While these categories might seem clear and distinct, they are actually quite complex since each level can change based on an individual student’s interests and motivation. In addition, teachers need to be able to scaffold students through instructional levels and into more reading independence.
In his book The 21st Century Classroom, Rshaid (2014) investigates the elements of gaming that draw in participants, and then proceeds to compare how classrooms could emulate those elements.
So far we have looked at these elements of gaming that could invite more students into classroom learning:
- High levels of engagement
- Real-time relevant feedback
- Acceptance of mistakes as part of the learning process
- Practical hands-on learning
This week we will investigate the sixth element which Rshaid identifies as increasing levels of complexity. Gamers are drawn into continued play by ever-increasing complexity without frustration. Gamers are able to build skills and then advance those skills at the next level with high levels of engagement not angst and disillusion. In a classroom, teachers must work toward this goal also. Teachers need to be aware where students’ reading levels are and build their skills enough to engage with the next type of text. If students are continually faced with their frustration level while reading, they will eventually lose motivation and try to escape the reading responsibility. However, if teachers carefully scaffold student reading skills from their instructional level, students will gain confidence when facing increasingly difficult text.
To obtain this goal, teachers must certainly know their students and understand their skills and motivations; however, the end goal of reading success is worth the effort.