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How Gamification Uncovers Nuance In The Learning Process | TeachThought

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In fact, life is itself “gamified.”—loosely, through informal social competition (“keeping up with the Joneses”), to the buzz extreme couponers get comparing receipts, to comparing 401k portfolios, gaining access to “Platinum” or “Black” credit cards, or collecting frequent flyer miles. Even sticking a push-pin into the map of every traveling destination you’ve ever visited is a form of “gamification.” As are Boy Scout Badges. You’re making a game out of something that isn’t.

Even Facebook is itself deeply gamified—not in the “Farmville” sense, but rather in the ease with which friends can be “collected,” status updates are often used to update progress or activities throughout your “real life” day, or the “like” button itself brings your “digital tracks” to a single place where all your friends can see that you “Like The Walking Dead.”


In fact, the power of the letter grade has become more powerful than the learning itself for many, subsuming notions of knowledge, discovery, and self-awareness. It is assumed that letter grades and test performance are reliable quantifications of knowledge, but anyone that’s ever graded a test knows the peril of this assumption. Using a letter to describe simple, singular performance may be acceptable, but when the implications move to longer-term notions of “knowledge” and “understanding,” these themes gravitate dangerously towards self-worth.



Preach it, brother.

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