punitive approaches to learning to reward based Outcomes Based Education approaches has seen students pass forward 'to the next level' - while failing to learn the lessons necessary for success in their disciplines. This has a knock-on effect on the quality and potential for success of candidates entering the higher education system.
written by Charmed, May 16, 2011
Hi Ryc0v.

Congratulations, you are now an Author on My Digital Life which means you will earn 20c a hit (South African hits) on all Digital blog posts and 10c a hit for Opinion posts.
written by Ryc0v, May 30, 2011
@Point Scoring

I agree completely with those who say that it doesn't necesarrily equip students properly, while still allowing them to continue their studies.

While punitive approaches to education are frowned upon ethically, doing an about face and making it impossible to fail is just as unethical, in my opinion.

The primary problem in modern education is providing an incentive for those pupils without the wisdom to find their own. Corporal punishment was once used for this, but perhaps the carrot (gamification) should be used instead of the stick?

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