She defines the following terms as "GBL [Game Based Learning] is when students play games to learn content. Gamification is the application of game based elements to non-game situations."
Keller also goes on to discuss the use of playsheets instead of worksheets; it's a thought-provoking argument that may be useful in your classroom this fall. Here are 5 benefits of using playsheets from the article.
5 Benefits to Using Playsheets in the Classroom
- Engagement: Students are engaged in their learning. The gaming elements draw students in and motivate them to continue practicing. You can find students voluntarily practicing playsheets, even when they are not assigned.
- Feedback: Digital playsheets have the advantage of giving students immediate feedback. This alone is an advantage over traditional worksheets. Students can correct their mistakes or ask for help before they have practiced incorrectly too many times. They don't have to wait for the teacher to grade their work to know that they're doing a good job, because the work is corrected after every question. Success breeds success. As a student is successful, he or she will continue to practice.
- Progress: Typically, a playsheet allows students to know what their score is as they play the game. A progress bar, adding stars, or a tally of the number of correct answers can help students feel that their efforts are resulting in positive progress. They're able to set goals to help push themselves beyond what they would normally strive for.
- Celebrate Success: Playsheets often have elements that encourage students and help them feel successful. This motivates them to continue playing. Sound effects can help the student know he or she is on the right or wrong track. Words or stars can appear, helping the student to feel as if his or her efforts are being celebrated. When a student reaches a certain level, it becomes something that we as teachers can celebrate with the child. Reaching a short-term goal is something to get excited about.
- Self Grading: Digital playsheets can free up teachers' time. They spend less time grading worksheets and reviewing answers with their class. Instead, they have more time to engage with students and design activities that continue to stimulate and challenge. This allows for a shift in what is possible in the classroom.