Gamification 101[17]: What Does a Gamified Grading Application Need to Have?

Approximate Reading Time: 3 minutes

This is Part 17 in my continuing saga of my current iteration of a gamified course.

As I’ve said before, current course management systems don’t have the flexibility required to accommodate a gamified design such as mine (here and here). Currently I, using Google Sheets, which works pretty well, but the set-up is quite onerous – I have to create a master grading sheet by importing information from each student using importrange. So far I’ve been OK, but you can only do 50 of these in any given spreadsheet, so if I ever have more than 50 students, I’ll need to think of another way. Plus, I need to handle changes in the class list (adds and drops) myself. It would really make a big difference if all of this could be done automatically.

You seen the student quest logs and scorecards. Here’s an example of what the master grade book looks like.


Each line is a different student. Each column on the right side represents their score for the quest category.

So, what do we need in a gamified grading application? Note that NOWHERE does it say anything about percentages. It is assumed that the total of all the XP will add up to more than is needed for a perfect score. This description will probably evolve as I gain more experience, but here’s what I have so far:

  1. Themes to customize the look and feel of the game system.
  2. A connection to the schools official enrollment lists
    1. So students can be added or deleted as necessary.
    2. So student profiles can be maintained across all courses.
    3. So instructors can access the students’ badges (or other credentials). This could ultimately have far-reaching implications for how students earn credit, what kind of work they are required to do in their classes, and more).
  3. A way to describe the course content using a mapping similar to this.
  4. A way to define the quests. It mush include the following attributes:
    1. Quest Category – default – none
    2. Quest name –  required
    3. Repetition name (and description) – optional (this allows me to created additional quests in the same set but require them to do a maximum of, say 4 out of 6 choices. – default=1
    4. Minimum repetitions (for setting required quests). – default=0
    5. Maximum repetitions. – default = how ever many there are in the series
    6. XP per repetition. – required
    7. Whether or not this quest has an expiry or best before date, and what that date is. (Expiry means it won’t be marked after the ‘due’ date, whereas a best Before Date means that they won’t get the bonus associated with the quest. – default=no
    8. The value of the bonus. – default=10% of XP
    9. Which, if any quests are required in order to unlock this quest (I don’t currently have a good way to do this so I don’t. This must be connected to the system that serves up the quest descriptions.). – default = none
    10. Whether or not this quest requires a minimum level in order to unlock it (I don’t currently have a good way to do this so I don’t. This must be connected to the system that serves up the quest descriptions.). – default = none
    11. A way to connect each quest (or repetition) to a course content node. – default none.
  5. A way to connect multiple students to the same quest so that when one gets assessed, they all get assessed. It must be possible to override this in case students need to be assessed individually.
  6. A way to define a mapping of points to levels.
  7. A way to define a mapping of points to a letter grade.
  8. A way to create badges and to define the criteria for earning those badges. This could tap into the OpenBadges system if desired.
  9. A scorecard (template provided) for each student.
    1. This is where the grading criteria for each quest are defined. Rubrics should be allowed but not required.
  10. A quest log for each student. This gets generated from the information in #1.
    1. Must be editable by the student.
    2. Must allow me to add columns for additional links, etc.
  11. A master grade book (view) so I can see everyone at once.
  12. A leaderboard. It should create a new column in the leaderboard at the instructor’s request using data from the master grade book.
    1. A way to describe the desired progression through the course – I.E. how many XP, and what level should they be at at specific dates.  – default = simple steady progression.

That’s all I have for now. I will add more to this list as I think of it. Check back from time to time to see how this evolves.

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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