30 Oct 2015

Gamification in Zombie Unit

This was a prime opportunity for Gamification to increase engagment across the three weeks this unit ran.

We used the concepts of
  • Gaining XP
  • Purchasing Rewards
We used classcharts.com to track their XP
They earnt XP by:
  • Completing tasks on time
  • High Quality work
  • Earning points in team competitions
  • Points earned from Laser Tag
  • Strategic Training - Adventure Based Learning Team Building
The individual points were then collated in their final team for the their final mission.

The Final Mission was about finding taking the cure research that they have gathered during the unit and getting it to the Research Facility while avoiding the Zombies.

Here is how it worked.

There were 6 teams with about 7-8 students in each.  They had to search the campus looking for 9 map pieces while trying not to get caught by the 8 zombies who were the teachers.
If a teacher surprised them and got to within 10 meters of the group then that counted as being caught.

Before it all started they had the chance to upgrade their team with perks by spending the XP they had gained during the unit.

The Perks

Medic: Recieve a 1 min wait penalty when caught by a zombie for a medic to arrive. 8 XP
Life: Give up a life to a zombie when caught. 10 XP
Zombie Killer Bomb: Kill the zombie and carry on. 20 XP
Time Bonus: Start the game early. 10 XP

Each Perk was represented by rubber bands that the team leader wore.  They could buy any combination of perks they wanted.

When they got caught by a zombie then they could choose to use a zombie killer or the zombie would choose which band to take.  If they had no life left they had to return to base to respawn with one more life.

Once the teams worked out where the research facility was they had to get their research (represented by a bucket of water they were carrying) into the facility so the cure could be created.

The challenge here was to empty the water into the middle container without stepping in the biohazard zone.

 Get enough water in the container and the ball will float out the top and that signifies the win.

They had to use the ropes to manovre the buckets of water in the right place.

The whole thing took about 2 hours, the hide and seek aspect of them trying to avoid us the zombies was heaps of fun for both sides.  

I have glossed over some of the details of how we made it work but you get the idea.  I am happy to chat if you want to know more, just ask question below.

On reflection I have found that when doing and XP system it is important to make it really obvious and objective.  Particularly at the start so that the students get the idea of how the system works.  Then being able to create a student driven culture of them aiming for more XP is the way, as if it is teacher driven it can often become secondary to what you actually learning.  This is why I find that having objective things that they earn points for, particularly if they are going to be doing the things anyway, is a good idea.  Things like, assessment, completeing work, points from mini games, being on time.  While other behaviours are good encourage, they are harder to make them authentically students driven, eg, supporting another student, being focused on task, working well in a team, effective listening, etc.

For the wide game, it took quite a bit of thinking particularly on my colleagues behalf who organised the event about how to make the rules robust enough yet simple enough that after the game started then the game would flow well.  The rubber band system was easy to use in game play.  It important to try and think through the details as much as possible before to make the game flow and make it enjoyable.  Expecially on a high stakes event such as this where we don't get a practice round.

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