Do you need a quick and simple way of grading your students, whilst not actually grading them? Of course you do. Because it's fun, engaging, and you are promoting gentle competition.
In this post, we'll look at using leaderboards in your class.
The leaderboard should include all your students and be seen as a counterbalance to academic grades. You want to ensure that you are measuring something else than academic performance. First and foremost, it should be fun.
A leaderboard should drive some kind of behaviour — do not just introduce a leaderboard for the sake of it. Think about what behaviour you want to encourage. It can be something simple, like "Being on time" or it can be more involved and softer, like giving points for "cooperation and teamwork".
Gamification in the classroom
In the end, you are adding a sprinkling of gamification to your classroom. Gamification is defined as the use of activities and external rewards to encourage motivation in non-game contexts.
Gamification's origins are found in educational psychology and the study of what motivates people to learn. Sometimes, finding the energy and perseverance to complete a difficult task can be difficult. Gamification motivates people by making the process more enjoyable. As a person engages more with a topic, their positive feelings towards the experience increase and they’re more likely to continue engaging on their own.
By picking a behaviour and gamifying it with a leaderboard, you are massively increasing the chances that your students will engage with that behaviour.
How would you create the leaderboard itself? Here is a list of ideas.
Use Keepthescore.com. That’s us 👋! This tool is super quick to setup and comes with a bunch of features and themes to make your scoreboard look attractive. It’s free to try and costs 15 USD to unlock some features.
Use a premade template. There are a bunch of ready-made PDFs for you to download on sites like TeachersPayTeachers.com.
Use Powerpoint / Google sheets. This has the advantage of being a tool that you are probably already familiar with. Also, if remote teaching is a consideration, you will require a digital version of your scoreboard. Again, there is a vast array of premade material available on sites like Slideteam.com or Slidegeeks.com. Also check out how to create a leaderboard using Google Sheets.
If you have questions or feedback, then do comment below