The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tool Brings Gaming into the Classroom

“Gameful” instruction allows students to choose assignments they think are challenging and uses software to guide them through those choices. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, recently launched a tool to make that learning approach available in the classroom.

GradeCraft employs competitive leaderboards, badges, and links to unlock information to help students work their way through the coursework. The web application also allows instructors to create course shells in the learning management system (LMS) where students are encouraged to try new things, as well as receive analytics about their progress.

“Everyone starts at zero and then they build toward mastery of the course material,” Barry Fishman, a U-M professor who helped developed the tool, said in a university release. “We get questions about how rigorous a course is given how many students earn high grades, but we consistently hear instructors describe their students doing creative and high-quality work. When you design these environments properly, you can create an incredible learning experience for students.”

The tool, developed in 2012, was made available to all U-M faculty through its LMS earlier this year. Some parts of the gameful learning software are now being used in 58 courses, serving more than 10,000 U-M students. A site license has also been purchased by the University of Arizona.

“We believe gameful is a great way to reconnect students to learning and we’re excited to bring it to a larger audience,” Fishman said.

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