APPLICATION OF PROJECT BASED LEARNING AND GAMIFICATION METHODOLOGIES AS MOTIVATIONAL TOOLS FOR STUDENTS
The International Standard Classification of Education classifies upper secondary education studies as Level 3 ISCED; at this level, Vocational Programmes are considered as one of the subdivisions that can be established. The Education System in Spain offers, within that same context, Ciclos Formativos de Grado Medio in the different existing professional categories.
In Spain, the graduation rate at that academic level in 2013 was of only 27%; a small value if compared to OECD or UE21 results: 46% and 51%, respectively. Therefore, the identification of critical moments throughout that academic level that can lead students to leaving school is interesting. Furthermore, the proposal of educational methodologies focused on the reduction of the early leaving rate is also convenient.
So, an increase of students’ interest in teachers’ teaching proposals is considered as a crucial aspect, as it can lead not only to help students overcoming this academic stage more successfully, but also to allow them accessing to higher education studies or to a more qualified labour market.
This work proposes an experimental proposal in order to enhance the motivation of students from vocational programmes at upper education studies by means of Game-based Learning methodologies. To do so, the development of teaching activities, following Project-based Learning (PBL) methodologies, is proposed. In this case, these activities would lead to the resolution of projects throughout the competition amongst different work groups.
In order to implement these Game-based Learning methodologies, the use of Classcraft (http://www.classcraft.com), as a Gamification and Learning Management System (LMS) tool is proposed. In this platform, every student would have an avatar who would be receiving rewards or penalties according to the implication of the student in the project development and the obtained results.
Moreover, the use of virtual collaborative work tools is also considered to manage the documentation of the project, thus ensuring each of the work group members can have full access to all the information they are generating, no matter where every student is located. The use of these tools would also allow the delocalized and asynchronous collaborative elaboration of documents and reports corresponding to the predefined milestones for the different stages of the development of the project, until its final solution.
The use of Whatsapp (http://www.whatsapp.com) is proposed for the organizational management of the project. The generalized implantation of this social messaging tool within students at this stage would easily fulfil the communication needs between the members of a team group, thus avoiding having to implement, learn and use further tools for the projects’ management.