Gaming, gaming

Posted on May 14, 2013

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Just sat in on a webinar on “gamifying” education.

The games are “like assignments, only more granular.”

Okay, I totally love the fundamental idea of ‘non-reductive evaluations’ – keeping track of the progress you’re making, not just “here’s what you got wrong.”   And I also appreciate the idea that with a game, “failure” just means you need to figure out the schema to get through that level.

However, I sat here today and watched a student work through ALEKS and yes, she had schema.   No, it had *nothing* to do with undrestanding the math.   Everything was granular.   She’d figure out some strategy to get through one piece of the “pie,” but … it’s not that she has no number sense, but you would have thought so based on the strategies she was using — when adding fractions with different denominators, she would find the correct LCD and then… multiply the numerator by the other number’s denominator.

The premise that Mr. (Dr.? Sir? :)) Haskell started with was that homework is a test of, basically, our home support system.  Okay, I’ll buy that — basically, the students will be motivated by those badges instead of a Parental Type Unit saying “DO YOUR HOMEWORK!”

All well and good, but how ’bout we at least talk about what makes a good game or lesson?

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