There are a number of reasons to turn to game-based learning for assessment and instruction like internalizing motivation and increasing resilience as I have explained in the past. So despite the old adage that ‘today’s kids have no attention span because of video games’, there is plenty of research that shows the opposite is true. In fact, there are games that are used specifically for the treatment of people with Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and pervasive developmental disorders as I discussed in Special Games For Special Players. Here are few ways you can combine the assessment power of Google Forms with game-based learning components for the best of both worlds.
GBL Differentiated Quizzes
The new Google Forms has a number of amazing new features that are now built in.
Answer Key – Now you can mark correct answers within the quiz itself without having to use an add-on like Flubaroo. Your questions can easily have multiple correct answers whether it is multiple choice, checkboxes, or short answer questions.
Visualizing Responses – You can view individual student or class responses with auto-generated graphs, pie charts, and lists. These can be exported into sheets if you want to view and sort a lot of data.
Differentiation & Remediation – You can create questions that automatically send students to particular sections based on their response. So students who answer correctly move forward to more advanced sections while struggling students might be taken to a section with a review video or remediation practice which can eventually take them back to the regular assessment.
Make It A Game – By incorporating game and story elements along with the differentiation possible in Forms you can create story-based games that also function as assessment. This gives you the opportunity to work on literacy skills along with whatever other topic you may be covering. You can view some great examples or make them more advanced using Twinery, but Zork will always hold a special place for me in classic story gaming.
Choose Your Own Adventures
I loved reading and rereading choose-your-own-adventure stories as a child. It was empowering to know that the choices you made could change a story’s outcome in dozens of different ways long before video games were capable of the same complexity. Here is an example of that in action for a hero’s journey story that is part of a larger Breakout. The story maps for many of those books are a lot like a massive maze. I have created a Forms template to help students (and other teachers) create their own CYOA stories. Below is a document overview of that template.
One of the great ways Google is influencing education is that they are open enough with their technology to work with partners that create other useful tools. Amongst these are Quizizz and Classcraft. Both are linked to Google Classroom and have capabilities like importing/exporting assessment scores to/from your G Suite applications.
Quizizz is a game-based learning assessment tool that, unlike some competitive tools, show the complete question and responses on the student device. That means there won’t be 1:1 correspondence issues. Quizizz also adds to the fun using meme generators that can be created. It addition, it gives the ability to import individual questions from personal or public quizzes to make quiz creation simpler.
This platform turns your whole class into a game to help you manage behavior and instruction as I have posted about in the past. As for assessment, they offer to valuable tools. The first is a boss battle which is a classwide formative review where individual students or teams answer questions to defeat the beast. They need to be careful though as wrong answers could lead to them taking hits and losing health points. The second tool is the new quests which can ‘gamify’ your entire curriculum. You can pull assignments directly from Google Classroom and your drive. It can even be linked to other Google Forms and differentiated directly in the quest with different pathways depending on student skill and performance.
If you haven’t yet learned about the escape the classroom game-based tool known as BreakoutEDU, I recommend you look into it today. I have previously written about how you can best utilize Breakouts in your class. There have been a number of changes on their site though as they now offer a subscription to their platform that now has a number of breakout subject packs and their own new digital game platform. You can create your own digital breakouts though using Google Forms embedded in Google Site based on their template. They’re a great way to incorporate critical thinking tasks in a way that can be done in groups or individually. If you want a chance to play one, check out my 80s GBL Breakout.