A Game Worth Playing?

Gamification

Gamification in a Year 10 Latin Classroom: Ineffective ‘Edutainment’ or a Valid Pedagogical Tool? by Emily Evans
Journal of Classics Teaching, Volume 17, Issue 34,  October 1, 2016

This article describes one teacher’s experiment with gamification within a Latin classroom. Based upon research into the potential positive effects of game structures upon internal motivation, emotional growth, cognitive development, and growth mindset, author Emily Evans designed and implemented a game-based reward structure within her Latin course. The experiment aimed to promote resilience, intrinsic motivation, engagement, self-directed learning, and the acquisition of mastery of the course material (as opposed to simply proving competence). Evans carefully designed her reward structure to reflect these aims, using research to inform her decisions. The results of the experiment were positive, as students demonstrated motivation towards taking control of their own learning. This article does not in any way represent scientific research worthy of citation, but by articulating the primary aims and benefits of game structures towards student learning, it does provide some interesting and thoughtful insights into how one can implement gamification effectively within the classroom. If, as Evans says, a “gamified environment . . . provides a safe space for students to cultivate and channel their intrinsic motivation” while helping them “take responsibility” for their own learning, it is certainly worth exploring. 


Submitted By: Aaron Snyder, The Thacher School, Ojai, CA

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