Writing Pitfalls

A writing workshop is a good example of how gamification can yield impressive results when applied to specific and practical real-world problems.

In this workshop gamification principles were applied in an educational context to help students recognise common mistakes in their own writing. The tools that they were given were an exemplary bad essay, a card deck of writing pitfalls (originally compiled by Levien Nordeman) and knowledge of a variety of potentially relevant game mechanics, some of which they had the chance to experience through gameplay. They were then tasked with creating a new game which would teach themselves and their peers about these pitfalls in an engaging way.

The results were very impressive, especially considering the time frame - a week and a half. The students’ feedback showed that they had had both an enjoyable and informative time, with the majority of them saying that their writing had noticably improved in this short time.

The workshop was created as an elective for an interdisciplinary group of first and second years at the WDKA Rotterdam. It was created and taught by Bart Siebelink - who focused on the writing aspect - and Bruno Setola and Thea Christy-Parker, who were focused on the gamification side.