I teach a class for our seniors who have not passed our state standardized tests.
One day a week we have a 90 minute “block period” where it is very difficult to maintain productivity with this particular class. This combined with a lack of basic skills has led me to experiment with taking the students to a computer lab and working on skills there.
a.) students get wildly undirected, and feel free to diverge to MySpace, ESPN, YouTube, etc.
b.) it’s difficult to measure quality of learning and progress
c.) web sites with game collections are often hit or miss with pedagogical value, and may have only one or two games worth playing (and students will often want to float to the far-less-educational examples)
d.) students have no idea if they’re doing well and when a particular game score indicates they need more practice
So I designed scorecards:
Having the “bronze”, “silver”, and “gold” achievement levels akin to the Achievements on Xbox Live seems to be enough gentle encouragement to get the students trying for high scores naturally, and all my other concerns listed above have gone away naturally.