WAMStech University: My Gamified eCourse Platform

Imagine you're the teacher of a 600-student classroom.  Yeah...I know.  The first words that come to mind are "impossible", "daunting", "crazy" and "chaotic".  Now, continue to imagine that you have to teach them a year-long curriculum without meeting face to face.  Oh...and they're middle school students. 

I can hear your laughter of disbelief from here.

What I just described is my reality.  Part of my job as the Instructional Technology Specialist for Woodward Academy Middle School is to provide opportunities for students to develop technology and 21st Century skills...without actually teaching them face to face. Well, necessity is the mother of invention after all.  I knew I needed to create an online repository of information and tutorials that students could access.  The challenge was finding one that allowed students to learn at their own pace, on their own time, while keeping them accountable. 

The platform had to be engaging.  Fun.  Enticing.  Even addicting?  I immediately decided to create an online environment that, while providing instructional content, would function like a video game:

  • Students earn XP and Currency 

  • Level Up 
  • Earn Badges 
  • Customize their Avatar 
  • Be Social 
  • Earn Real Rewards 
  • Participate in Friendly Competition 
I'm happy to say that without ever promoting WAMStech University, I now have 400 students (~75%) of the student body participating on a weekly basis.  Students are on at all hours of the day (and sometimes night) completing challenges, engaging in friendly dialogue, and finding all the hidden Easter eggs within the platform that might provide them with enough Talons to purchase a new app for their school-issued iPad.

In the coming issues, I plan to document the setup, logistics, best practices, challenges, and future ideas for WAMStech University (stay tuned!).

Until then, if you're interested in discussing, collaborating or brainstorming, reach out to me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

No comments

Powered by Blogger.