The First Hidden Achievement

I went ahead and buried an achievement into my syllabus for both classes. It was sneaky, I know.

I have decided to release my syllabus to my students on/around August 1st. I was worried about doing this, but I decided it might not hurt. Normally, I do release the syllabus to my students early with the caveat that nothing is set in stone until the first day of class. Entire assignments could disappear or be completely redone.

But this time is different. This time, since I am gaming the class, releasing the syllabus early has the potential to confuse people or even stress them out. I don’t want that, but I figured it could also give them time to process things a bit before the first day. That might be good. They probably need all the processing time they can get. I know I would.

And I went ahead and hid the potential to unlock an achievement and earn achievement points deep within the bowels of each syllabus.

Wanna know what I did?

Recall that I use wikispaces for my syllabus. I have a page on the wiki called Assignments & Grades (which should really be changed to Quests and XP). Click on that, and you get taken to a page that lists off all the quests and explains how XP work. Each quest has its own page. On the blogging page (for my explorations class. hey, other class, see Where Are You Now), I have embedded waaaayyy down in the directions the following statement:

OMG! Are you reading this before our first day of class? If so, shoot me an email at [here’s my special email!]  and see what happens!

I made a special gmail just for this purpose. And, because I did the same thing for both classes, I can use the auto reply message for both classes. If you email me – before the first day of class – you get the following response:

Congratulations! Because you read the syllabus so closely (or you at least read a small portion of it so closely OR maybe someone just tipped you off – honestly, it’s not like I’ll ever know) prior to the first day of class, you have unlocked the Deep Reader Achievement and earned 1000 Achievement Points.

You will receive your official badge at the start of the semester.
The question is….what do you do with this new found knowledge? Do you:
(a) share it with others (and let them get achievement points after you figured it out)
(b) keep it to yourself
(c) laugh randomly and bask in your ability to earn secret achievement points?
Does the syllabus contain any additional hidden items? 
P.S. If you have real questions for me about this or the course, send them to [my normal email] as I’ve got this thing on auto responder for now.
Ok…let me point out a few things:
1. If you are a student in one of my classes, then I just made your life potentially a whole lot easier by telling you everything you needed to know in this post. But that’s what happens when you goggle me or read my blog. Nothing but love. And hints. Lots of blatant, blatant hints.
2. Does the syllabus contain any additional hidden items? Well, I have the email that is currently awarding achievements set up to auto respond until the deadline and it’s only administering one achievement. So…what do you think?
3. I am not giving out the official badge until students set themselves up in Schoology on the first day of class. Not a big deal. I think people can live with it.
I am dying – DYING – to see if anyone picks up on this. And, one more thing, on the first day of class I plan to wipe off the message in the syllabus that says to email me. It will no longer be relevant to the game (class). I just want one person – just one! – in each class to get this achievement so they can smirk real big on the first day of class. And then I want to see if they talk and tell the others.  I want to see how people respond to someone starting off the game with Achievement points (remember – these don’t count for their grade). Because when it comes to hidden/secret/hard to find items, I’m the game developer. And I’m not talking.

4 thoughts on “The First Hidden Achievement

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