Next level learning: Using gamification in education

I have made this video as a way to explore gamification and how it aims to enhance user engagement in the present. I specifically put the focus on its use in educational settings, and thus the ‘users’ I talk about are actually students. My main points include:

  • what gamification is – essentially putting game elements into something that isn’t a game
  • why it interests me – I’m a gamer who studies media and education so I consider it a fun and beneficial tool
  • why people use it – to affect behaviour
  • how it can be beneficial or detrimental in various settings (especially the classroom)

In order to create the video, I brainstormed my own ideas on gamification and used academic research to help me examine the topic further. I scripted out everything I would say and then considered where I could include acting, text and other things besides simply talking directly to the camera.

The font I used was sourced through dafont and is free for non-commercial use. All the other visual content was of my own creation. I used a Panasonic digital camera to record and only used myself and one other anonymous person as actors. For audio, I used the creative commons search on Soundcloud and typed in keywords such as ‘8-bit’, ‘chiptune’ and ‘game’ to find music that fit with the overall theme of the video.

To draw on my scholarly sources, I decided it would be best just to mention the authors by name and then paraphrase or read out direct quotes (which I displayed on screen). Following this, I discussed the meaning, gave relevant examples and further extrapolated ideas from the research.

I faced several challenges in the process of completing this task. First of all, I found that remembering long chunks of text was difficult and a waste of time. In response to this, I adopted the style of many vloggers on Youtube and used jumpcuts between shorter lengths of speech. This also helped me to save the viewers time, as I cut out breaths in between sentences through most of the video and although it might seem like a minute detail, it actually cut down the overall length of the piece. Another challenge was getting my video to upload in time. I exported the file at a high quality after rendering the first time and this made the upload take far too long to be worthwhile. I cancelled the first upload and then reduced the quality twice afterwards. The final video only took about half an hour to upload but I could not see any clear difference in the visuals or audio.

I have made videos in the past but those were mostly in high school so this experience refreshed my memory when it came to using the editing software iMovie. I do find it somewhat limiting as I think it could have more options, but for a free program it is decent enough. I did actually learn one new editing skill this time around, which is how to make flashing titles (for the intro and outro) by looking at another Youtuber’s tutorial video. Furthermore, I’m still in the process of learning how to use the camera (which I borrowed from my dad) as I’ve only used it once before. It’s similar to most digital cameras but the functions and interface took some time to get used to. Lastly, in relation to the content of the video, I learned that gamification has been used in society much more than I ever knew, and in ways that I was unaware of. I also learned that extrinsic motivators don’t always affect learning negatively.

My broader online activity and engagement

Since my last assignment I have become much more active on Twitter, engaging with many other users and following a lot more as well. I’ve also created a few short videos in response to different online media topics and posted again on this blog. See Tiffit Tally for more evidence.

Creative Commons and other free use sources (in order of appearance)

8 – Bit Madness – Tyler Dunn (free for non-commercial use)

Chiptune Sample – Raedon (CC BY 3.o)

Hold My Gameboy – Nerdspasm (CC BY 3.o)

Tired From Wandering – Patashu ft. Bynary Fission (CC BY 3.o)

Chiptune – Sonic Potions (CC BY-SA 3.o)

Reference List

Faiella, F & Ricciardi, M 2015, ‘Gamification and learning: a review of issues and research’, Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 13-21.

Kim, B 2015, Understanding Gamification, Library Technology Reports, USA.

Leaning, M 2015, ‘A study of the use of games and gamification to enhance student engagement, experience and achievement on a theory-based course of an undergraduate media degree’, Journal of Media Practice, vol. 16, no. 2, pp.155-70.

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