Enhancing Student Learning: Study of a Motivational Resource for Educators
Potts, David Anthony
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This study surveyed practicing classroom teacher’s perceptions of a proposed educational resource “Avatar Academy” designed to enhance students’, particularly young boys, motivation and general attitude towards learning. The Avatar Academy resource is an instructional guide for implementing a classroom reward system based on common game mechanics. The resource emphasizes the modification of current pedagogies to exploit the use of game design to engage boys. A survey of recent literature indicated an opportunity to study teachers’ perceptions of the possible applications of game design mechanics to support the enhancement of student motivation and learning in the classroom. As a result the Avatar Academy handbook and blog resource were developed to assist teachers with the integration and administration of a program designed to enhance student motivation, especially boys, using avatars and a point based reward system. The resources were initially distributed to several practicing teachers for their review, and their feedback formed the basis for revisions of the Avatar Academy resource. After implementing changes to the resource based on initial teacher feedback, an updated Avatar Academy was redistributed and teacher opinions and perceptions of the tool’s possible impacts on classroom learning were collected.