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Gamify Your Classroom

A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning – Revised edition


Matthew Farber

This completely revised and expanded field guide is packed with new innovative ideas on how to implement game-based learning and gamification techniques in everyday teaching. With nearly two dozen more experts than the first edition, this book contains interviews with more than 70 authorities in the field, including academics such as James Paul Gee, Kurt Squire, Mizuko (Mimi) Ito, Lee Sheldon, Jordan Shapiro, and Mary Flanagan. The author also shares conversations with experts from numerous organizations such as Common Sense Media, iCivics, DragonBox, Connected Camps, GlassLab Games, Schell Games, Institute of Play, Games for Change, BrainPOP, Tiggly, Toca Boca, ThinkFun, BrainQuake, Filament Games, BreakoutEDU, Kahoot, Classcraft, and more. Featuring a new introduction, as well as a foreword from USA Today’s national K-12 education writer Greg Toppo, this book provides new practical lesson plan ideas, ready-to-use games, and links for further research in each updated chapter. Included are best practice recommendations from star game-based learning teachers, including Steve Isaacs, Peggy Sheehy, Michael Matera, Rafranz Davis, Zack Gilbert, and Paul Darvasi. Regardless of your teaching discipline or grade level, whether you are new to game-based learning or if you have experience and want to take a deeper dive, this book will engage and reinvigorate the way you teach and how your students learn!

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Chapter 3. Player Types and Motivation


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One of the most influential papers to affect modern video game design came from Richard Bartle. His Player Type Model first described in Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs (1996), transformed how games were designed. Bartle’s observations still reverberate today—especially in gamification’s approach to engagement (adding game elements in spaces that are otherwise not games, such as websites and exercise programs). Bartle graciously granted me an interview, and in it he puts an educational spin on his now famous Player Types Model. Designing games should put the gamers’ experience first and foremost. Shouldn’t learning design do the same? It is as important to understand the work of Bartle when integrating game-based learning as it is to learn about Howard Gardner when planning to teach students using a variety of intelligence modalities.

Much of the current research I found on game design came from behaviorists and designers, not programmers or computer nerds. Game designers Jane McGonigal and Amy Jo Kim, for example, have PhDs in the field of behavioral psychology. It is common for school districts to have a child psychologist and/or a behaviorist on staff. Most of their days are spent with students who exhibit social or emotional problems. It would be unusual for a school to hire ← 39 | 40 → a behaviorist to ensure that the general population is having a happy and fulfilling learning experience.

This chapter compares and contrasts...

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