“Gamification is 75% Psychology and 25% Technology.” – Gabe Zichermann
Gamification is always a great way to increase motivation and engagement levels. The idea of implementing gamification approach in the workplace has been around for decades, but it has been discussed recently when organizations started to gamify the workplace in order to achieve the organizational goals. In this blog post, we will explore how we use the gamified professional development approach in school and share our resources with learning community as a Wakelet School in Perak, Malaysia.
What is Gamification?
The term was coined by Howard Rheingold in 1985. The idea is that the game-playing elements are applied to another type of activity or non game-like contexts for motivation, engagement, and learning. Common game elements include such as points, badges, levels, leaderboards, and others, that are used widely.
Gamification and Professional Development
According to Yesim Kunter, the biggest hurdle for an organization is to engage its employees to be part of the change. Teacher professional development can be a challenge at many schools and often becomes an afterthought among a pile of other responsibilities. However, it is undeniably still a crucial element for teachers to stay relevant nowadays.
Taking a page from our experience, we implemented the PD Gamification approach to engage teachers to participate and contribute actively in school. We believe that this approach can create a safe environment for them to learn and grow professionally in order to bring changes incrementally. To implement such approach, Wakelet comes across our minds as a professional development tool in transforming our professional development approach.
Students learn eagerly as they are given choices. It goes same to teachers. Thus, offering teachers choices of professional development activities that they can complete allows them to focus on what interests them. As a result, it become a ‘booster’ for them as they found what they did and shared meaningful and interesting. They listed out their interest, prepared, curated and shared their resources via Wakelet with learning community. School admin gathered those Wakelet collections and were organized in a sequential order for teachers to join and learn. Upon finishing a course, teachers will be awarded a special badge and their achievement will be shown in school portal to encourage more participation. Surprisingly, it works! Teachers are more motivated to exchange ideas about what works in their classrooms and interesting facts about their lessons.
Change is not an easy task but we can achieve it by small steps. As a Wakelet school, we try to gamify our professional development in school to expand our comfort zone and move to the new adapted phase. If we apply the gamification elements into what teachers interest, it will become more fun and enjoyable.