Something I’ve noticed about Gamification is that it’s not as effective if you do the same thing again but with different labels. If you’re choosing to Gamify in the very next unit of work, it’s uber-important that you change it up. This is really tricky when you’ve the previous game already in your head.
Fortunately, there are plenty of simulation games on-line (and in texts) that you can access. This term we are looking at the ‘Modern Australian’. Today we conducted a simulation about the plight of refugees (very political, we know). We used a resource from UNHCR (http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4ab346796.html) that is really well organised and prepared.
The one day game took students from their lovely Northern Beaches life and transported them into a family of refugees of country unknown. As an entire group of families (180 students), they experienced what it’s like to decide to leave your country, to fill-in forms that are not in your language, to deal with border control, to be confronted with corruption and to finally gain refugee status. Through the process, members of their family became maimed and they also lost their precious items they brought with them.
The program had carefully allotted moments for debriefing along the way to help students grasp with their feelings. There’s also SOS cards for students who are feeling traumatised.
What else could help students understand more about the experiences that refugees encounter then a simulation experience?
To continue this through the term, and rather than students earning points or tokens, students are working towards gaining Australian Citizenship. Each time they complete a task, they can earn an amount of water, food or medical stamps for their ‘passbook’. These stamps combine together allow students to gain ‘citizenship’. Outcomes are achieved by students completing compulsory tasks that also earn them stamps.
I am 100% certain that our students will know inside and out/upside and down what it means to be a Modern Australian. And… their going to enjoy every moment of it!