In planning and setting up my gamified class, the main issue was how to include grammar exercises in the game in order to keep the students engaged. Grammar had to be part of the game!
So I decided to use a website called zondle which also has an app the students can download free to play on their smartphones. Zondle allows teachers to set up classes and assign quizzes both as formative and summative assessment. You might comment ‘well, what then!?’ Each quiz is connected to a game the student can play to earn points (called “zollars”). There is a class scoreboard and with the zollars students can buy “teacher’s goodies”.
The teacher can allow a certain quiz to be played for a certain amount of time and then assign a new one. This accounts for a level up in the game. Furthermore, teachers can increase/decrease the zollars for any special reason, e.g. good behaviour, commitment, good team work, etc. This is very good for class management.
Teachers are mostly “control freaks” and this is not the only control they have! Zondle records the progress of each student both in terms of percentage scored for each quiz and as the percentage over the last three plays. It is possible to know which were the weakest sentences in each quiz for the student, how many times he/she played it and when.
Now, how could I link zondle to the other missions? I decided to use the zollars to allow students to buy ” walkthroughs” in the game as teacher goodies. These come in the form of hints, suggestions where to find certain answers and also extra infos they were allowed to access to complete the task.
The students love to play zondle games and increase their zollars to buy items which allow them to progress faster in the game.
I’m now testing also their progress in English grammar with the routine tests which are compulsory in Italy every month. Indeed the student score and progress in the game is not at all connected with the official assessment, which is based on criteria set by the institution based on governmental guidelines. In a next post I will tell you more on how progress in the game compares to assessment according to the set standards.
Still working on it!