Tweaking Quests and XP

I’m back at work on my fall courses (started in May). Why? Because I’m super excited about them that’s why. This will be my second year applying principles of gamification to my courses. Last year, I applied it to three/four. In the fall, I will apply it to two.

Let’s talk about one of the course today – Explorations in Literacy. It’s a masters level for course for K-12 teachers. What I’ve done in this course is created three required quests. They are:

  • blogging (post writing only)
  • becoming connected (this quest is about issues in developing a personal learning network)
  • explore project (based on the genius hour)

You can see previous posts about some of these. For Explore projects check out here and here. I’ve got a number of posts on how and why I use blogging in my courses.

I decided it was important to have several quests that we all did together. This helps us form our community around shared experiences. However, I also think these quests develop important skills for my students – skills I didn’t want to allow them the opportunity to opt out of.

Next, I created four quests that were optional. They are:

These quests each vary in their level of engagement, and some provide a variety of choice in terms of what teachers can do and how much they can engage.

When it came time to grade, I thought about it as such:

  1. The university requires me to give one of three grades at the masters level H (high pass) P (pass) L (low pass).
  2. Here is how I arrived at an H:
    1. Total XP Earned = 436,950 and up
      Becoming Connected XP Earned = 194,850 and up
      Blogging XP Earned = 191,700 and up
      Explore Project XP Earned = 45,900 and up
  3. Here is how I arrived at a P:
    1. Criteria for a P
      Total XP Earned = 339, 850 minimum
      Becoming Connected XP Earned = 151,500
      Blogging XP Earned = 149,100
      Explore Project XP Earned = 35,700

If you don’t make it the criteria for a P, then you get an L.

Here’s what I like about the grade structure. First, there’s a minimum amount of XP that you have to get to achieve a particular grade. But that’s just part of the process. Students also have to be mindful of how much XP they earn for the required quests. In looking at an H, I can take the minimum amount of XP needed for the required quests, add it up, and reach 432,450. So that puts them 4,500 shy of the total XP needed for that grade (an easy number to get). Really, students probably don’t need to take up an optional quest. But I’m gonna let it run and see what happens. I’ll still also be giving out XP for doing various things during class like I have in the past, and I’ll likely have pop-up quests.

I am also going to be doing some new and different things over in my second masters class (content area literacy). Stay tuned for updates on that.

Two Years Ago

One Year Ago

 

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