Teaching the Teachers: Using Game Based Learning

Teaching the Teachers: Using Game Based Learning


When the Rollins School for Language and Learning made it their goal to create free, online education courses make sure at-risk students were reading grade-level by third grade, they faced some serious challenges. Their Read Right from the Start program had the tools to help them meet their literacy goals, but they needed to get teachers of various education levels up to speed.

How could Rollins make sure that every teacher knew the curriculum and taught it appropriately?



Recall is Not Enough

The status quo of teaching out of a book and testing for recall was simply not up to the training task. Rollins needed to ensure that each of their teachers knew what the curriculum was and exactly how to teach it. So the Rollins made a game-changing decision: They created a gamified eLearning solution that put the teachers in the shoes of their students.

Rollins award-winning eLearning courses doesn’t describe learning methods then use recall to test comprehension, as many online courses do. Instead, Rollins took their training a step farther to design a gamified course where teachers played the literacy games they would soon be teaching to students.

Gamification Bridges the Gap

To certify, teachers need to play the games they will teach in the same order they will teach them. While completing the course, teachers earn points, gain badges, complete quizzes, and participate with a community of other teachers that are learning right along with them.

Imagine the impact of teachers in less-advanced areas having access to free mentorship from educators with PhDs who are not talking above their heads.

Leveling the Playing Field

Game based learning puts everyone on the same playing field. In Rollins case, community educators are taught through modeling and performance while having access to a community portal that connects them to other teachers who are on the same journey.

This communal and experience-based form of learning isn’t going anywhere. As tools develop to support smaller budgets, gamification will continue to grow to redefine how learners gain experience and certifications.


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  1. Dear Sir/ Madam,

    We totally agree and think your article is a very interesting and good new contribution to gamification/serious gaming. We’re a gamification company situated in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and use the principles discussed by Daniel Pink and the 70/20/10 ideas.

    We can’t wait to read more! Will be following you!

    With kind regards,

    Nadine Meanwell