Classcraft as a Resource to Implement Gamification in English-Medium Instruction

Classcraft as a Resource to Implement Gamification in English-Medium Instruction

Irene Rivera-Trigueros (University of Granada, Spain) and Maria del Mar Sánchez-Pérez (University of Almería, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2318-6.ch017

Abstract

The exponential growth of English-medium instruction (EMI) programs in higher education has driven to the search for new and innovative teaching resources and techniques to facilitate the teaching and learning of disciplinary content matter through a non-native language. During the last years, gamification has emerged as a great tool when it comes to foster students' motivation and, consequently, favour their learning. There are numerous ways of introducing gamification in the classroom and a high number of resources and tools available for teachers to design and implement gamification proposals. One of these tools is Classcraft, an online role-playing platform that allows the teacher to turn the classroom into a real role-playing scenario. This chapter will explore the benefits of including gamification—and more specifically Classcraft—for EMI in higher education. Exhaustive guidelines are described in order to serve as a base for EMI lecturers to implement gamification in their courses.
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Introduction

Undoubtedly, motivating and involving students in the classroom sessions poses a challenge for teachers. Students' lack of motivation is a matter of concern at all educational levels and higher education is not an exception, especially when the instruction is provided in a foreign language, e.g. English. Nowadays, undergraduate students generally bring with them laptops and mobile devices with internet connection−including access to social networks−which may impact very negatively on students' performance and concentration (Gómez-Gallardo & Macedo-Buleje, 2010). However, despite being a double-edged sword, new technologies are a great resource that should not be ignored during the teaching learning process given that they offer a wide range of resources for dynamizing the classroom, engaging and motivating students (Gómez-Gallardo & Macedo-Buleje, 2010; Martín-Laborda, 2005).

Gamification became very popular in marketing strategies and it has been expanded to the educational sphere as it is a resource with a great potential when it comes to encourage specific behaviours as well as increase motivation and engagement (Huang & Soman, 2013). Although gamification does not necessarily require the use of technology or multimedia support, there are numerous ways of introducing gamification in the classroom and a high number of resources and tools available for teachers to design and implement gamification proposals. One of these tools is Classcraft, an online role-playing platform that allows the teacher to turn the classroom into a real role-playing scenario.

The main aim of this proposal is to provide a complete guide for lecturers to apply gamification in their classrooms using Classcraft. As a result, EMI teachers will be able to design and implement their own proposals based on their individual disciplines and adapted to the duration and the contents of the courses that they are currently teaching. Therefore, this chapter will explore the benefits of including gamification−and more specifically Classcraft−for EMI in Higher Education. However, it is important to note that the objective of the guide proposed in this chapter is not to be replicated by the teachers, but to set the main procedures for teachers to implement gamification proposals in EMI courses based on Classcraft.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Extrinsic Motivation: Motivation which is driven by external factors.

English Medium Instruction: Education system that uses foreign or second language, particularly, English as the primary medium of instruction.

Role-playing Game: Game which is played in a fictional setting and in which players assume the roles of given characters.

Gamification: In education, it is referred to add game dynamics, mechanics or components to a given academic course or educational content with a specific learning objective in order to foster students’ engagement.

Curriculum: It includes the lessons and content which are taught in a specific education course or program.

Intrinsic Motivation: Motivation which arises from the individual and it is under its own control.

Motivation: The reasons that make a certain behaviour arouse, be directed and maintained over time.

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