This is Part 10 in my continuing saga of my current iteration of a gamified course.
The design of this class is more complex than most other classes. Remember that I have 20 different kinds of things that students can do. Some of these are repeatable which means that if a student did EVERYTHING they could possibly do, they would be submitting 60 different things. The epic quest has 5 parts and one of the achievement quests has 3 iterations. Even if they never re-submit anything (which they can), I could still get 68 things from each student to mark. This year I have 50 students and I do all my own marking. That means I could have more than 3400 things to mark just in this one class. (Gosh! I never did the math before. Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t or I might never have tried this.)
Add to that the fact that the majority of the quests have NO deadlines, it would appear that I am either an idiot, or crazy. Turns out, I’m neither. I’ve been teaching a long time – everything from tiny classes of 6 people to multiple sections of 250+.
Based on previous numbers, I can reasonably expect to get an average of 35 submissions per student over the semester. Given the way I have set up the marking, most take only a minute or two to mark. I’ll devote an upcoming post to that.
If this design is to work (and I can verify that it does), then there are some things that absolutely need to be in place before the class starts:
- 95% of the quests need to be written up so students can see them – even on the very first day if they choose. I actually give my students access to the course before the first day so they can peek ahead of time (hardly anyone does).
- The grading schemes for everything need to be figured out. I’ve long thought that my students should get to know how they will be assessed before they start any assignment. Since they can technically do any given assignment on the very first day of class, then I need my marking guides done too.
- The course website needs to be set up and ready to go.
- The course discussion list needs to be set up and ready to go.
- The submission & grading “system” needs to be set up and ready to go.
This last one is a biggie (as if all the others weren’t). I will spend at least one post talking about just that. Here’s a hint: BlackBoard can’t handle what I need done. Nor can D2L, Moodle (I tried), or Google Classroom. I built my own.
If you are interested in following my course journal, watch for the “Gamification 101” heading.
Also, for more information on gamification, check out my website here.