Points & Praise: Video Game Tactics in Teaching

| December 2, 2010 | 4 Comments
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I’m always impressed to read about how innovative educators are finding new ways to engage students.

In today’s post “Teach Like a Video Game” on the Clean Apples blog, a high school English teacher discusses lessons he’s learned from video games. Namely, that they give immediate and in-depth feedback on how players perform every time they play. For a teacher, this is a revelation. He writes:

“I should be focused on describing their performance more than evaluating their product. I should also be looking for more opportunities to do this in small, sometimes informal ways, while students are learning and give students a chance to reflect on the descriptions I provide. This way, they can apply these reflections and learn better. This way, assessment becomes less extrinsic – performing for a grade reward – and more intrinsic – performing in order to do better and learn more deeply.”

The teacher also writes about using video game tactics like “micro-motivators” to connect with and praise students on their hard work.

“For sound effects, I used verbal praise – in a tone different from my normal teaching voice. For tactile rewards, I shook his hand after our interview conference and after letting him know he did his best round of interviews ever. I also offered my best impression of “Unlockables.” When he hit 250 words on his rough draft – halfway to the 500-word minimum – I left him a comment on his rough draft on Google Docs. When he turned in the draft, I added a comment to his score in the online gradebook that said he did his best work of the semester this deadline.”

Clever techniques.

It takes a teacher with confidence to be able to give credit to a video game as a useful reference for pedagogy.

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  • Brennan

    This is rite, plus solar assembly to go indi… global connectors, 25cents? sure![strip?] no “connections” aren’t just there… they’re happy! and the joy-stick navigation is aviator justice, vision and notes “files saved” cryptonite or something! is this facebook? or cryticDoodle?
    The space ship contains the electro big screen projector AUDIO supreme, castors let sails unfurl and sail the bounty to 7-11 and downtown mountain camping places DEFINED by universal web connection and AUTOPILOT vehicles that think for you, delivery good friends in the party mobile CONNECTED to exactly what our personal profile is computationally applied, a simple 4 x 4 =16 grid of “direction…personality” and see ideal harmony open doors, BIG DOORS big big… walls that open like a kitchen breathing , and a well lit solar heated[2 days] big floor of sino-dutch functionalist design, on a private cabin land yatch [cannon/coffee...] -space ship- with fold down castors and indeed a water ready [water boards] amphibious [pontoons?] …TELESCOPICALLY lowering roof for max mobility and 9′ door hieght [5'+4' ;8'wide or 7'+4' 12'wide [road leagal class c?]
    The modern space ship should be “limited” by county regulation, allowing positive and gifted locals “[esteemed] access” to techno revolutionary encyclopedic cyber navigation as well as complete energy understanding

  • Brennan

    P.S. take your TV’s remote control to the [local] bar, it might WORK on their TV. the juke box hacker [discovery channel] stalks the soap-box, how about a bubble [small window/browser]. I can hear it and surf the web with solid downloads of all new stuff. the center where voices carry, the brilliant florist and jewels and even exotic birds and fish swiming in a “cider rich”coffee house where good times are protected from the wind, the sociological [cultural]Normative geographic youth statistic al TRON social fabric of silicon valley LA & Vancouver OR WA as a navigable nation of intervention lazer accurate ID of loose wires of NCLB-R2T type post social policy [a crucial circuit of american geography and statistical normative geo-hist YOUTH lost in trons dungeons [TV to nowhere] this circuit a.n.n.y.t. is submerged in conspiracy uncivily UNesteemed UNresponsible invisible geo-hist alien-type LANGUAGE…+ policy = complete system [quantification].
    The missing link of new worlds is imperative to find define id and act automatically like a computer not “a game” but real important sociological functions and ORDER… of crucial social ecology [U.C.Berkely] and VISIONS of tourist [RICK STEVES] ideal identity of evasive mislocated TEENS who are PRIME TO TRAVEL [KQED TV] ANNYT a.n.n.y.t. TYN-man scare crow ID intervention exchange student quantification of a healthy first world ESTEEMED exp… escape, rite of passage of crucial mid and late teens, of toxic geo-histoic MISLOCATION [teens! exchanged IDEAL qualification proactive not "treat"ment but VACCINATION! and extreme justice computer grade CLARITY function and ...liberty. healthy.ANNYT a scientific filter [ENTER]

  • http://cleanapple.com Ryan McCallum

    Thank you for the link and your analysis. I’m having a lot of fun analyzing these techniques and applying them in ways I hadn’t expected.

    • Anonymous

      Glad it’s helpful. I’m always on the lookout for creative ideas to share with educators.