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Article: From Flipped To Gamified Classroom Learning Author: Zaid Ali Alsagoff Source: http://bit.ly/1ocg4NV Length: 1731 Words






START
How do we engage and inspire students really learn, and then empower them with the
belief that they can learn on their own (without needing to be always spoon-fed)? Self-
learning and learning how-to-learn are probably the two ultimate things we need master
to survive and be successful in the 21st century.

THE FLIPPING CHALLENGE!
Are you familiar with the 'Flipped Classroom' approach to learning?

In one sentence: You
view the lecture
(recording) at home,
and then you come to
class to do the
homework (or
learning activities),
whereby the
teacher(s) (and fellow students) are there to provide guidance and support (when
necessary) during the learning process. WOW!

If you ask me, I would argue that the flipping 'Flipped Classroom' challenge is not making
your lectures available online (which many are already doing), but creating electrifying
and inspiring learning experiences during the Face-to-Face (F2F) learning sessions itself
that is the ultimate challenge.

Also, in higher education, especially at Master and PhD level should we be spoon-feeding
students with recorded lectures telling or showing them A-Z, so that they can replicate
the same stuff during their exams or assignments?

THE LECTURE
I suppose it depends on what you are
teaching, but we also need to rethink
what the real purpose of the
lecture should be, and how we can make
best use of it to engage and inspire
learning beyond the spoon-feeding
paradigm. If the lecture recording is
already online, I suppose repeating it
during a F2F (or online) session would not
be the most productive way to go about
it, would it?

But, before we get into that, have your students actually gone through the recorded
lecture before the F2F session? I suppose so, I told them to do so (Keep on dreaming!).
You can assume that, but the reality is often very different unless you have infused some
mechanisms to ensure that they view (and also understand) the recorded lecture(s)
before they come to class.
WPM
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Bold Underlined text indicate
50 word milestones.
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Set the timer for 1-minute. Start!
2. Read the article below (first round: normal pace).
3. Once 1-minute is up, check how many Words Per Minute (WPM) you achieved (refer to bubbles).
4. Do the Comprehension Quiz (Optional).
1-MINUTE SPEED READING TEST

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Changing the students' learning mindset (and habits) to explore lectures (or resources)
online before class might take some time, especially if they are from the good old spoon-
feeding paradigm. To deal with this, you could for example keep track on who access the
recorded lectures (especially if you are using a LMS) before class. However, clicking on a
link doesn't mean that actual learning has taken place. However, having an online
quiz after (or during) the recorded lecture could encourage more students to explore it,
especially if it is a requirement to do it before the F2F session.

Adding a discussion forum, requiring for example all students to ask at least one question
(or reflection) before class could help, too. Or you could construct a few online
learning activities/challenges/assignments to encourage students to think before the
F2F session. Finally, if you create sizzling online lectures, many students might even
explore them without requiring any 'carrot or stick' measures. The lecture becomes the
carrot!

As you see there are many ways to get students on board in a 'flipped classroom'
approach, and if you explore your creative mind, I am sure you will figure out even better
ways to activate your students' brain to think before they come for class.

Cool! But, what should we do with them once they come...?

CLASSROOM LEARNING
If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what
the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom. If
you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed to what the
brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a cubicle. And if
you wanted to change things, you might have to tear down both and start over.
-John Media

Designing inspiring 'Learning Spaces' will increasingly be required as we want to move
F2F (or online learning) learning sessions beyond the lecture format to empower more
effective student learning experiences. Changing the physical classroom is probably
more complicated as that would also require extensive monetary investments and time
to make it happen. Let's assume that you have your good old classroom or computer
lab, which by nature might not be really conducive for interactive or collaborative
learning (e.g. seating arrangement).

If you ask me, I would argue that we can still do learning miracles in a boring classroom
setting if we stretch our imagination beyond our usual 'Blame everything else, except
ourselves'. So, what can we do during a 'Flipped Classroom' session?

Q&A
Encourage students to ask questions to clarify what they didn't understand from
the recorded lecture (or required readings).
Case Study (or Problem-Based Learning)
Yes, even Harvard uses Case Studies to empower deep learning and understanding
of the subject matter. We could discuss a Case Study with the students, and even
break up into groups to encourage more involvement and diverse opinions.
Learning Activities
Build learning activities to apply what has been learned in the lecture. Here
students don't have to be stuck in the classroom. They could always be asked to
venture out individually or in groups to the library, labs, outdoors, etc. and then
return to share their discoveries and findings.


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Online Classroom
If you can't afford the transformation of your physical classroom, you could always
use a web-conferencing tool to engage students to learn using a variety of features
(e.g. poll, whiteboard, chat, screen/application sharing, etc.). It is an alternate and
cheaper solution that has no borders.

