The Becker Blog

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

  • “Serious” games and the role of gaming beyond entertainment – Calgary Journal Online

    “Serious” games and the role of gaming beyond entertainment – Calgary Journal Online

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minuteBy Jasper McGregor | jmcgregor@cjournal.ca Oct 11, 2018 Video games are changing as rapidly as our reliance on them, serving functions that go well beyond...

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  • Contract Grading? Really?!

    Contract Grading? Really?!

    Approximate Reading Time: 3 minutesI’ve known about the concept of contract grading for some time, but have never really seriously considered it. Then I saw this. This article explains it quite...

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  • Worth Sharing: Mieke Bal: Let’s Abolish the Peer-Review System – Media Theory

    Worth Sharing: Mieke Bal: Let’s Abolish the Peer-Review System – Media Theory

    Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutesEXCELLENT article. I have experienced many of these issues myself. As an adjunct and sessional instructor, I am treated as “less than” by a great many in the...

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  • 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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