I have decided to turn my English class into a video game.
Yup, that’s right. A video game. An MMORPG to be exact.
However, the process of “gamifying” my English classroom is not as easy as it sounds. For those of you not familiar with gamification, you may want to read this short introduction.
In the video below, Jane McGonigal talks about the power of gaming to make our lives – and our world – a better place.
Here, Paul Anderson discusses how he gamified his science classroom:
The MMORPG I have decided to use as my model is the one I am most familiar with: World of Warcraft, or WoW for short. The elements of WoW I am borrowing for my learning space include:
- Scaffolded learning;
- Exotic and stimulating environment;
- Collaboration and social networking;
- Creative expression
First of all, the class jargon has to change (thanks to Lucas Gillispie, Craig Lawson, and Peggy Sheehy, “WoW in School”):*
- Adventurers – students;
- Lorekeeper – teacher;
- Quest – an assignment or other educational opportunities;
- Quest chain – a series of assignments or other education opportunities that are sequentially related;
- Challenge – unit component that makes up larger quests;
- Boss – final exams and other major assessments;
- Guild – groups of students placed together as an educational unit for the year (similar to “houses” in the English educational system);
- XP/Level – experience points adventurers will earn as they complete quests and challenges;
- Tavern talks – in-class and online discussions;
- Artifact – quest item, or actual finished assignments;
- Crafting – the process of completing artifacts used in challenges and quests.
Levels and Leveling
There are four major areas of concentration in the standard English classroom: reading, writing, research, and communication. I have taken these four traditional areas and converted them into four paths that adventurers can level:
- Reading = Bard
- Writing = Scribe
- Research = Sleuth
- Communication = Herald
The various levels include Apprentice, Journeyman, Artisan, and Master. Those adventurers who wish to complete a final comprehensive project will be awarded the Legendary title (in one or more paths). The guilds will also have a leveling process, and these same titles apply.
Leveling will occur as experience points are earned:
- Apprentice (0-300 pts.)
- Journeyman (300-600 pts.)
- Artisan (600-900 pts.)
- Master (900+ pts.)
This point system can be converted into a traditional grading policy to satisfy a school’s traditional (and outdated) grading system.
These thoughts are just the beginning in my search to gamify my class. More on this gamification process will be posted here soon.
Til then, game on!
*The majority of my ideas are based on Gillispie and Lawson’s gamification in education text.