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Gamification – Game theory in lesson plan design

I love the idea of using video games as part of education. And I’ve always said that we need to use the theory behind video game development as a way to create lesson and unit plan design.

Game developers are great believers in learning theories and brain research. They know that unless the brain is engaged in lots of different ways, people won’t play the game. If people won’t play the game, the game developers lose money. Educational game researcher James Gee in his book What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Literacy & Learning says it this way:

Better theories of learning are embedded in the video games many children play than in the schools they attend.

So when I found out about the site Gamification, I was pumped. Gamification is described as

the concept that you can apply the basic elements that make games fun and engaging to things that typically aren’t considered a game.

Gamification has a nice page that focuses just on the use of game theory on education. From that list I found a great article from the online journal Currents in Electronic Literacy titled Game Design as a Model for Course and Curricular Development. The article is a part of an issue that focuses on gaming in education. Useful stuff!

I also really like an article cited that talks about “gamifying” homework.

The idea that we can use game design ideas to create high-quality lesson plans and units can be a bit uncomfortable. But check out my earlier post as well as some of the artices listed and let me know what you think.

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Glenn – there are so many things that can be done with gamification. 2011 is going to be a great year! At BigDoor we’re working to make it easy to create a virtual economy for users by adding badges, levels, points, leaderboards and virtual goods to their online world. Check out our resource section here: http://www.bigdoor.com/resources/gamification-glossary

    December 15, 2010

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