• Campers

    Erik Marshall

    I am a media studies scholar interested in film and digital media. I defended my dissertation in March 2010.

    My Posts

    Gamifying Ed session summary

    Monday, May 2nd, 2011 | emarsh

    The gamifying ed session was full of good ideas and concerns.

    We started with a few links from ProfHacker about gamifying websites and homework, respectively, and the definition of games from Jane Mcgonigal as “the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.My big question was how to emphasize or introduce the “voluntary” part, since we already give students obstacles  in the form of assignments.

    A few people had already tried gamification in classes, and had stories of success and frustration (I apologize for lack of attribution here – I don’t remember who said what. If you want to claim it, put it in comments). Some of the the frustrations concerned pushback from more senior students, who had already mastered the game of “School,” and didn’t want to learn new rules for another class.

    We discussed leaderboards, and the fact that students like them because of the competition and comparison, but that one must be careful with names on leaderboards for FERPA compliance.  There was also some concern about competition, the fear being that students who are less familiar with games may feel excluded, or that the class may break down on gender/sexuality/race/class lines as a result of competition.

    It was also brought up that much of what we call gamification (quick feedback, clear markers of progress, an evaluation system) are things good teachers do anyway.  We also discussed tying assignments to the “real” lives and interests of students to create more intrinsic motivation, and finding ways to brand gamification differently to connect it more to the world students will be entering and to avoid the stigma of games in the administration.

    As we talked , the following links came up:


    Quest to Learn School http://q2l.org/

    I’m sure I missed a lot here, so feel free to add more or clarify if you were there, and to chime in if you weren’t.

    Discipline-specific unconferences

    Thursday, April 28th, 2011 | emarsh

    One of the many aspects I like about THATCamp is the mix of disicplines it brings together. It is hard to think of another place where one can meet historians, archaeologists, comp/rhet people, publishers, media scholars, and museum curators all in the same place (sorry if I left out your discipline).


    It might also be useful to have an unconference in specific fields.  As a film/media scholar, for example, I would love to see some sort of less formal gathering than the annual SCMS conference.  I invite people who have experience with this or those who would be interested in organizing or participating in one to share ideas.  Is it possible, or is the subset of people who might be interested in an unconference too small to have one for a particular field?  Should one try to organize local, regional or national unconferences, or hijack the national conferences (MLA, AHA, SCMS, etc.) and have shadow unconferences?

    (Shoutout to Shana Kimball, who sparked this idea in an enlightening conversation)

    Gamification in the classroom

    Sunday, April 24th, 2011 | emarsh

    I have a few ideas, and I may post them all, but I’ll start with this.

    I am currently reading Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken, which has got me thinking about making the classroom more game-like.  I would like to use this Prof Hacker post as a springboard for a discussion about gamification (a word I really don’t like, but it’s all I have right now).

    As always, as I design my classes for the summer and next fall, I find myself struggling to figure out how to get students interested and engaged in a more intrinsic way.  McGonigal argues that games give us intrinsic rewards rather than extrinsic, and that we should refashion reality to resemble games.  I want to put this to the test in the classroom.