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Professor Uses RPG-like Exp Rather Than Grades

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 52 comments

A professor is addressing the "gamer generation."

Lee Sheldon of Bloomington's Indiana University is using an experience point (XP) system rather than the traditional grading method in two of his game design classes. Borrowing from RPGs and MMORPGs, students begin the program with an avatar at level one. To gain experience, students must complete assignments camouflaged as RPG-based tasks such as quests, crafting, and more. In real life, they're making presentations, taking quizzes, and doing all that other boring school-related work.

According to Sheldon, students are grouped into guilds, and must complete "quests" as a solo adventurer or within "pick up groups" with other guild members. Is this working? Sheldon thinks so, saying the overall feedback is far more enthusiastic than previous grading methods. He's even revised elements of the class so that they're understandable and associated with fun.

But not every student is on board with the XP system. "There will always be a portion of the class who will not be motivated to learn no matter what an instructor may try," he told ITNews. "Those that are not as involved, one or two out of a class of forty, are pretty much drifting through life anyway thanks to factors the classroom can't really address."

Sheldon's comments stem from a recent ITNews article that focuses on the "gamer generation" entering the workforce. It's suggested that employers look to gaming to motivate their employees, and offer "gamer rewards" to boost employee engagement. "Clearly defined goals and fair, incremental rewards are two game design techniques that could motivate the 'gamer generation' in the workforce," he said.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 18, 2010 7:46 PM
    You automatically start off with +10 dorkiness in your stats :D .
  • 21 Hide
    dman3k , March 18, 2010 7:50 PM
    Do I get a "Demolition Expert" Trophy for ruining the class curve?
  • 19 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , March 18, 2010 8:06 PM
    Give this guy an award!!!
Other Comments
    Display all 52 comments.
  • 22 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 18, 2010 7:46 PM
    You automatically start off with +10 dorkiness in your stats :D .
  • 12 Hide
    Dyseman , March 18, 2010 7:46 PM
    DING! 80th Grade! Oh wait, I had purchased the Chinese Power Level from website. LOL
  • 15 Hide
    darkknight22 , March 18, 2010 7:48 PM
    I wonder if you can pickup some Epic loot from completing a raid...
  • 19 Hide
    davendork , March 18, 2010 7:48 PM
    Behold my netbook of chemistry +2.
  • 16 Hide
    the_krasno , March 18, 2010 7:48 PM
    Now that is cool! I wish they would implement this at my university! ^_^
  • 21 Hide
    dman3k , March 18, 2010 7:50 PM
    Do I get a "Demolition Expert" Trophy for ruining the class curve?
  • -5 Hide
    quigley0908 , March 18, 2010 7:53 PM
    So it's almost exactly like the anime Baka to Test to Shōkanjū
  • 11 Hide
    toastninja17 , March 18, 2010 7:54 PM
    YES!!! This is freaking awesome! If they had this in high school, students would do so much better.
  • 12 Hide
    cscott_it , March 18, 2010 7:55 PM
    hotsacomanThis is actually a very good idea, until of course, they enter college and start gaining experience while simultaneously missing their achievements.


    They are already in college :p 
  • 8 Hide
    MxM , March 18, 2010 8:05 PM
    nevertellEducation isn't meant to be fun. Because you're brain isn't actually "recording" anything when you're having fun. It's when you're stressed, when you're brain is 50 % working and memorizing everything.

    Did you ever wondered why children and even kitties are playful? Or you did not learn about this because you were stressed at the time? ;) 
  • 19 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , March 18, 2010 8:06 PM
    Give this guy an award!!!
  • 8 Hide
    rmmil978 , March 18, 2010 8:09 PM
    Yeah and for $1000 you can probably "buy" a high level character right away, just like with WoW. :-)
  • 16 Hide
    Camikazi , March 18, 2010 8:12 PM
    nevertellEducation isn't meant to be fun. Because you're brain isn't actually "recording" anything when you're having fun. It's when you're stressed, when you're brain is 50 % working and memorizing everything.

    Yea cause kids are SOOOOO stressed out those first 5-7 years when they are learning a HUGE amount just playing. Don't even need any tests, kids learn by playing not by being stressed and it is the same with adults, you pay more attention and are more likely to remember things when you like what you are doing.
  • 3 Hide
    maigo , March 18, 2010 8:14 PM
    Quote:
    There will always be a portion of the class who will not be motivated to learn no matter what an instructor may try


    This is a collage class... in game design... if you don't want to design games, you're not in that class. It's not math or lit or world history, they're in that class because they want to be
  • 17 Hide
    thackstonns , March 18, 2010 8:14 PM
    nevertellEducation isn't meant to be fun. Because you're brain isn't actually "recording" anything when you're having fun. It's when you're stressed, when you're brain is 50 % working and memorizing everything.


    So thats why I couldnt memorize plays for sports. Or remember that an elbow to the groin was a foul. I was having too much fun and not enough stress. You sir are an idiot. And the best part is, you wont be to stressed when reading this, so you wont remember anything I said.
  • 1 Hide
    sliem , March 18, 2010 8:17 PM
    I think it's fine and great.
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