The Becker Blog

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

  • Worth Sharing: Why Playfulness Is the Key to Success in the 21st-Century

    Worth Sharing: Why Playfulness Is the Key to Success in the 21st-Century

    Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes THIS is why my version of “gamification” is so important. The Most Important Skill of Today? Source: Why Playfulness Is the Key to Success in the 21st-Century...

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  • Worth Sharing: Students aren’t learning enough – a brewing crisis in higher education

    Worth Sharing: Students aren’t learning enough – a brewing crisis in higher education

    Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes Too many graduates are not prepared to think critically and creatively, speak and write cogently, solve problems, comprehend complex issues, accept...

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  • IS it What Straight-A Students Get Wrong, or is it what WE get wrong?

    IS it What Straight-A Students Get Wrong, or is it what WE get wrong?

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute It’s not the students’ fault. Not making marks random, and reducing the risks of failure are what gives students more room to really think. We owe them that. We...

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  • Worth Sharing: “Another nail in the coffin for learning styles” – students did not benefit from studying according to their supposed learnin

    Worth Sharing: “Another nail in the coffin for learning styles” – students did not benefit from studying according to their supposed learnin

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute I am glad to see more evidence against this notion. It’s almost always a good idea to provide learning material in a variety of forms, but that’s not the same...

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  • WRONG: The Animal You Spot First Says a Lot About Your Personality

    WRONG: The Animal You Spot First Says a Lot About Your Personality

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute No, it doesn’t. Sheesh. However, it says a LOT about the graphic design. The lion has a lovely DARK frame around it’s face (the biggest dark patch on that side...

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  • Worth Sharing: Turn Your Classroom Irritation Into Compassion

    Worth Sharing: Turn Your Classroom Irritation Into Compassion

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute It’s all too easy to be annoyed by students’ questions, until you realize their confusion might be your fault. Source: Turn Your Classroom Irritation Into...

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  • Worth Sharing: Serious Games Today

    Worth Sharing: Serious Games Today

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute A new resource well worth checking out! http://www.seriousgames.today Who Made This? This site was built by Digitalmill, Inc. Digitalmill is a consulting and...

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  • YAY! Open Access ~~NOT~~

    YAY! Open Access ~~NOT~~

    Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes So, I’ve been an editor for a pay to publish journal. It actually wasn’t clear to me that they WERE that kind of journal when I agreed to be an editor. I was...

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  • The Club Theory of Teaching and Learning

    The Club Theory of Teaching and Learning

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute Or – How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blue Rule I have a colleague (thanks Patrick) who has a “Club Theory” for how we teach a discipline. It...

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  • If you are a teacher, especially in Higher Ed, THIS IS IMPORTANT.

    If you are a teacher, especially in Higher Ed, THIS IS IMPORTANT.

    Approximate Reading Time: 5 minutes I’m not going to add anything to this post, as it deserves to stand on its own. I’ll comment in another post. By Margaret Dorsey (I know this is really long,...

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  • It’s all a matter of point of view… (the 2018 version)

    It’s all a matter of point of view… (the 2018 version)

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute I first posted this note back in 2009. It’s time for a new edition … for a computer scientist, everything is an algorithm. (it’s about systems (and process)) to...

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  • My 2¢ – Is It Ethical for Nutrition Scientists to Accept Industry Money?

    My 2¢ – Is It Ethical for Nutrition Scientists to Accept Industry Money?

    Approximate Reading Time: 1 minute Source: Is It Ethical for Nutrition Scientists to Accept Industry Money? Grant money should be blinded – ALL of it. Those giving the money will have NO say over...

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  • “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 minute By 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 minutes I’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 minutes EXCELLENT 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: 10 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 –...

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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 minutes I’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 minute Available for a limited time for $9.99(US) with this coupon. … Continue reading →

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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 minute I 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...

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