The Gold Rush to Gamify Education

Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Academics
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
August 25, 2015
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The Gold Rush to Gamify Education
The Daily Dot
  • The concept behind gamification is simple: take techniques developed in the world of video games and apply them to the world of education. The idea’s been around for decades. And now, the world of educational gaming is expected to swell to over $2.3 billion in revenue by 2017.
  • Yet, as game producers see dollar signs and educators see a way to finally get fourth graders legitimately excited to learn, there’s a growing legion of skeptics who fear this trend may be nothing more than a distraction. 
  • Dr. E. Michele Ramsey, a professor of communications at Penn State, worries that gamification has the potential to give students the wrong message about the hard work required to gain an education. ‟What happens when students who have been inundated with ‛education that’s always fun’ have to deal with college courses where, in many cases, faculty haven’t bought into the gamification of education?” Ramsey said.
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Keywords: gamification, education, learning, trends
Putting the ‘Person’ Back in Personalized Learning
  • A typical high-level approach to personalization might include: building up an internal model of what a student knows and can do, algorithmically interrogating that model, and providing the learner with a unique set of learning experiences based on the system’s analysis of the student model.  
  • But as we spoke to faculty and students we began to see several problems with this approach. One in particular stood out: There is no active role for the learner in this “personalized” experience.
  • These systems reduce all the richness and complexity of deciding what a learner should be doing to—sometimes literally—a “Next” button. As these systems painstakingly work to learn how each student learns, the individual students lose out on the opportunity to learn this for themselves.
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Keywords: personalized learning, personalization, educational trends
The ‘Flipped Classroom’ is Professional Suicide
The Daily Dot
  • Proponents of the flipped classroom claim that it frees up class time for direct interaction between faculty and individual students. Professors are using the Internet in general and the flipped classroom technique in particular to “unbundle” themselves.
  • While that might not be such a bad thing for those faculty who can control all the conditions of their employment, for those of us who can’t, this may constitute professional suicide. 
  • Once you’ve begun the great unbundling, it might be rather difficult to bundle yourself back together again. And meanwhile, faculty everywhere are the targets of Silicon Valley education disruptors. When you outsource content provision to the Internet, you put yourself in competition with it. 
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Keywords: flipped classroom, MOOCs, education, opinion
Implementing Project-Based Learning in the 21st Century
Education Week
  • People learn using three domains: Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor, or Head, Heart, and Hand. Everyone needs to think, feel/connect, and do to truly learn. This knowledge about how people learn is the foundation of Project Based Learning (PBL). The teacher creates experiences in, and hopefully out of, the classroom. The students act as co-designers who learn by doing, changing, and making.  
  • But the real problem comes when the teacher implements the project. Some teachers fall back on outdated beliefs, which may include the idea that they have to tell their students everything they need to know before students work on the project. In great PBL, all students are able to find their own hook or path into a project. 
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Keywords: project-based learning, PBL, learning
Cyberbullying Within Higher Education: Are Educators Misinformed?
Educause Review
  • Research into cyberbullying in higher education found that respondents recognized it as an issue among college students, but believed it to bemore serious at other institutions than their own. Also, survey participants' perceptions of the cyberbullying problem experienced at their institutions indicate a positive bias compared to their perception of the problem at other institutions. 
  • The research results are serving to inform institutional leaders regarding what their constituents understand about cyberbullying within higher education, as well as decision making, training needs, and policy on campuses.
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Keywords: bullying, cyberbullying, higher education
Preparing to Teach a Large Online Course
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Online courses are rising in popularity and demand particular attention to the pedagogical challenge they pose. This fall, I’m embarking on an online course, I’m teaching a class capped at 150 with no scheduled meeting time and no teaching or grading assistants. 
  • I’m currently in the first stage of developing the course, which involves translating previous iterations of the course to the new context.  Converting the syllabus is only the first stage of preparing for a large-scale online class. Over the course of this series, I will address particular assignment types, scheduling, learning outcomes, and many more areas of consideration. 
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Keywords: online education, learning, MOOCs
Genetically Inclined to Learn
Inside Higher Ed
  • A new study has found that an individual’s genetic makeup can have a direct effect on the level of education achieved by that individual, the first time that researchers have found such a relationship. The study builds on an existing body of work on how genetics can contribute to what level of education a person receives. 
  • Researchers say that they were able to find a direct cause-and-effect relationship between genetics and educational attainment. And while social factors may have a larger effect on a person’s decision to pursue a higher education, genetics can still create a predisposition toward the level of education reached.
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Keywords: learning, education, research, 
Are we Blaming High School When College Needs a Reality Check?
The Hechinger Report
  • While education has been caught up in the rhetoric of college-readiness and whether graduating high school students are truly “college-ready,” a counter-narrative seems to have been lost — or worse — never raised in the first place: Are our colleges student-ready?
  • To put another way: is the problem that students that are part of “hands-on” learning designs are not ready for college, or is it that college isn’t yet ready for students that graduate from innovative teaching and learning models? To put even more starkly: are colleges prepared for engaged learners?
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Keywords: high school, higher education, hands-on education, blended learning
Credit Where it’s Due
Times Higher Education
  • If you are reading a research paper, and scan the authors, do you know who played a meaningful role in the work? Probably not, according to a new research. Research by John P. Walsh, a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, and Sahra Jabbehdari found that 33 per cent of scholarly papers in the biological, physical or social sciences had at least one “guest” author and 55 per cent of papers had at least one “ghost” author, someone who made significant contributions but was not named.
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Keywords: research, academia, publications
Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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