Gamifying Learning

One of the great sessions I attended at the Adobe Education Leader Summer Institute was one entitled “Gamifying the Learning Environment” by Mike Skocko and Kevin McMahon.

These two Adobe Education Leaders talked about their experiences in moving their classes over to a gaming methodology where students progress through learning as if they were achieving levels in a game or earning belts in martial arts.

It was really interesting to hear them talk about the experiences of the students (many of whom were already tuned to the process of gaming) and how they were highly motivated to do well in this learning environment. Mike Skocko talked about the Zone of Intrinsic Motivation where the following three points intersect to facilitate maximum learning. 1) What students do well 2) What students want to learn and 3) what we as educators want them to learn. It was fascinating to hear him talk about tuning the quests (assignments) to match where these three points intersect. Mike has a fantastic class blog. It very interesting to see how he inspires his students to do their best.  While you’re visiting the class blog, be sure to see his student’s best poster work page, it’s outstanding!

Kevin McMahon is also doing incredible work with inspiring high school students to create their best work by gamifying the whole learning process. He’s using a Dojo metaphor to help his students master the skills of graphic design. He talked about how points, rankings, recognition, and inclusion to the hall of fame, clubs and special events motivate the students to do exceptional work. You’ve got to see the work these students are creating! It’s really inspiring. His class information and great student work is available at The Design Dojo.

I really enjoyed hearing about the techniques and methodologies used to motivate students to love learning in these classes. Any activity or methodology that helps students take ownership for their own learning, and helps them love learning is a worthwhile endeavor.