Monday, 13 May 2013

Gamification with World of Classcraft

We briefly discussed World of Classcraft in our blog article ‘Gamifying the Classroom: 10 Inspiring Articles’.  But we are so impressed with the innovative use of gamification in a school setting, that we decided that to do them a bit more justice and give them a full blog post.


What is World of Classcraft (WoC)?
In WoC, pupils play as adventurers and the teacher acts as the game master.  The students form groups and each choose a class (mage, warrior or healer).  These should be balanced in each group as each class has real-life powers ranging from eating in class to bringing their notes to an exam.  Some of these powers are for personal use but some can be used on other players.  They gain powers by doing good deeds (helping fellow students, finishing homework, getting to class on time etc.).  However, bad deeds (bullying, being disruptive, not completing homework etc.) lose hit points, which can lead to death and terrible consequences (such as the dreaded Saturday-morning detention).  As a team, they face monsters (homework) and fight boss battles (exams). 

Does it work?
Student motivation has skyrocketed since the game was implemented by the inventors in their school.  The students’ desire to level up, coupled with the risk of in-game death has vastly changed their relationship to classes and school.  By fostering collaboration (collaborative actions and powers are rewarded with bonus XP), students are now helping each other with daily challenges of school life such as questions about homework, in class work, tardiness.  According to the inventors, the effects have been profound.

More than just Badges
Critics of gamification argue that rewarding people with badges will only work so far, in certain circumstances and with certain people.  They argue that it is just a fad.  However, they are really missing the point.  Gamification isn’t just about the badges, that is just an easy way many people choose to use game mechanics to encourage engagement and so on.  WoC has shown that gamification can be a rich experience that frames the entire learning process to achieve great results.

Compared to other gamification efforts in school, World of Classcraft is vastly more
complex.  Students can choose from 3 classes, there are almost 30 different powers and over 100 random events (http://worldofclasscraft.com/events/) can be applied to any subject matter.  The possibilities are endless which makes for an engaging experience that can be changed and adapted to suit the individual needs of each class.

What’s Next for World of Classcraft?
WoC is building a free game engine to allow teachers all over the world to play the game with their students.  A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to raise funds to cover initial development and maintenance costs.  To help click here.

Find out More

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