GAME ON: Designing and Developing Online Professional Development on Gamification for K-12 Teachers
Concurrent Session 1
Most teachers have limited experience with digital games when it comes to integrating them into the classroom. This session covers the design and development of an online professional development on gamification for K-12 teachers. Findings from teachers’ perceptions on video games are used to guide the PD content.
Digital games have received increased attention from researchers and educators. The debate on the role of games in education is not new. The gaming industry has studied methods to develop this genre of games over the past number of years. Indeed, computer games have been used for educational purposes for almost forty years now (Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2007; Games & Squire, 2011). Still, most teachers have little or limited experience with digital games (Bourgonjon, De Grove, De Smet, Looy, Soetaert & Valcke, 2013), especially when it comes to integrating these technologies into the classroom. Additionally, when teachers indicate they play video games, it is usually a small number playing on a regular basis (Kenny and McDaniel, 2011; Becker and Jacobsen, 2005), which can contribute to this limited use of digital games in the classroom.
A new approach to the application of games in education has been gamification. Although there are many definitions available for gamification, a common understanding of this concept involves the application of game elements (e.g., reward system, game narrative, rule-based, etc.) into non-game contexts (Detering 2011), such as educational settings. Even though there has been some concerns and issues with the implementation of gamification in education (Hanus & Fox, 2015), when used properly, gamification can involve, inform and educate the learner (Kapp, 2012)
Thus, this study covers the design and development of an online professional development (PD) on gamification for K-12 teachers. Findings from teachers’ perceptions on video games are used to guide the PD content. A pilot of the PD will be conducted with K-12 teachers. Evaluation from the online PD will be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the program. The results of this study can contribute to future design and development of online PD for teachers as well as the body of research in gamification.
Design & Development of Online PD for Teachers
In order to design and develop a set of e-Learning modules for K-12 teachers, the ADDIE framework has been adopted for this project. This framework can be defined as an informal label for a systematic approach for instructional design, i.e., a generic instructional systems development process (Morrison, Ross & Kemp, 2007). Additionally, this framework has been implemented following Stavredes and Herder’s (2014) guidelines for the design of online course/program. ADDIE has five distinct phases followed by an instructional designer or a team (Seels & Glasgow, 1998). In the initial phase (i.e., Analysis), previous data collected by the authors on the teachers’ perceptions on video games as well as other existing data has informed learner needs on the topic. Meanwhile, the Design phase describes the process of planning the learning goals and objectives as well as the instruction of the e-Learning modules for teachers. During the development phase, a set of four e-Learning modules are created using GoogleSlides for prototyping and formative evaluation, and later was developed using Articulate 360 software. The actual implementation of the online PD will be conducted between August-October 2020. Finally, in the evaluation phase, data gathered from formative evaluation throughout each stage of ADDIE will be used to revise the e-Learning modules before its implementation. Data will also be collected to determine the effectiveness of the learning objectives of the e-Learning modules.
This study is designed to examine teachers’ perceptions on an online gamification PD. Quantitative data will be collected through online surveys. Participants (partnership teachers within the district) will be asked to complete a pre- and post-survey that examines their knowledge and experiences with the PD.
Surveys will be analyzed using quantitative statistical methods in order to provide summaries and any changes on participants’ perceptions and practice.
Gamification can make a significant impact in education and beyond. However, teachers need to be trained on how to use these technologies and new approaches effectively in their classroom before implementation. Additionally, the level of customization that gamification provides for learners can allow for a more personalized learning and even a culturally-situated learning design. The impact of this online gamification PD can inform practitioners and researchers who plan to implement these strategies in their own classroom or conduct similar studies.