[Gamification] Game Element #2: Avatars

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I’m really glad I’ve started this process of examining the usefulness of various game elements for my class.  Because I think the first one (health meter) has already been scratched from the list.  The health meter was going to be used as a way to track when a student failed to complete an assignment, etc.  But after thinking more about my new rubric/grading scheme, I don’t think it will be necessary at all.  When a student completes a task of some sort, they get 1 bar filled in for that learning target.  If they do not complete the task, they don’t get the bar.  So taking away “health” seems like it might be a redundancy.  Next up, Avatars:

avatar

I feel like I HAVE TO HAVE avatars, right? I mean c’mon, everyone loves ‘em!  But do they really serve a purpose for my particular class game?  Right now I’m thinking yes, they do.  First, I want the students to have as much choice as possible.  So letting them pick an avatar, having that choice right up front (maybe even mission #1 like some other class-gamers I’ve seen) seems like a no brainer.  Then, I also think the avatar is a great way to let them personalize the space.  This should feel like their game, not mine.  If I want them to take control of the learning, they’ve got to feel in control of the game.

As always, please push back if you disagree!  Have you tried this before?  How’d it go?

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5 thoughts on “[Gamification] Game Element #2: Avatars

  1. Stephen Collins

    I like “health” points. “Do your exercise” (try the practice task) to stay healthy; earn your level 1 when you “pass” the practice task (when you do it up to a certain standard).

  2. I agree that avatars are vital. I was thinking about what it would mean to “gain a level” in a classroom setting. In traditional games, it means you can get better gear, but I don’t know how that would translate in the classroom. Perhaps it would be things you could add to the avatar.

    Level 1: Underwear and an abacus.
    Level 2: Pants
    Level 3: T-shirt
    Level 4: Designer outfit and calculator.
    Level 5: Hat
    Level 6: Shades

    Etc. etc…

    • I’ve also thought a lot about what leveling up might mean and right now I’m kinda lost. I do like the idea of being able to add things to your avatar as an incentive, but with that system, they’d be limited on the choices of avatar. I think I want to keep it open since I’m going for buy-in with the avatars.

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