Leveling Up: Evaluating Theoretical Underpinnings and Applications of Gamification in the Classroom
“Gamification” has become quite the buzz word in the last few years. After all, children love games so why not use that advantage in the classroom? But there seems to be a great deal of confusion as to what gamification actually is and how it can be implemented in the classroom. Through judicious literary review, arguments will assert a strong case for gamification having robust theoretical underpinnings that can be used to inform teaching practices. This capstone will delve into the importance of informed choices concerning physical spaces and of the use of intelligent tools to promote learning. Also, gamification’s assertion that learning should be done in “communities of participation” with students have the right to make meaningful choices that affects not only how they learn but also how they demonstrate that learning, will be explored. These gamification principles are clarified by showing how skilled game developers have used them within the gaming environment and, by investigating these examples, connections are made for how these principles can be utilized within the educational context: like incorporating project-based learning. Finally, these gamification principles will then be contrasted with some of the limited ways that gamification has been incorporated within the school. Through illuminating the disparities, future implementations will be explored about how academia could gain a more developed understanding of gamification.