A major component to any gamification in the world of education would be the addition of items. With items, there are always a lot of questions that come along with them. Hopefully this will help some of the most common questions ...
Let's tackle it with the 5 Ws - The Who, What, When, Where and Why and let's sneak in the How too!
Should you not know what items are think of them as privileges or perks that you can unlock during the course of your game. They can be simple or complex, work for individuals or benefit groups. They can be common and frequent or legendary and rare. In essence, they can be anything you want them to be and work in any way you see fit. An essential idea here is to theme your item cards to the theme of your game and use a common language. Do not name them with a futuristic name and style if you want them to be old and more rustic in nature. Students will right away notice a conflict in the theme and the item. This does require some deeper thinking and creativity but it is always worth it!
When I decided to design my items I had to determine what I wanted them to allow players to do. I cut my proverbial hat into two and thought one part like a gamer and one part like a teacher.
I decided to create four different (at first - more on that below) classes of cards and colour them accordingly. The first theme came from the teacher side of my hat. Access cards - which I made green. Students always want to get something they forgot, wear a hat and things like that so I decided to create my first set of access items along that theme. I designed cards that allowed students to gain access to things they common want/need. For example: to wear hats, access and post on my Instagram (always explain clear rules and expectations when doing something like this but when well executed it is pretty fun!), access their lockers, charge their phones and even play our class X-Box. This gives students a sense of control because they get to determine when they use it and for what purpose. You just need to think like a teacher and ask yourself "What do you my students most commonly ask for?" and design your Access cards around that theme! You would be surprised how having to earn access to your locker or earn a pencil helps students to remember to come to class prepared!
Click here to view all my access cards
For my second set, I thought both like a teacher and a gamer. I created a set of Modification cards - which I made red. These cards allow the player to modify or impact some aspect of the game. They can change the names of fellow players' avatars (lay out clear expectations and rules for this and always privately ask the player who name is about to be changed if they are OK with it so ensure no inside jokes or quiet bullying is about to promoted), go back in time to revert the change back, blow up other players items that pose a threat to them and modify due dates to extend deadlines! Lots of fun here!
Click here to view all my modification cards
Next I decided to think purely like a gamer for my next two card sets! The first set I decided to create was all about XP - I made these cards blue. Since we are earning XP I decided to allow players to freeze other players XP, steal it and even just destroy it! They can even make a battles sheet or quest worth double the XP. Just remember, as I eluded to in a previous post, separate the graded XP from the game XP. Do no allow players to take XP that effects a students grade. XP is a game mechanic that fuels the competitive so I create copies of my latest up to date graded XP then only allow the students to modify the copy which is not tied my grade book. Hopefully that makes sense but if not fire me a message and I'll help you out!
Click here to view all of my XP cards
Finally, I needed to think purely like a gamer and create some attack cards - which I made gold! These cards are used during battle (tests) and during questing (work). They allow players to take choices off of multiple choice questions, ask for help from a peer during a battle, collaborate for a short time during a battle with their guild and make questions worth more on a battle (which backfires if they are wrong). These are probably the most frequently used and purchased. You can get real creative here if you wish!
Click here to view all of attack cards
Here are some example of my game cards. If you notice, I stuck with a dark theme as all images contain a dark coloured background and have an old, medieval flair to them. Cards I could not find old versions of, for example my "Song of Fortune" card I decided to keep it aggressive in style to fit the theme.
If you are really creative you can get the brain juices flowing and implement one or more of these 3 ideas!
More on this is part 2 coming in a week or so!
Until next time!