The Becker Blog

On being an academic, farmer, writer, scientist, programmer, educator, designer, mom, ...

  • Evolution of the “Good” vs “Bad” Gamification Chart, PART 2.

    Evolution of the “Good” vs “Bad” Gamification Chart, PART 2.

    Approximate Reading Time: 9 minutes  This is the response to Ian Schreiber’s comments from the original draft post. (THANK YOU for the help!) Points Point values for quests is unclear – everything...

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  • Evolution of the “Good” vs “Bad” Gamification Chart, PART 1.

    Evolution of the “Good” vs “Bad” Gamification Chart, PART 1.

    Approximate Reading Time: 4 minutesI’m working on the 1st volume of a set of books devoted to gamification in learning. There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about what gamification is and...

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  • Just in time for the start of term…The Guide to Simulations and Games

    Just in time for the start of term…The Guide to Simulations and Games

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteAvailable for a limited time for $9.99(US) with this coupon.

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  • Worth Sharing: (Deliberate) practice makes perfect: how to become an expert in anything

    Worth Sharing: (Deliberate) practice makes perfect: how to become an expert in anything

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute“Appropriate practice is the single most neglected aspect of effective instruction.” (Merrill, 2001) This is one of MANY reasons why gamification can be helpful...

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  • Please don’t let “Gamblification” become a thing in learning!

    Please don’t let “Gamblification” become a thing in learning!

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteI often hear people talking about adding elements of chance to an experience to make it more interesting. For instance, adding a random reward for doing a certain...

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  • Open-access books are downloaded, cited, and mentioned more than non-OA books (and why I DON’T publish my books this way).

    Open-access books are downloaded, cited, and mentioned more than non-OA books (and why I DON’T publish my books this way).

    Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutesOpen-access journal articles have been found, to some extent, to be downloaded and cited more than non-OA articles. But could the same be true for books? Carrie...

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  • The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games NOW AVAILABLE!

    The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games NOW AVAILABLE!

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteWe have regained the rights to our 2011 book, The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games, originally published by Wiley. We are in the process of updating it for...

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  • QUIZ: Is it Plagiarism? – Not So Fast!

    QUIZ: Is it Plagiarism? – Not So Fast!

    Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutesI cam across this quiz from the EasyBib Blog today. I have some problems with it. Think you can identify plagiarism like a pro? See if you can beat this quiz by...

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  • The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games, 1st(+1) edition almost done.

    The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games, 1st(+1) edition almost done.

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteWe are almost there. The publisher webpage is up, and we are offering a free preview that includes the first two chapters. We have regained the rights to our 2011...

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  • Worth Sharing: The genetic fallacy: When is it okay to criticize a source? | The Logic of Science

    Worth Sharing: The genetic fallacy: When is it okay to criticize a source? | The Logic of Science

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteNot new, but an excellent take on the issue. Last week, I wrote a post on the hierarchy of scientific evidence which included the figure to the right. In that...

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  • The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games to be re-released.

    The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games to be re-released.

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteWe have regained the rights to our 2011 book, The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games, originally published by Wiley. We are in the process of updating it for...

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  • Maybe people aren’t so much bad as weak.

    Maybe people aren’t so much bad as weak.

    Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutesHmmm, so people aren’t naturally cruel, or selfish. (So much for Dawkins’ “selfish gene“) I would say that people are, however, easy to manipulate. This supports...

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  • What?! No Deadlines on Assignments?!

    What?! No Deadlines on Assignments?!

    Approximate Reading Time: 3 minutesA common kind of complaint among many HE faculty: My student comes with a long story about why they need an extension on an assignment. I have already gone to...

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  • Is Contemporaneous Grading More Consistent than Grading over a Long Period?

    Is Contemporaneous Grading More Consistent than Grading over a Long Period?

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteI have an education question for anyone with expertise in assessment: Are there any studies examining the notion that marking all of one assignment/paper...

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  • STILL Worth Sharing: Constructivism vs. Constructivism vs. Constructionism | Computing Education Research Blog

    STILL Worth Sharing: Constructivism vs. Constructivism vs. Constructionism | Computing Education Research Blog

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteThis post distinguishes between Constructivism, the cognitive theory, Constructivism, the educational philosophy, and Constructionism. It does an excellent job....

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  • Worth Sharing: Why Design Thinking is bullshit

    Worth Sharing: Why Design Thinking is bullshit

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteWith a Hat-Tip to Alex Bruton for sharing this. This is yet another one of these “hot new terms” that people like to say in the hopes it will make them sound...

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  • Worth Sharing: The Misguided Drive to Measure ‘Learning Outcomes’ NYT

    Worth Sharing: The Misguided Drive to Measure ‘Learning Outcomes’ NYT

    Colleges should stop trivializing the transmission of knowledge. Source: Opinion | The Misguided Drive to Measure ‘Learning Outcomes’ I love having objective, clear-cut descriptions of what my...

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  • Worth Sharing: Would College Students Retain More If Professors Dialed Back The Pace?

    Worth Sharing: Would College Students Retain More If Professors Dialed Back The Pace?

    Why do we forget so much of what we read? Anthropologist Barbara J. King suggests that the answer might point toward benefits of a slower pace of teaching in the college classroom. Source: Would...

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  • Worth Sharing: Why I Stopped Writing on My Students’ Papers

    Worth Sharing: Why I Stopped Writing on My Students’ Papers

    A professor decides it’s time to reconceive how he comments on essay assignments. This is GREAT! I have taken to requiring my students to do reflections (3 Up; 3 Down – Thanks for the great...

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  • Thousands of teachers caught cheating in exams

    Thousands of teachers caught cheating in exams

    I have long thought that the way to change the problem of cheating in exams (and assignments) is to reduce the risk associated with any single task. Stay tuned for future posts on how to do that....

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