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IDIG Greet and Grow: Bringing Gamification to the Higher Ed Classroom

On Tuesday, October 22, the Instructional Design Interest Group (IDIG) had its regular Greet and Grow session where those interested in Instructional Design issues can network with others, compare experiences and share tips and tricks.  For this meeting Bethany Smith, Director of the Media & Education Technology Resource Center at NC State, hosted a discussion around the topic: Bringing Gamification to the Higher Ed Classroom: It’s not just about playing Jeopardy. Attendees read three documents based around the idea of Games and Gamification: The NMC Horizon Report 2013 (pg. 20-23), The Huffington Post article titled “Motivating Students and the Gamification of Learning”, and Expanding Education and Workforce Opportunities Through Digital Badges.

The group discussed ways to use game-design thinking in their courses. They began by reviewing some of the most popular games and discussed the strategies designers might have used in order to keep gamers playing and entertained: things like skill development, personalization, rewarding systems, scaffolding, storylines, character development, etc. How might these same techniques be used in the classroom? They continued by discussing badging and Mozilla’s OpenBadges Initiative that supports the recognition of verification of learning by standardizing processes for delivering recognition. Purdue’s Passport system was discussed additionally.

The discussion then ventured into a conversation about using higher order thinking skills in gaming. The group brought up several examples of games they are currently using or have used in the past in order to formatively assess higher order thinking.

It was a highly informative hour that left the participants with some knowledge that they could immediately put to use, some knowledge that allowed them to stay current in their field, and with some knowledge that allowed them to better direct their own research and discovery.