19 Mar

Who knew a change in vernacular could be such a motivator? Indiana University course coordinator Lee Sheldon noticed a significant shift in student interest and performance after games like World of Warcraft inspired professors to change how the names of much of the college coursework. Instead of starting a class with an “F” grade, new students are working with zero “experience points.” Similarly, homework presentations are now “quests,” exam attendance is “fighting monsters,” homework completion is “crafting,” and projects requiring more than one person are now tackled in “guilds.”

These findings go along with larger industry observations that familiar vernacular (which usually is accompanied with clear goal outlining and room for feedback) improve worker performance overall.

“The elements of the class are couched in terms they understand, terms that are associated with fun rather than education,” Sheldon commented in an interview with iTnews. “We are teaching the gamer, social networking generation.”

What do you think, E-Gs? Would high school/college/work be any easier if it involved “quests”? Or is this just an out of touch generation “grinding”? Give us your feedback in the comments below!

7 thoughts on “Indiana University Prof. Changes Grades to Quests”

  1. Hmmm… to be honest this wouldn’t really affect me. It’s just a different looking path to a different form of grading. I’m sure it might get some people more interested though, just not me.

    I think it’s a neat experiment.

  2. It sounds pretty dumb. Less than 20% of students play MMOs…

    It might be better call a failing grade a Newb, and lectures would be called a Pro Tip.

  3. I think it’s just a better grading system all together, never mind the naming. Any system that allows students themselves to easily keep track of their grade and calculate how much needs to be done to make it go up is better than the vague (from the student’s point of view) system most school systems use today.

  4. IS there a level up system, cause that would be cool.

    I have slain many of papers over that last two years, some more successfully than others. The whole guild thing, yeah, I go lone wolf most of the time, not the best idea in the world.

    It is interesting, but has some kinks that need to be worked out.

  5. I think its a brilliant idea. It won’t work for everyone, but it certainly will help in two ways:
    1) It may help people stay interested and that may mean a better education for them.
    2) It helps to pound home the concept of gaming being accepted. Yes, I know, it sounds silly to say, but with countries drafting more and more game-based laws and more people like good ol’ Jack out there on the opposite side… things like this really help to counter it without being in direct opposition.

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