Enhancing Student Class Participation Through Gamification

Hong Jiang

Course: Chinese 211: Mandarin Chinese
Students: 12

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Context

Class time is best used when students come prepared, even more so for a language class aimed at maximizing student participation in communicative activities. Given the busy schedules of our students, sometimes they come to class without going over the vocabulary worksheets as required. The current project intends to find an effective way to encourage students to study the vocabulary and sentence structures before coming to class.

Project

The project aims to gamify the study of course materials outside of class—before the start of class as well as afterward. It adopts such game elements as digital rewards and instant feedback to a non-game educational framework. Students are allowed to practice as many times as they want until they achieve a set objective or reach the deadline. Students who do not get a certain percentage of right answers can go back to study the materials through built-in features such as flashcards and various practice tools before taking a new test. Moreover, students are given multiple chances to learn from their own errors and, with the benefit of instant feedback, to improve their performance.

Results

The project is still under way, but the results I anticipate are that the majority of the students find that they have benefited from studying the course materials on their own and have more productive class participation, which leads to better learning outcomes.

Lessons Learned

Technology is an indispensable part of our life. We should embrace it and use it to enhance the student learning experience and learning outcomes. However, as an experiment, things do not always work out the way one wishes. Nevertheless, I have gained a lot in the process thanks to guidance from my Canvas consultant and other tech experts.