Professor Uses RPG-like Exp Rather Than Grades

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.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • megamanx00
    You automatically start off with +10 dorkiness in your stats :D.
  • Dyseman
    DING! 80th Grade! Oh wait, I had purchased the Chinese Power Level from website. LOL
  • konjiki7
    Wow are things really this bad? at-least enough to where people need to get xp in order to find motivation?
  • darkknight22
    I wonder if you can pickup some Epic loot from completing a raid...
  • This is actually a very good idea, until of course, they enter college and start gaining experience while simultaneously missing their achievements.
  • davendork
    Behold my netbook of chemistry +2.
  • the_krasno
    Now that is cool! I wish they would implement this at my university! ^_^
  • nevertell
    He's even revised elements of the class so that they're understandable and associated with fun.
    Education 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.
  • dman3k
    Do I get a "Demolition Expert" Trophy for ruining the class curve?
  • quigley0908
    So it's almost exactly like the anime Baka to Test to Shōkanjū