Notes on Gaming #2

Thursday, August 6th

I purposefully rolled August 6th into today’s post because I didn’t want any of my students reading it and getting any hints. 🙂 I don’t think I’ve said this, but I have created a character  – The Lit (short for literacy) Master. Students can decide if they want to receive emails from the Lit Master. The Lit Master will send out additional quests for the purpose of gaining achievement points and badges – nothing to do with grades.

I have two classes, but I made three lists. First, each class gets its own list. The classes have separate content so some quests will likely be content specific. But then I did one combined list so we could have some cross-class competition. Today, I sent an email out to all students who had opted in to the list. It read:

Greetings & Welcome to My Realm- 

In just a short amount of time, you will enter my realm and embark upon its many quests. Some of these quests will be fun, and some will be more arduous tasks that will challenge you in ways you did not expect. How you engage with them is up to you. 

Periodically, I will be offering you the opportunity to engage in extra quests that can offer you unique opportunities both in terms of how you advance in the game as well as uncovering hidden knowledge. I offer these opportunities whenever I feel like it, and I end them whenever I feel like it. 

It is my realm after all. You’re the ones who chose to enter. 

Let’s make this first opportunity a bit easy and fun shall we? We’ll save the more difficult tasks for later on. 

If you so choose, here is a quest for you to complete: 

Who are you and why have you entered my realm? You must introduce yourself by leaving your message in the appropriate place. What is the appropriate place? You should leave your message in the spot of 3/14. Leaving it anywhere else gets you nothing. 

What are the rewards?

Be the first person across both literacy cohorts to complete the quest: 500 Achievement Points + I’m #1 Badge 

Complete the quest within 24 hours of when this message was sent: 300 Achievement Points + Hi! My Name Is…Badge 

Complete the quest within 48 hours of when this message was sent: 200 Achievement Points + Hi! My Name Is… Badge 

After 48 hours this quest will be shut down. Badges and achievement points related to it will be impossible to get. 

Time starts….NOW (2:20 PM on Thursday)

Now, where were students supposed to leave their message? They were supposed to leave their message on the class PI page. 3/14 is code for March 14th. March 14th is PI Day. Ha ha. I am so funny. Anyone who had not looked at the syllabus would not understand it. But someone scored the I’m #1 Badge within 20 minutes. By the end of the day, three more people had figured it out. These were all people who had already been getting achievements including the PI Lover badge (register for PI before the first day of class). So it didn’t take them long.

Additionally, my email prompted at least one person to get into gear and take a look at the syllabus. That person has yet to solve the riddle here but did email me and sign off as Princess Ruto. I’m guessing this person is down with the game.

Also, note what I accidentally did here. I have just splintered the badge system. You can earn the I’m #1 Badge OR the Hi! My Name is… Badge but not both. I almost corrected that – almost. Then I just left it. Let’s see what happens. But now it is impossible to earn ALL the badges.

Friday, August 7th

Someone emailed me at the account I created for the Lit Master. Mostly because the student is now confused about how to contact me. I can understand that. I’ve got three email addresses going in this game: (a) my normal university one, (b) the one I created for the Deep Reader achievement, and (c) the one I use as the Lit. Master.

But I can’t respond as Leigh from the Lit. Master account. So I forwarded it on to my university one. Gotta keep it consistent!

I also opened up the (not so) Secret Page. It’s currently worth 4500 Achievement Points. I’ll leave it open until I feel like closing it again.

Thursday, August 13th

Not all students are taking me up on engaging in battles. The ones who are though are (I think) getting a benefit they are not realizing. The battles require them to dig down into the syllabus and get familiar with it and/or engage in a particular skill that they will have to use during class. For example, in a recent battle, I asked students to create and share a brief video of themselves and post it to our class PI page. Most of them will have to do this for their grade during the semester so I thought they could practice it now AND get some achievement points for doing so (because I won’t be offering achievement points for doing a test run later on). Few have taken me up on this, but I think the ones who have will be glad they did. They will be more comfortable with what is being asked of them as the semester progresses.

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