Educator and gamified-lesson guru Chris Hesselbein has some invaluable advice to teachers who are considering gamification as a classroom teaching technique.
“In the field of gaming,” Hesselbein writes in his blog, “the term ‘epic fail’ refers to a situation where you fail so dramatically that you can’t help but learn something from it. Even with the best designed gamified lesson plan, you are almost guaranteed to have an epic fail. Failure can be scary, especially in front of students, and most people want to avoid it. However, these failures are in fact the only ways that your game design will improve. Upon launching your first gamified experience, you will probably have a few unavoidable failures . . .”
As I prepare to teach an upcoming session on gamified Google Forms, which are based on a model I use for deploying learning stations in Google Forms, I thought it would be beneficial for fellow educators to share their own gamification epic failures – for the edification of gamification novices in the crowd.
In the spirit of sharing teachable moments, I’ll go first: Prior to reading Hesselbein’s blog (Insertcoin.org), I didn’t realize there are so many nuances to game design. I am a competitive person, but I don’t fancy myself a game player. I don’t mind the occasional card game with family and friends or an evening spent at the Monopoly board. But living in front a game console is something I haven’t done since elementary school, which was more than three decades ago. Therefore, I never took the time to really investigate game design until roughly a month ago. Now that I’ve spent some time with my toe in game-filled waters, I understand that passing a student a badge or two doesn’t necessarily make a game. I’m now in the process of revamping some professional-development sessions to make them better – and truly gamified. Thanks, Hasselbein for helping me get a better look at the big gamification picture.
There, I feel better. And, now the secret is out: I’m not perfect.
Your turn. Help your fellow educators. Snag a comment box below, and post your gamification epic fail, along with what you learned from it. I’ll link this blog and the testimonies it generates to my gamified-Google Forms training, which is slated for late July.