Game mechanics in the classroom: Real-time feedback loops

Logan Stratman
Logan Stratman
Learning Experience Lead

Feedback loops in a game: Where the output is fed back into the game system as an input, or where a player is provided information or rewards based on their actions to inform their future actions.

Feedback loops in the classroom: The continuous exchange of information between educators and learners to ensure material is being learned and all are engaged. 

By actively observing and analyzing student responses, teachers make immediate adjustments to keep their learners engaged and productive.

Observing feedback loops is a natural part of any conversation; we subconsciously recognize when our audience has gained sufficient knowledge or grown bored with the topic. Teachers best utilize this skill by observing the class both as a whole and as unique individuals. They gather information through facilitating classroom discussions or breakout groups, conducting assessments (quizzes, polls, etc.), and observing non-verbal cues.

Once teachers have assessed how students are progressing, they begin to act. If a few students are showing signs of struggling, teachers will approach them individually and find a suitable solution – answering questions, revisiting parts of the lesson, or permitting the student to stretch and move. However, when a significant number of learners are unable to grasp the information, the lesson may need to be retaught in a new way, such as through drills, games, or student-led teaching.

Once all students have demonstrated understanding, the lesson progresses, and the feedback loop restarts. By constantly gathering feedback from students, teachers adapt their lessons, which ensures that all students acquire the necessary information to move forward, and results in an improved overall learning experience.