Gamification 101[8]: The Iterative Quest

Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is Part 8 in my continuing saga of my current iteration of a gamified course.

So far I have talked about deadlines, the difficulty of modularizing, scoring, and the quests.

questsI finished reviewing my quests from the last year.

Most of them are still fine.

A few needed a little tweaking. Many of the standard and mini quests are repeatable, meaning the student can submit more than one for marks, but they need to be different. For example in the collection quest, they can create up to four different polls and submit them all. I had intended for each to be done using different software (although they can use Excel to do the analysis on all of them). Last year a lot of students used the same software for all of their polls and used questions that were very similar in type. I need to make it clearer that I mean for them to do each one differently.

As a result of a Google Summit I went to in August, I decided I wanted to try an iterative design for one of the quests – you know, where the student hands in a partially completed work, I critique it, they fix it, add some more and then submit it again.

It occurred to me that we don’t often do that with our students. Most of the time we give them assignments that they hand in, and then we mark them and give them back. Occasionally we give out assignments that have a few milestones they must meet, but we rarely give them something back, ask them to fix it, and then mark it again. We do that sort of thing all the time when we publish papers. I went many rounds with both my thesis proposal and my dissertation. As academics, we are used to taking “notes” (as they say in the entertainment biz.), but we don’t usually do that to our undergrads. I think we should – not all the time, but sometimes.

SO, I modified my website assignment to make them submit a draft, then the first iteration, followed by two iterations before the final version. Almost 1/2 the points are going to be connected with how well they have incorporated the suggestions.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

One of the really fun parts about this model for quests and points is that it really frees me to include a wide variety of tasks. We really don’t give them very many distinct experiences when it comes to asking them to do work and assessing it. I know it’s way easier to recycle old assignments (sometimes for decades), but we should really be trying to think of stuff that’s new and interesting.

We often justify hard deadlines for assignments by saying that students need to work to deadlines. That is absolutely true, BUT, don’t they also need to learn to work when there are NO deadlines? When do we teach them that?


Defn: Notes – the meeting a director usually has after a rehearsal or performance
to tell the cast and crew how he felt about their performance and to make
any changes he may think are necessary

gamificationIf 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.

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Gamification 101[8]: The Iterative Quest — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Gamification 101[15]: Efficient Marking that Doesn’t Short-Change Your Students | The Becker Blog

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