Gamifying Your PD With Canvas


Ryan Booth

Video Transcript
>> Good morning or good afternoon, depending on what time you are watching this, my name is Ryan Booth. I'm here with Jenny Hough and Justin Christansen and we're from the Bethel School District, about an hour south of Seattle, Washington. Our goal today is to share with you some ways to gamify your PD and your classroom with Canvas. And so, go ahead and go to the next slide, Justin. And so, when we first decided to do this, Jenny and I had this great idea of sharing with you the seven-game like learning principles from The Institute of Play. And so, we'll talk about those real quick here.

So, number one, everyone is a participant. And that's pretty self-explanatory that when, you know, you're playing a game and you're using game-like learning principles in your classroom that everybody is involved. That learning feels like play. That everything is interconnected. Learning happens by doing.

Failure is refrained as iteration. Feedback is immediate and ongoing. And then, finally, the challenge is constant. And so, we have this beautiful hour-long PD plan for you. And then, our life got flipped, turned upside down.

Go ahead with the next slide, Justin. And we all know what happened back in, you know, late March, early April of last year and I'll pass it off here to Miss Jenny Hough. >> Alright. So, as we know now, I guess we're out in Bel-Air. And so, instead of having our full-time, we have about 20 minutes to share all of this with you.

So, since we can't share it all, we're going to focus on two of those seven principles, specifically the learning fields like play and feedback as immediate and ongoing. And so, to do that, we're going to turn it over to one of our amazing Middle School teachers, a math teacher from one of our schools, and he's going to share how he really incorporated these things into his course. I'm using these requirements and a little Lord of the Rings action to help play those out. I'd like to give you now, Justin Christansen, one of our Middle School Math teachers to tell you about his course. >> Thank you.

It was an actual pleasure to go on and work on this course, with all the uncertainty in the air during March. It was -- It was really difficult for some people to really go and get fully engaged, especially with some of their kids. So, I kind of took it upon myself to say, well, what can I do to put more of a human element on the education system? And I came up with a -- With a form of narrative based instruction. Essentially, what I did was I took our curriculum that we already had for our open up resources, our math curriculum, and I built that curriculum around Lord of the Rings. My first started off by taking all of our cooldowns, all of our lessons that we had planned, all the videos and started creating pages.

And then, took that to another step where I had all of those pages interlocked with master tests, where basically one thing would only unlock based off of the previous activity. And, once I created all those activities, created all the tests, created all the quizzes, that's when the real fun started to happen. And I started to go and get a little bit goofy. The very initial page that they go in and [inaudible] take a look at, as a little bit of a [inaudible] about Lord of the Rings, talks a little bit about Lord of the Rings, but as you can see from the first sentence, "Welcome. I am known as Christansen the red Wizard and I have gathered you here today for a purpose.

The air in Middle Earth has been troubling. " And so on and so forth, and my students' goal is to destroy the Book of Power. And it was a really, really fun take. It was really entertaining for me to do. My kids really, really enjoyed working through this curriculum one.

They would go through, they would be able to work in each of the different portions, each of the different books had its own little set of anecdotes, little comedy that I sprinkled in there. But, ultimately, I wanted something that was fun, that was engaging, that the kids had fun doing, that I had fun. Plus, this allowed me to not necessarily be a little bit more on the vulnerable side, but it allowed me to go and open up to my kids a little bit and show them who I am and show that creativity. And yes, I was really proud of them. So, yeah.

>> So, just initiate a little bit about how it really felt a lot like play, which it absolutely did, how did the feedback work for you, for them? >> The feedback was great. I'd have kids constantly sending me emails because they wanted to finish this portion. They wanted to go and see what was coming up next. I went from having moderate feedback to having about 90% of my students fully engaged within my -- Within my curriculum. I know that our average for our school was about 40% full participation for all of our classes, but for mine, if I dropped below 90% participation, full participation for a week, that was kind of out of the ordinary, that I have to go out and reach out to kids, but it was -- Like I said, it was -- It was great, it was fun, it was engaging, it was for me, it was fun for them we were able to go and create other Mastery pass that were narrative based.

We created Harry Potter, we created once for Pokemon, we created once for Star Wars. My last one, which was probably one of my favorite ones is The Goonies and I created one all around The Goonies movie. So, it's just fun. It was just something fun to be a part of. >> So, Justin, you talked about how the feedback was immediate and like the modules that open up as you go, could you walk us through a little bit on how you use prerequisites and how you set those up, so that it would work with students? >> Yeah.

So, basically, within Canvas, there's a system known as Masterpass, which basically allows us to utilize competency based instruction, so students are able to move past what they already know and they can slow down for things that they don't know. So, I'll go ahead and pop in here and I'll fly into the student view. I [inaudible] see my Harry Potter -- Harry Potter modules are still in there. Hopefully, the student view is going to work. It doesn't look like it's going to work, right now.

But, anyways, when they go into this first one, they'll go on and read all through read the instructions, how the course works. For the cooldowns, they only need a 70% to go on pass, to move on from the cooldowns, but for the challenges like the big learning blocks that you see here, they needed an 80% pass and in the education world we could probably all agree that if you're able to score an 80% or higher on some form of assessment, that does demonstrate some level of Mastery within that concept. So, they would go through, they would read all the instructions and then, they would take their first assessment. And based off of what they did, so they go through, then answer the questions and then we'll get their score back. Let's say that they got below that 80%.

