Friday, November 5, 2010

Experience points instead of grades

Lee Sheldon
Professor Lee Sheldon from Indiana University developed an innovative system to grade student performance. Instead of giving traditional grades, students receive experience points that allow them to "level up" (get a higher letter grade). Students choose how much effort they want to invest in the course by choosing from a number of experience points activities.

The system seems to work well, as grades and attendance were higher than with the traditional grading system (- which could be a novelty effect or a Hawthorne effect). It would be interesting to see how that would work on a langer scale: Over longer periods of time and across multiple courses.

Below is Sheldon's Grading procedure (from his course syllabus):


Grading Procedure
You will begin on the first day of class as a Level One avatar. Level Twelve is the highest level you can achieve:
LevelXP*Letter Grade
Level Twelve1860A
Level Eleven1800A-
Level Ten1740B+
Level Nine1660B
Level Eight1600B-
Level Seven1540C+
Level Six1460C
Level Five1400C-
Level Four1340D+
Level Three1260D
Level Two1200D-
Level One0F
*Your level will be determined by experience points (XP) on a 2000 XP scale. You gain XP by defeating mobs, completing quests and crafting.
· Solo: Craft your own game proposal. (Written, 50 pts.)
· Solo: Present your game proposal to the class. (25 pts.)
· Solo: Sell your game proposal to the class. (Extra credit. 25 pts.)
· Raid: Guild reading presentation (75 pts. each person, 1 of these per guild)
· Pick-Up Group: 2-Player reading presentation (150 pts. each person, cannot team with fellow guild member) OR
· Solo: 1-Player reading presentation (150 pts. but easier than above)
· Solo: Craft 3 page report on MMO article (Written, 75 pts.)
· Solo: Craft 3 page analysis of MMO-based research topic (Written, 100 pts.)
· Solo: Craft 5 page analysis on MMO of your choice (Written, 125 pts.)
· Solo: Defeat Five Random Mobs (5 written reading quizzes, 250 pts. total, 1 extra creditquestion per quiz)
· Solo: Defeat Level Boss (Midterm Exam, 400 pts.)
· Guild: Paper Prototype Presentation (50 pts. each)
· Guild: Craft Final Project: Video Game Concept (Written, 400 pts.)
· Solo: Class attendance (300 skill pts. total, 10 to start. 290 additional pts. at 10 pts. per day of attendance)
· Extra credit for early completion of final proposal (10 pts./Monday; 5 pts./Tuesday; see calendar)
· Solo Camping: Glossary Building (Extra credit. 1 pt. per entry. 50 pt. cap per player. First come first served. Each mob only spawns once.)
· Group: Peer Review Secret Ballot (Extra credit. 0-100 possible XP as follows:
1. Guild Leader 100 pts.
2. Raid Leader 75 pts.
3. Solid Guild Crafter 50 pts.
4. Needs Rez 25 pts.
5. Leroy Jenkins 0 pts.
Grading is rigorous. Spelling, grammar and punctuation must be proofed. Points will be deducted otherwise.

See full Syllabus « Gaming the Classroom here.

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