Gamifying Your Writing Instruction with WriteLab

Gamifying Your Writing Instruction with WriteLab

Gamified instruction makes knowledge a valuable resource. The more you know the better you are at the game
— Eugene Sheely, “Systems Based Gamification”

Gamification is very classroom chic right now. This fact leaves teachers imagining new ways to reinvent their content and appeal to students.

Sadly, many students view writing as one of the more tedious tasks assigned to them. And the writing process? Even worse. Veteran teachers all know: Kids are like water (they will always travel the path of least resistance). But with the help of gamified writing instruction, students can be motivated in novel ways.

Far from just another education buzzword, gamification turns pedagogy into amusement by pitting students against one another for top scores. Think of it as Assassin's Creed meets ELA. While WriteLab doesn’t have any formalized gamification features at this time, there are ways to use the app to gamify elements of the writing process.

Here are a few ways you can use WriteLab to motivate students with gamification—while simultaneously supporting the acquisition of highly sought after 21st Century Learning Skills:

  • Award students bragging rights for the highest number of drafts entered into WriteLab. More drafts show more effort being made by students to submit quality work. Jennifer could earn some serious ELA street cred for revising her essay four times!
  • Display a class leaderboard in your room showing students who received the least number of WriteLab comments on their drafts. Fewer comments over time on Clarity, Concision, Logic, and Grammar means Jordan put his heart into his work and deserves to be crowned “Commander of Comments.”
  • Extra credit is always a great motivator. Teacher accounts allow you to view analytics of each draft a student submits. Not only can you see how many WriteLab comments the student received across each draft—but also how many they actually addressed. Awarding points for fixing mistakes before the teacher even needs to comment? That’s a win-win.
  • Teacher analytics in WriteLab also provide easy-to-read line graphs charting student improvement by comment type. If Andrea went from over ten Logic comments on Essay 1 to less than five on Essay 2, she has clearly earned herself a small prize!
  • Peer editing is the epitome of collaborative writing. Why not provide an incentive for students to share their drafts with each other and offer thoughtful feedback? As a teacher, you can view student comments on submitted drafts so you can easily keep them on task. Reward them with Five-Minute-Friday brain breaks or a Homework Holiday, but be sure to only incentivize top quality, relevant editorial comments. Gamifying instruction does not mean rewarding mediocrity!

These are just small examples of ways to gamify writing instruction with WriteLab.

Teachers are the most creative people on the planet so we want to know: What are some other ways WriteLab can help teachers gamify the writing process?


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