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Gamified Class and Lecture


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I have been trying to gamify a class for a while now. One obstacle I run into is what methods of teaching can I use in a gamified class.  I teach high school business and computers. I am starting with my Intro to business class. I might be limiting myself saying I can only use the game to teach a topic.

An example for my intro to business class is that I usually start the semester with showing the students how to format a business letter and an email.  The only why that I can think to get the correct formatting to the students is to step them through typing an example letter. I then have them do another example letter on their own and the final project is that they have to write to a business.  

Is using lecture at times ok?  I know that I don't want to use lectures all of the time. I get tired of hearing my self talk for longer than 20 minutes. I can only imagine what the students think. 





2 Answers


You absolutely can gamify any aspect of the class you want to. For example, today we worked through an "I do, we do, you do" model with an assignment. I made the "I do" (it was actually a we-do, but it's fine) part worth 10XP. Then students worked in groups for the "We do" part for 15XP. Then they did the You Do part for 25XP. I'm mostly giving points over completion of the task, not the grade they got for it (see Michael's book for more info on that), and I will also give bonus XP for things like putting phones away during class, or whatever else I decide to give points for. They also earn XP for completing the warm up and exit ticket. 

I have some "side quests" that are actually extra work, but will give the kids more practice. 

Hope that helps!

@movieman-davidgmail-com, Can you give me more information on the XP points you give? Are they per person or class? What is earned by these points? Do you require a set amount they have to earn, or what? I also do not grade their work; I grade their learning. It is hard for them to understand at first that they will have a low score until they complete a new assignment in that standard or revise the work they did. But they do appreciate it in the end.

I had a hard time starting the game because the 8th graders in this class were not interested in doing any work. I have tried the poker chip games, but no one has read the text, or only a few students have read it, and they can't play that way. This is why I am interested in how you use the XP. I am always looking for new ways to try and engage them.

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@movieman-davidgmail-com Thank you for your response. That does help me.



So, as for the XP, I'm using the Gamification Control Tower. Students are divided in teams (most classes I let them choose their teams, but not all), I use the "Guild Names" column in the control tower for teams. Then I put the period number, I use the House column for class period. This way, when I give points for a student, it also automatically gives points for their team. On the "Leaderboard" tab of the control panel in columns AB and beyond, I determine what to give points for. Right now, warmups are 10 points, the class work is 25-50 points, the exit ticket is 10 points. Then I have a few assignments that I wanted kids to do, but we don't have time in class to get to them. My students mostly won't do homework, so those "I wish I had time" assignments are now "Side Quests" worth 25-50 points. 

It can be a lot of work, but I think it boosts my engagement enough that it's worth my time.

As far as what is earned, since we are doing this as STAAR (our state test) Boot Camp, I'm going to give the top team in each class donuts or bagels & coffee or OJ. Once I made lunch for them and had a nacho party. The prize has to be something that they would want to work for, although a few will participate because they just want to win and don't care what the prize is. 

Your prize could be anything from a free day to something tangible like I'm doing.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend reading EXPlore Like a Pirate by Michael Matera. It has a lot of practical advice on how to make gamification work in classes.


Now, let me be clear, I still have a few students who are not doing what they are supposed to do in class and don't care about the prize, their grade, parent calls, or anything else. I still think it's worth it for the ones who are engaged.

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by David Isbell
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