Training VHSE teachers in gamification for digital lessons

By R.K. Roshni

With learning going digital/online during the COVID-19 pandemic, new ways to drive learner engagement have become imperative. In a first, the National Service Scheme of the General Education Department’s vocational higher secondary education (VHSE) wing is organising a training programme that introduces teachers to the possibilities of gamification in education.

The ‘Gamification for learning and development’ programme is being held in association with the School of Management Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, as part of the latter’s corporate social responsibility initiative.

Gamification in learning involves use of game-based elements such as competition, collaboration, point scoring and so on, to improve students’ engagement and motivation.

The free programme will be led by Manu Melwin Joy, assistant professor at the School of Management Studies who is an international trainer in gamification.

Mr. Joy says that as full-fledged games are not possible in a classroom, gamification has the potential to improve learner engagement, particularly in the context of online classes.

Activities

So like in a game that has a story and players, the subject being taught is given a context, and the students become the heroes who, based on their understanding of what they have learnt, solve activities put forward by teachers. This could be done through teamwork or competitively. Students will get feedback through points allotted for each activity solved.

The teacher, Mr. Joy says, will design the storyline, the milestones students should reach for collecting rewards, what and how much information should be shared or held back, and what feedback is given.

Mr. Joy has designed a storyline for the teacher training as well in order to train the VHSE teachers on how to integrate gamification into online teaching. Using this storyline, teachers will be taught activities such as creating word jumbles or making crosswords with certain concepts.

WhatsApp group

A WhatsApp group of participating teachers has been formed for interaction with them during the online sessions held in the evening. There will be points for each assignment or activity, be it puzzles, quizzes, or question and answers.

The teachers will also be able to check the leaderboard to see how they fare each day. Ten teachers will be given the best participant award certificates at the end of the programme.

The training will be a three-day event for each batch of 90 to 100 teachers. In all, seven batches will be given training by the end of next month.

Director of General Education Jeevan Babu K. inaugurated the training programme on Wednesday evening.


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