Gamifying a University Level GIS Course

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Mapping a Traditional GIS Course Onto a Quest-Based Learning Platform

Gamifying a University Level GIS CourseMichael N. DeMersNMSU Geography

Thank the session organizer, the chair, and the audience.1

What Some Think is Online Teaching

What many professors call online education. Upload the lectures and readings, then ..2

When I first started teaching online much of what I did was about uploading the materials. Not a bad thing but I was trying to get learners to interact more with me.

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The Absent Online Professor

Vanish.4

What is QBL?

Resulting in this.5

Motivation

I added VoiceThread to see if I could get more interaction. Result was not much better than your standard lecture course Q/A.6

The Existing Course

So I went through the QM course review, hoping better organization would prove useful. This is my geography 481 Course that I am trying to convert. While it is QM certified, Im trying to make it more fun and more engaging for the learner.7

Reward

Grade Apathy

No mountain seems too high when you dont care to climb it.

Students and grades

Sooooooooooooooooo this is what your typical college course looks like. You may have heard the little tune Little Boxes? That tune is as relevant today as ever.11

Choice of Jeans

Yet, we all like choice. Otherwise wed still have only one kind of blue jean.12

GIS CAREER CHOICES

So I thought long and loud about the real challenges todays GIS learners are going to face.13

I adopted 3DGameLab to add some game mechanics to an existing course. One of very few game-base learning management systems.14

Course Advertisement

Choices

Choices of what to do and when to do it.16

Construction of Quests

Different exercises for labs, lectures, projects, ArcGIS, etc.17

Choices of how content is delivered.18

Rewarded for Learning From Your Mistakes

Quest based learning rewards experience (experience points) and also rewards us by learning from our mistakes.19

If you fail, try again

85% You Win

100% (starting point) - A0% - F5000 points (for an A)

Life-long Learning0 pointsTraditional Grading Quest-Based Grading

SUBTRACTIVEADDITIVE

The difference between Quest-based assessment and the gradebook is that the quest-based approach is additive, always moving toward the A, with the gradebook is subtractive, always leading to the F. Which do you think provides more incentive to learn?22

You Like Rewards

And dont we all like to get the card that gives us rewards for using the card to shop?

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REWARDS

Leveling up is also built into our businesses via gamification. 25

LEVELING UP

LEVELING UP

Quest-based learning allows you to leverage the powerful hypnotic effect of leveling up.27

You Like Badgets

And youre asking who cares about badges? Hello, do you wear this when you vote? Or a button that says I gave blood today?28

BADGES

The rewards in quest-based learning not only include experience points but also badges.29

Linked to Mozilla Badges

Leaderboards

Its easy to assume that we dont deal with leaderboards, but think about this March Madness example.33

The Leaderboard

While leveling up by itself tends to drive continued questing, some respond better to comparing themselves to others. Game Leaderboards provide that comparative analysis for the gamer.34

Class Monitoring

The approach also allows you to monitor the class progress as you would in any LMS and, of course this can be done both for individuals and groups.35

The mechanics

So what are the mechanics of the course?

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RANKS

Here you can see I am working on the Ranks (levels) and how they are to be defined based on the text I am using.40

REWARDS

Here you can see I am working on the Ranks (levels) and how they are to be defined based on the text I am using.41

QUESTS

Im using a course quest mapping template in Xcel that makes the detailing relatively easy to do, although the complexity of the course is contributing to an increase in time for this activity. I think this is the most important step in the process.42

QUESTS

Im using a course quest mapping template in Xcel that makes the detailing relatively easy to do, although the complexity of the course is contributing to an increase in time for this activity. I think this is the most important step in the process.43

QUESTS

Im using a course quest mapping template in Xcel that makes the detailing relatively easy to do, although the complexity of the course is contributing to an increase in time for this activity. I think this is the most important step in the process.44

Trouble Ahead

Potential pitfalls.45

Time for student-faculty interaction

The time it takes to deliver lots of feedback to a large class.46

So what do I expect will be the final result of this work? Well I am hoping it will be a much more engaging environment than the original course. Im hoping to implement this in the Fall of 2015. Perhaps the results of that work will be ready to report next year. Thank you for your attention.48

Questions?49