Initial Blog for Week 10 EDET679: Essential Question: How would you change the rubric for the final project to better reflect what is important in games?

Initial Blog for Week 10

Gamification and Open Learning EDET679 with Dr. Graham

Aleta May

Essential Question: How would you change the rubric for the final project to better reflect what is important in games?

The best way for me to think about this question is to try my ideas out by starting a rough draft of my project plan. Also, I consider in my reflective thoughts what I have learned this semester about what makes a gamified classroom environment. Then I look at the rubric points I posted below from our class. I aim for the exceptional column, yet in some areas may reach meets, since this style of teaching and planning is new for me.

Gamification Plan—Rough Draft

The book read in class blends well with the avatars in ClassCraft: Spirit Animals Wild Born by Brandon Mull 680L ages 8 to 10

Since the book I have selected is an animal fantasy, the idea of using Classcraft matches. Crawley (2014) describes it this way: “Warriors get to eat in class, mages can teleport out of a lecture, and healers can ask if an exam answer is correct.” This platform is a way to engage students, in a learning context that is supportive. Students even have the option of buying pets and gear for their Classcraft avatars—this would likely apply more to high schoolers who may have gotten an iTunes account budget given to them.

Students are motivated by leveling up in the game by earning points that add to group points; therefore, they help each other out, creating a more collaborative environment.

I like the plan of teachers being able to interact with students; but to start with, I will keep the use of this platform simple.

So far in Classcraft, I have set up students who are currently in 5th grade at our school. The Class name is Spirit Animals Wild Born, based on the book they will be reading. I decided to set up the Classcraft platform in a manner where I can send messages to class members, create characters for students on a dashboard for tracking points (badges), and manage class content.

I will connect to the reading of the book and collecting Experience Points for vocabulary activities. At, I have access to either creating my own vocabulary lists or using ready-made lists. This site found vocabulary words for each chapter of Spirit Animals: Wild Born. Points earned can be converted to badges on the Classcraft site. This may be connected to time spent practicing vocabulary.

Students will join the class by using this URL:

When students visit the URL above, they will automatically be enrolled in the class. If they do not have a account, they will be able to easily create one. They words will be from Chapter 1 of Spirit Animals Wild Born. This site has a place to create a list called vocabugrabber.

Before-, during- and after-reading activities are important factors in learning vocabulary. “Word learning, in many ways, occurs as a result of repeated encounters with the term under study” (Wolsey, Smetana, & Grisham, p. 1).  These thoughts combine to mean that although practicing words in a context is a good thing, making sure that the words are tied to the book context and discussed among students is another way. They may use sentence frames to talk to each other in small groups or pairs to practice the words after being referred to that work in context.

Here are other platforms students may use to upload audio files, images or text. Along the way, students will be asked in a quest to visit on or two of these sites and produce a way to practice words together: (sidebar) (video without audio on YouTube)

The point is to get students more “intrigued by words and ideas, [so] they dig more deeply” (Wolsey, Smetana, & Grisham, p. 1).

If students continue to struggle with a word, they will be encouraged to visit Wikipedia. Here is an example of looking up the word apothecary from the book that has a picture description:

A list of the words is provided and a title may be given.

The words are then assigned to a class the teacher has created.

Socially, this can be combined with another school to track progress on Leaderboards Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

To engage students further, There is a place to build a quest at Classcraft. Of three choices, I clicked on Adventures in the Wild Boss Battles because it reflects the nature of the book I am using where the spirit animals are from the wild. There are 9 avatars to choose from called Bosses. I titled the activity as Spirit Animals: Wild Born, Chapter 1 to match the title.

Next, I chose a whole number to represent a Boss HP; I chose 100. Then there is a place to ask questions of the students. Since this is Chapter 1, naming characters that match spirit animals should be included. Then a link could be added that takes students to images or sites that match with what is read, so they may answer questions.

One consideration I have made is to also include the use of OSMOS math with iPads and connect every correct answer with an opportunity to points toward build badges or XPs with names that extend the theme of Spirit Animals to math. The point here is to add in a social small group math activity that uses technology equipment for independence and motivation toward a more gamified overall classroom. The idea is to expand a theme across a class—especially since my project is an elementary 5th grade project.

Skill scaffolding will include learning vocabulary words as well as building math skills.



Crawley, D. (May 31, 2014). Classcraft makes the classroom a giant role-playing game—with fermium pricing

Wolsey, T., Simetana, L. & Grisham, D. L. (2015). Vocabulary plus technology. The Reading Teacher, 68(6).

So far, the Rubric created below looks like it will fit my classroom gaming plan.

  1. Clear purpose that correlates with multiple learning objectives standards pertaining to coursework (20)

Exceeds  The game requires deep understanding of multiple learning objectives and provides opportunities to demonstrate higher level thinking.

  1. Narrative Context/Storyline (20)

Exceeds  Provides opportunity for the player to explore other avenues of learning/adventure. Allows the player to deepen knowledge about various aspects of the game and naturally develops a deeper understanding of the context or storyline.

  1. Well-organized, risk oriented problem solving (20)

Exceeds  Problem solving opportunities are recursive and transformative. The player is able to finish the game with an added skill set or transformed world-view. The user is able to create their own environment and scenarios that can be shared with other users. Users elicit their own discussion about the gaming experience.

  1. Engaging and Motivating (20)

Exceeds  The game is so engaging it is difficult to stop playing. The games learning environment offers an ideal mix of fun and challenging material. The game provides and excellent risk/reward system.

  1. Interactivity (Collaboration): students are able to interact with other and the game (20)

Exceeds  Interaction with others and/or with the game occurs regularly during game play. Collaboration is encouraged and allows the player to progress in the game while receiving support from other players and the game.

  1. Skill scaffolding and mastery (20)

Exceeds  The level of challenge provided by the game and player ability converges quickly. The difficulty level and pace of the game adapt to the player. Different levels of the game build upon prior learned skills.

  1. Encouragement and Feedback (20)

Exceeds  Feedback is immediate and specific, offering support for the player at least 60% of the time, allowing the player to learn from his/her mistakes.

  1. Utility (20)

Exceeds  Game play is intuitive and requires little or no administrative guidance for use. Game play encourages modification and customization, allowing for imagination and ingenuity. Examples might include: creating an avatar or some design elements like building/creating a home.

2 thoughts on “Initial Blog for Week 10 EDET679: Essential Question: How would you change the rubric for the final project to better reflect what is important in games?

  1. Mariah Smith


    It’s great to see that you are far along in your creation of your gamified class. I agree that the rubric fits the main parts of gamificaiton in the class and I look forward to seeing how you develop your game even more. Thank you for a bit of uplifting ideas and material.


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