great expectations

Good teachers have high, albeit attainable, expectations of their students. I do. Matter of fact, I have high expectations of everyone–my family, my colleagues, myself. Sometimes it works well, and sometimes, not so much. Go figure.

Confession: I thought we would jump into this project, being noobs at game-based learning and gamification, only having a rudimentary idea of what it was all going to look like. And I thought it was going to go perfectly. High–unattainable–expectations.

I don’t expect this of my students. I know they need background knowledge. I know they need time to explore. I know they need to make mistakes and things might need to go badly so they can reflect, learn, make changes, try again.

So, why didn’t I have the same expectations for myself and this project? I don’t know. But I have been disappointed in how things are going. Frustrated with the lack of high-quality games that connect to grade 5 curriculum. Bummed that the streamlining of badge distribution is just not working. Downhearted once I realized that my badge distribution layout I was once so excited about, isn’t true gamification.

And then I reflected.


Figuring out how to learn from my mistakes and move forward in a meaningful way. Taking stock of the good things that are happening in in the project. Allowing some pride in the achievements so far. Realizing that it’s a journey, and that good things take time.

Revising those high expectations into realistic expectations. It’s a struggle for me.



  1. The expectations are explicitly shared with the students, via badge layout (which is their success criteria). Level 1, 2, 3, 4. My thoughts in this post revolve more around the project and unrealistic expectations of myself. After some thought, I know how to improve, now I just need to connect with the people who can help :).Next steps are good!

  2. Are your expectations shared? If so I think showing students the high expectations, maybe with attainable scaffolds such as success criteria, is a good idea. Keep the realistic expectations to yourself and either way you will be satisfied.

    Have you looked into 3D GameLab? I just wrote about it here:

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