All these approaches above can be useful to empower more effective learning
experiences. But, personally I want the students learning experiences to be more
challenging, competitive, inspiring and fun, so I would...

GAMIFY CLASSROOM LEARNING!
"Gamification is using game-based mechanics, aesthetics and game thinking to
engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems."
- Karl Kapp

Gamifying learning fully online in mind boggling 3D worlds with collaborative challenges
beyond the borders of Earth is really cool. However, how many academics are ready to
take the online 'Gamification' pill to make that happen?

For starters, let's try gamifying learning in the classroom! I did actually try this during
my two 2-day OER workshops at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
in June and August (2012).

My main mission for the second day's hands-on learning activity was to inspire USM
Academic staff to use social media and web 2.0 technologies to develop Open
Educational Resources (OER).

I could have given a boring show-and-do workshop (interactive lecture format) on using
a variety of learning tools (and put them to sleep!), but instead Prof. Karim and I showed
them briefly a variety of learning tools (Edmodo, Blogs, Google Sites, Udemy, etc.), and
how they can be applied to learning and teaching. We didn't spend much time teaching
them how to click, because that was left to the...

5-STEP METHOD

1. CHALLENGE
A mission learning activity/task/check list
was created for the OER challenge.
Basically any course that has learning
outcomes can be broken down to learning
related tasks, meaning this can be applied
to most courses (if not all).

2. GROUP WORK
Participants were assigned to groups based on random numbering (group size: 5 to
7), but were allowed to change group (Not the army!). However, we tried to ensure
that the participants with some technology or blogging experience to be divided
into different groups (where possible), so that they could play a critical role in
helping, or guiding the other participants to achieve the tasks. We also emphasized
the learning formula: If you know how to do it, check whether the person next to
you knows, too. If not, show him/her how to do it. Teaching is awesome learning!

As they had 12 tasks to achieve, most groups divided their work among the
members (divide and conquer) and then got back together during the end to
integrate their items into a learning masterpiece. During the process they helped
one another, and interestingly the facilitators were hardly needed for help. The
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groups seemed to work out their issues by themselves probably 95% of the time.

3. GROUP PRESENTATION AND Q&A
After they had completed their mission, each group was required to present their
work to the rest of the participants (10 - 15 minutes each), so that everyone could
learn from one another. Participants were encouraged to ask questions after the
presentations, and the 2 facilitators (Prof. Karim and me) shared their feedback and
recommendations.

4. VOTE FOR THE WINNER
To make it more exciting and competitive, participants were requested to vote for
the group winner (based on the learning tasks given) using Poll Everywhere, which
enables you to use any mobile/computer device to vote (great tool to empower
student engagement...Clickers on steroids!). As Poll Everywhere provides live
updates as participants vote, it becomes really exciting, especially if it is a close call.
Other voting/polling tools you could use, include Facebook (Ask
Questions), Socrative, Polldaddy, and Twtpoll.

5. CELEBRATE!
It is not really about winning, but using the gaming approach to engage and
inspire the participants to really explore the learning with a bit of oomph (effort).
The winning part is just an icing on a splendidly delicious learning cake.

And you know what, I have
never seen so many engaged
academics embracing a
learning activity than during
these two workshops. I have
been training academics for
more than a decade, and this
formula has proven to work
best for me getting full
commitment from
participants to do a learning
activity. We even had difficulty getting some of the participants to eat lunch. They
were so engrossed. Here are some pictures from both workshops to prove it:

The best thing, it is quite easy to gamify classroom learning, especially the way I have
done it in this approach shared above. Of course, your classroom session should be
perhaps 2 hours or more to empower all these learning activities without needing to
rush through. But developing a learning (activity) tasks list (easy), and learning how to
use Poll Everywhere (5 minutes max!) is seriously less difficult than you probably realize.

More importantly, instead of spoon-feeding them how to use social media (and web 2.0)
tools, we have probably made them realize that they can learn on their own, too. Based
on the feedback I got from USM was that the participants learned a lot, were engaged,
had fun, and wanted the OER workshop to be conducted again, which I did exactly two
months later.


More on how to gamify classroom learning: http://slidesha.re/SMkcFX

"The LESS you teach, the MORE they learn!"
- Zaid Ali Alsagoff
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COMPREHENSION QUIZ
A Flipped Classroom
learning experience is
fully online.
1
True

False

There are no lectures in
a Flipped Classroom
environment.
2
True

False

Learning activities are done
during class in a Flipped
Classroom approach.

3
True

False

In a Flipped Classroom
approach recorded lectures
can be viewed before class.
4
True

False

Gamification uses game-
based mechanics to
engage people to learn.

5
True

False

If you get 3 wrong
answers, please do the
test again!