Transforming the Student Experience
Creating a Gamification & Blended Learning Website
Project Overview & Objectives
This project was a complete redesign of both the presentation and implementation of the grade 6 Math curriculum by bringing in elements of both gamification and blended or “hybrid” learning to the classroom.
Gamification can be defined as the process of applying game elements, game mechanics, and game thinking to non-game situations.
This project utilizes aspects of both content gamification (which is the application of game elements) and structural gamification (which is the application of game elements to propel a learner through content). One goal of this project is to transform student experience and promote deeper engagement with the content.
- Transform the student experience and promote deeper engagement of the content through the use of gamification
- Utilize a combination of Google Sites and Google Classroom to create a workflow for students to receive and hand-in their work
- Create an organized and structured “virtual” classroom
- Leverage digital forms and exit tickets to gauge student learning
- Build a digital environment where students can work more independently as well as one that provides differentiation for students who need to review the concepts or go further in their learning
The redesign of this curriculum aligns with the ISTE standard for an “Empowered Learner,” where a student will leverage technology, in this case the learning website, to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals. This platform promotes students to “use technology to seek feedback” [ISTE Standard 1c] through built-in feedback points provided as digital forms and exit tickets and “customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process” [ISTE Standard 1b] through pathways of differentiation to either review material or go deeper into the concepts.
The theme of Mario Bros. has been adapted to fit the context of the Mathematics class where students move through the levels (units) and within each level students also move through the stages (lessons). Elements of design have been utilized to create a more appealing student experience, to clearly denote the action points for students, and the use of icons to aid the user experience and communication.
Reorganization & Restructuring
The content for this class has been reorganized and restructured to incorporate elements of gamification and to embed interaction points. Each stage is structured to have a progress map to communicate to the learner where they are within the level, a “Do Now” activity, concept material, activity or independent practice material, an exit ticket, and information to homework. Another aim of this project is to create a uniformed and consistent learner experience.
Each stage also provides a uniform structure for differentiation where the student can proceed to a “Back to Basics” page for that lesson to review concepts or go to a “Challenge Work” page to go further within the concept. To promote access for the teacher to student data, the “Do Now” activity answer submission and exit ticket form submission have been transformed into digital forms. This will allow the teacher to easily see both whole class and individual student information.
Another aspect of this project was to rethink and redesign both the workflow of the class and the student. To promote achieving learning objectives, we aim to create a consistent and engaging class experience by creating a blended or “hybrid” classroom. By combining traditional classroom methods along with independent pathways for students to work through the material, the aim is to create a more engaging class experience where students have a clear understanding of what they should be doing and the teacher is free to provide support instead of direct instruction. By providing a space for the complete lesson to be located, students can easily go back to the information when needed and have access to it if they are absent.