There would only be one thing that would open up right here and they would be forced to go through each individual lesson. However, if they're able to go and score above an 80%, everything would open up and then they would be able to go on to the next session. So, that was a really, really cool piece of the Mastery pass that was one of my favorite parts about going to work with the Mastery pass and in all honesty I created this first and then I said, "Well, there are three book sessions, what can I relate to three book sessions? Oh! The three books of the Lord of the Rings series. " And that's kind of where that [inaudible] came in from. But one student -- So, if a student doesn't pass the first time around they go through, they'll come back for the second chance to go on and try to pass then.

So -- And they can't continue to do it over and over and over, because I set limits to how many times they can go and they can take the test, but for some of the -- For some students, some of the higher need students [inaudible] our special ed students, we can adjust some of those time frames, so we can adjust how many attempts they can get on their initial attempt. >> And I know you talked a little bit about kind of how that work, where I take the Mastery pass and then, they kind of work through it. What does your day look like? So, you set this up and then you kind of let your students go and they're kind of working through this on their own. But let's say, there's a student out there and they really get stuck here on 6. 5.

What do they -- How -- What kind of system [inaudible] you have set up for them to find success? >> So, there's a few different things that they could do. Number one, there's email. Kids -- Kids would email me throughout the day. I kind of joke around that I would be answering a hundred emails a day, but at the same time it wasn't really a joke because some students would go on [inaudible] email me a question like, "Hey. I'm stuck on this.

Can you give me some help?" And we'll be able to go back and forth and collaborate. Same with the messages in the inbox. I have tons and tons and tons of emails going back and forth with different students about what is going on, what kind of help they need, this and that. The other great option is Zoom. Down here, at the bottom of my initial page, I actually have a [inaudible] to -- For my students.

Number one, we have our weekly Zoom meetings. But number two, if they need like an extra 15 minutes or 30 minutes of that one on one time, they can click that link and it takes me directly to my Calendly account, where they can go and they can sign up for a 30-minute meeting or they can sign up for a 15-minute meeting, depending on what they need. So, I had -- I provided a lot of different outlets for them to be able to help them and even talking about that one 6. 5 -- -- as I was saying before, I have some videos and stuff like that embedded in each one of these lessons. You can go to the website, you can go to the Spanish version of the website.

They have video links to it, if there is Khan Academy or anything like that, I had that tied in, as well. I believe, yeah. Here's one right here, with the Khan Academy video and they can go and they can check out that video or they can work on that problem set in Khan Academy. >> Awesome. So, I know that you and your team put in a lot of work to get this setup and you guys, you know, you did a lot of the learning and creating of this kind of the hard way, learning as you went and kind, you know, figuring out the things here and there.

Knowing that we have a lot of people out there who are probably watching this, right now, in this new world of distance learning, what advice would you give to someone who might be thinking about trying to go down this road? >> I would say, do not let the first attempt discourage you from moving forward. When I first started this, when I was doing all the learning of the Mastery pass, I mean, I wasn't just learning Mastery pass I was also learning about the different quiz types because I wanted to have -- I wanted icon sheet detectors, where, basically, I learned how to use random number generators in this and that. So, there is a lot of learning and I probably could do about 40 to 50 hours in the first week to go on build and design this, but that wasn't all just doing the work. That had -- Probably about 25 hours of it was me learning how to do this. But once I had this created, I could go on and I can create the next one in probably 10 to 15 hours, max.

The last one that I created probably took me a few hours to do. But the beautiful thing about it was -- Was I would spend those 10, on this curriculum to get it built or work on the next unit and get it built. And then, everything else was just me being able to go and work one-on-one with my students. I wasn't having to go on and plan too far ahead because my planning had already been done. And looking into this next year, that's kind of what I'm looking at doing, as well.

>> Awesome. Thank you so much. Alright. Well, 20 minutes is an amazing short amount of time to try to deliver like this much information to you. I also, you know, I hope we were able to kind of share some of the really great things that we have going on out in Bethel School District and specifically out in Justin's classroom.

And so, we know that we had to give you a whole bunch of information in a real short amount of time. So, Justin, if you want to just go to the next slide real quick here. One more. Sorry, back. One more.

Oh! There we go. One more. There it is. Ok, so, we wanted to leave you with a couple of things. If you wanted to dig a little bit further into game-based learning and game-like learning resources.

The first is James Paul Gee, the godfather of game-based learning. He's written quite a few books but if you want to start somewhere, this book -- What videogames have to teach us about learning and literacy, is an amazing, amazing book. I've read it a couple times, my copy has written -- You know my [inaudible] all through it. It's great. Also, there's a TED Talk by Daphne Bavelier, if I'm saying that correctly, Your brain on video games and she does a really good job of talking about how we can kind of utilize the addicting quality of video games and trick the brain into becoming -- Using some of those addicting qualities in education.

And then, finally, or I guess [inaudible] there's a podcast board game with education with Dustin Staats and that's a great podcast, it comes out weekly. And then, if you have a half an hour, 45 minutes, and you want to see the most insane over-the-top version of game like learning in a fourth grade classroom, there's a documentary online, you can find it, called World peace and other 4th grade achievements by John Hunter and it is the epitome of everything that game-based learning can do to a classroom. And, again, he is probably like the echelon of game-like learning and I don't think anybody's ready to jump straight into what he has accomplished in his years, but it's a great outlook on what this [inaudible] of learning can do with students [inaudible] all levels. So, with that, I think a big thank you from us here in the Bethel School District, to you out there at instructurecon and we're going to sign off. Thank you very much.

>> Thank you. >> Bye. Thank you very much.