We finally were in a place and time where we could start considering what gamification was going to look like in our classrooms. I had a difficult time wrapping my head around it…no matter how many articles I read, how many videos I watched (oh how I love you, TED), it was an abstract idea. Until last Wednesday.

Dave and I wanted to start small. Last thing we wanted was for the entire venture to go pear-shaped because we bit off more than we could chew. We brainstormed a few questions. When do we want to start? October 7th. Check. What did we want to gamify? Math and Science TLCP. Check. How are we going to award badges? Well, that was the abstract idea that I had to get down on paper to understand. Yes, I’m a visual learner ;).

What seemed to make the most sense was using the Success Criteria (shown below, from Growing Success document, Ontario Ministry of Education) from our TLCP to inform our badge distribution.

Screen shot 2013-09-29 at 8.26.09 PM

Since we use the Success Criteria to make up a rubric/checklist for summative assessment, it seemed to make sense to use it to award badges. As we award badges for achieving one criterion, we could easily use it to formatively assess how students were doing in the task. That is, if students aren’t getting badges, we know they are struggling and need support.

So, Dave and I created the Success Criteria for our TLCP, then put them into four levels: level 1–early stages of success, level 2–approaching grade level standards, level 3–grade level standards, level 4–above grade level standards. Slapped on some spiffy names, and bob’s your uncle.

What we are considering is these levels will be displayed as anchor charts, in conjunction with Success Criteria, so students will be able to self-assess; to determine where they are on the spectrum of success.

Conclusion: I think we can easily incorporate badges into our daily teaching. The only addition to our workload is laying out the badge distribution (which is based on the Success Criteria). Considering how much I think the badge layout is going to assist students in being more successful, it’s a small price to pay.

Next step: Creating the badges! This is going to be fun ;).