Learn By Doing

A Lifelong Learner Shares Thoughts About Education

Remove Gamification

Know what this list represents?  Maybe a cleaner way to get where I want to go for my students. via teachthought

1. Have students create own their rules/terms

For an assessment, a project, an assignment, or even whether they pass or fail. If they make the rules, while there is still a game, they’ve had a hand in creating it.

2. Remove terms of failure or success

No minimum numerical value to pass–focus instead on quality, iteration, and action.

3. Remove letter grades altogether

We have them because they’re iconic symbols that express academic success in a language everyone understands–but because of this universal-language-ness, they’re reductive, hurtful, and artificial. There are alternatives to letter grades, after all.

4. Remove artificial start and stop times

Instead, strive for always-on learning–like intellectual start-ups that are open 24/7. Chain units together beneath one comprehensive question or challenge. Only give “points” for improvements to existing work, and constantly raise the quality bar so it’s more difficult each time to get the same “credit.”

5. Allow students to “start over”

If you’re not keeping score, every day is new. No such thing as a summative assessment. It’s all formative. And informative. Give them the space or flexibility to work from a clean slate whenever possible, even if they keep “failing.” Instead, change the terms of failure.

6. Don’t rank or compare student performance

Yes, I know norm-reference assessments rank students, as can criterion-based assessments. And yes, I know “the real world” will rank them. And so will colleges. Why are we in such a rush to introduce the heartbreakingly-broken “real world” to precocious young minds that are trying to find their rhythm?

7. Remove points

No numbers or points–these are just symbols. Find a more personal way to give learning feedback.