Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Gamified Choice Boards

Choice has many benefits to students in education to increase their motivation, efforts, and engagement. Gamified choice boards bring together the power of choice and the power of fun. Join Alice Keeler as she explains some options for creating a gamified choice board.
Gamified Choice Boards

Gamification can be engaging, engagement matters for learning. By incorporating game elements such as points, badges, and levels, educators can make the learning experience more interactive, enjoyable, and memorable. One way to incorporate gamification is through the use of gamified choice boards.

Motivation is among the important predictors of student academic achievements, which influences the effort and time a student spends engaged in learning (Linehan, Kirman, Lawson, & Chan, 2011)

Dichev, C., & Dicheva, D. (2017). Gamifying education: what is known, what is believed and what remains uncertain: a critical review. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 14(1), 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-017-0042-5

OTIS & Alice Keeler – Watch the Recording

In this session, join Alice Keeler to explore two popular topics in education: gamification and choice boards. Choice boards allow for increased student agency and amplify student voices by giving them different options for how to connect with the content. This is also a great way to differentiate learning and allow students to demonstrate mastery of a topic in a way that is best for them. Learn how to make this even more engaging and fun by gamifying the board!

Why Choice is Engaging

Providing students with choices in their educational journey can significantly impact their engagement, motivation, and overall learning experience. Choice empowers students by allowing them to take control of their learning process and personalize their educational path.

Choice is a fundamental aspect of human nature, and research has shown that when individuals feel a sense of control over their decisions, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their pursuits (Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008).

Benefits of Choices

Increase motivation:

When students are given the opportunity to choose, they are more likely to be intrinsically motivated, leading to increased interest and engagement in their learning (Assor, Kaplan & Roth, 2002).

Enhance relevance:

Allowing students to select topics, activities, or projects that align with their interests and passions makes learning more relevant and meaningful to them.

Foster ownership:

Providing choices enables students to take ownership of their learning process, increasing their investment in their education.

Develop decision-making skills:

Offering choices in the classroom helps students develop crucial decision-making and problem-solving skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Cater to diverse needs:

Choice in education allows for differentiation, accommodating the varied cognitive preferences and abilities of students within a classroom.

The Role of A Locus of Control

Locus of control refers to an individual’s belief in their ability to control their life events and outcomes [3]. In education, fostering a sense of locus of control can lead to increased motivation, self-efficacy, and resilience. By providing students with choices, teachers can help them develop an internal locus of control, where they feel empowered to take charge of their learning and believe that their actions have a direct impact on their success.

What is a Choice Board

A choice board is a visual organizer that presents students with various options for learning activities, assessments, or projects. These boards can be used to differentiate instruction, address diverse learning preferences, and provide opportunities for students to take ownership of their educational journey. Choice boards can be created using various formats, such as grids, menus, or even digital platforms like Google Slides.

Identify learning objectives:

Determine the key learning objectives for the lesson or unit that the choice board will address. This will help guide the selection of appropriate activities and ensure the board remains focused on the content.

Choose a format:

Decide on the format of your choice board, whether it be a grid, menu, or digital platform. Consider the resources available to you and your students, as well as the ease of access and use.

Develop diverse activities:

Create a range of activities that cater to various cognitive preferences and abilities. Consider including tasks that involve different levels of complexity, types of thinking (e.g., analytical, creative), and modes of expression (e.g., writing, speaking, creating).

Set clear expectations:

Provide explicit instructions for each activity on the choice board, including the expected outcomes, resources, and any necessary guidelines. This will help students understand what is required and reduce confusion.

Balance challenge and skills:

Design tasks that are both challenging and achievable for students, promoting a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue learning.

Incorporate student interests:

When possible, include activities that are relevant to students’ interests or that allow them to explore topics they are passionate about.

Encourage collaboration:

Include activities that promote teamwork and collaboration, helping students develop interpersonal and communication skills.

Gamified Choice Boards

Gamification has become a popular approach to boost engagement, motivation, and overall enjoyment in the learning process. By incorporating game elements into choice boards, educators can create an even more dynamic and captivating experience for their students.

Badges and rewards:

Award digital or physical badges to students for completing specific tasks or reaching certain milestones on the choice board. These badges can serve as a visual representation of their achievements and motivate them to continue engaging with the content.

Level up:

Organize the activities on the choice board into different levels, with each level offering progressively more challenging or complex tasks. Students can advance through the levels as they complete activities, providing a sense of progression and accomplishment.

Team-based activities:

Incorporate team-based tasks into the choice board, where students can collaborate with their peers to complete challenges or compete against other teams. This promotes social interaction, teamwork, and communication skills.

Quests or missions:

Turn the choice board into a series of quests or missions that students must complete to “unlock” new challenges or advance in the game. This narrative-driven approach can make the learning experience more immersive and engaging.

Feedback and reflection:

Provide students with regular feedback on their progress and achievements in the gamified choice board. Encourage them to reflect on their learning and identify areas for improvement or new challenges they want to tackle.

Research on Gamification and Choice Boards

Assor, A., Kaplan, H., & Roth, G. (2002). Choice is good, but relevance is excellent: Autonomy-enhancing and suppressing teacher behaviours predicting students’ engagement in schoolwork. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72(2), 261–278. https://doi.org/10.1348/000709902158883

Dichev, C., & Dicheva, D. (2017). Gamifying education: what is known, what is believed and what remains uncertain: a critical review. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 14(1), 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-017-0042-5

Lee, J.J., & Hammer, J. (2011). Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother? Academic Exchange Quarterly, 15(2), 1-5.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The Effects of Choice on Intrinsic Motivation and Related Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis of Research Findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 270-300. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.134.2.270

Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 80(1), 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0092976

Exciting Gamified Choice Boards for Your Classroom

Do you want to make learning more fun and exciting for your students? Gamified choice boards are the perfect way to do that! They mix the best parts of games and choice boards to create an engaging learning experience. Let’s learn about how you can create a gamified choice board for your classroom.

Making Your Choice Board More Fun

First, you can add points to each activity on the choice board. By giving different tasks different point values, students will feel excited as they earn points for completing activities.

Next, think about giving badges or rewards to students who finish specific tasks or reach certain goals. Badges are a cool way for students to show off their achievements and encourage them to keep learning.

Another idea is to create levels on your choice board. Start with easier tasks and move on to more challenging ones. This way, students will feel a sense of progress as they complete activities and move up the levels.

Besides that, you can introduce time-bound challenges. For example, students can race against the clock to complete tasks. This adds excitement and a sense of friendly competition to the learning experience.

Moreover, consider creating a leaderboard to show students’ progress and achievements. This can inspire students to engage with the choice board activities and compete with their classmates.

In addition, you can include team-based activities where students work together to complete challenges. This helps them learn how to work together and communicate with others.

Lastly, turn the choice board into a series of quests or missions. Students will enjoy the adventure of completing tasks to unlock new challenges.

Gamified choice boards are a great way to make learning fun and engaging for your students. By using these ideas, you can create a choice board that gets your students excited about learning. So go ahead, try these tips, and watch your students enjoy the thrilling experience of gamified choice boards!

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