1. What makes an Open Class Engaging?
2. What factors make a game effective for learning?
As an adult learner, I think some of the factors that make an open class engaging to me are probably different than from a high school or even younger-aged student. For the most part, however, the key components of engagement seem to be fairly universal. An inviting environment with formatting/fonts/programming that is aesthetically pleasing will definitely attract or hold my attention longer. I consider this a little more marketing but I think it’s a similar principal as to why we design an inviting classroom.
“Deconstruct the fun in any good game, and it becomes clear that what makes it enjoyable is the built-in learning process” (New Media Institute, 2014). The learning pace of most instruction or games should be individualized. Not only does this help with engagement but it also is a factor that greatly increases the learning level and effectiveness. Immediate feedback in response to mistakes allows for quick correction and helps to build intrinsic motivation. The ability to transfer the learned information to the real world can keep learning meaningful and productive, an idea supported by Gee (2003). I like to be successful but I also like a challenge, so my engagement will be greater when I’m challenged and have to work but am reaching goals regularly. The older I get, the less badges really seem to motivate me personally, but they seem to be a huge motivator for other people. Weight loss and work out sites use them, too.
Learning should be fun. Engagement is essential to effective learning. New Media Institute (2014) has 4 main principals of creating an effective game environment:
“Principle 1: Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.
Principle 2: Students’ motivation determines, directs and sustains what they do to learn.
Principle 3: To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply what they have learned.
Principle 4: Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances the quality of students’ learning.”
Anderson et. Al. (2014) notes, “in a MOOC, each student’s complete interaction with the course materials takes place on the Web, thus providing a record of learner activity of unprecedented scale and resolution.” Assessments like running records are necessary for effective learning because they allow the teacher to understand what a student knows and step in to help if the student gets ‘stuck.’ If records begin to show that students aren’t progressing past a certain part of a game, the game should be evaluated and/or a teacher should recognize that students need further knowledge in that area in order to progress.
While this week we had two essential questions, for me the factors that make a game effective tie in directly to engagement. Learning must be fun, individualized and applicable to other parts of our world. It should be inviting, challenging yet rewarding. It should build us up, not frustrate us. It’s a complicated recipe because each individual has varying ingredients. We all bring something unique to the mixing bowl.
Anderson, A.; Huttenlocher, D.; Kleinberg, J.; Leskovec, J. (2014). Engaging with Massive Online Courses. Retrieved from cs.stanford.edu/people/ashton/pubs/mooc-engagement-www2014.pdf
Gee, James Paul. (2003). What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kapp, K. M. (2012). The Gamification of Learning and Instruction : Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
New Media Institute. (2014). Game Based Learning: What it is,Why it Works and Where its Going. Retrieved from http://www.newmedia.org/game-based-learning--what-it-is-why-it-works-and-where-its-going.html