Gamification in Education: The MMORPG of Education

The MMORPG of Education

Today’s post will be a challenge to your imagination, so keep an open mind!

The meaning of MMORPG in video games is: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Play Game.

If we would create a gamified education curriculum, in a way that it would be similar to an RPG (Role Playing Game) we would end up with several kinds of “games” depending on the Education methodology and even the culture of the country that it would be built in. To Address the MMO part there are two viable paths that could make this work:

The first one, would not be a real – faithful to the meaning – MMO experience. It would work simply by exchanging gamification experiences between countries so that students could experiment different “games” built around some different perspectives about a Gamified Education based on the culture and Education Method of every country in the world.

The second one would be a more ambitious plan – the creation of a single gamification experience similar to everyone across the globe, for all the students in every country. Gathering the best practices in Education from all around the world and applying the best practices available in gamification, creating a new perspective to the global Education paradigm. Once again we would leave the “Online” part out of this example, but this just means to be a sketch and not a full polished essay.

Of course, some adaptation would need to be made to address specific situations, but this would not only serve to efficiently assure that the next generations would be proactive seekers of knowledge, as it would also improve the tolerance and comprehension between people from different countries.

With similar education principles, these new generations would feel closer to each other without compromising their cultural inheritance.

The Role Playing Game

Now we should think about how Education would work as a RPG.

Well, to begin with, the student would have to choose his “game class”. That would just mean following one of some main branches of knowledge. For our current example lets use the “the tree of Diderot and d’Alembert“.

There are three base areas of knowledge defined there: “Memory“/History, “Reason“/Philosophy, and “Imagination“/Poetry. Each with it’s own specific set of subjects in its domain.

Upon making this choice, the student would be presented with several quests in the first few levels, and with the results gathered from completing its proposed tasks, the student would have suggestions from the system based on his results so he could find his own path in this tree, creating his own specialization inside the chosen class, based on his skills and his own calling.

The role of the teacher would be of utmost importance since he or she would be the guide, the clue giver, the quest-master, the Gatekeeper of Knowledge. Like a NPC (Non-Player Character) on MMORPG’s, the teacher would be the person guiding the student through in a non-partisan way. The role of the teacher would be to guide the student but not to influence him in any way.

Since the student would be needing some set of specific skills to be able to follow a specific path, the teacher would be the one pointing out those same needs and leading them to the best way of accomplish those tasks.

But Education it’s not only about knowledge. Schools share a very important role with the student’s parents: the transmission of moral values. There are a couple of factors to have in consideration when approaching this subject: the creation of rules (game rules) and preventing the subversion of those same rules (preventing cheating).

The best way to accomplish this is to create settings that not only allow the student to understand why these rules exist, but also how the corruption of these rules would affect other people and even themselves in the long run. But once again, the teacher would have a huge impact in the success of the pedagogical part of the game.

Another factor that is of extreme importance is the synergy between students to accomplish some common goal. That will make them more ready and willing to collaborate in their professional future. It is also important that they exchange their own experiences.

Once in a while some quests in other class branches should be suggested to the student, not only to make them aware of other kinds of expertise, but also to promote out-of-the-box thinking. In other words making them more able and open to think outside of their own chosen paths, improving creativity.

There is a lot more to think of, but this is just a quick sketch of an idea that could create a revolution in the Education system.

Do you have some ideas about it? Some criticism? Please share them with us!

Note: Today’s article was inspired by the suggestion given by Mehdi Essakalli on Twitter.

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