An Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunications at the University of Indiana has substituted experience points for grades in two of his classes.
While it helps that the classes in question are game design courses, instructor Lee Sheldon thinks the grading scheme would perform just as well in other curriculum, or even in real-life jobs. Sheldon told IT News that, “…we are teaching the gamer, social networking generation,” adding, “I have no doubt the students will respond positively to any number of non-game-related classes taught in a similar manner.”
The benefits of such a tactic make learning (or working) more fun. Sheldon said that students in his two classes demonstrated “far great enthusiasm” than past classes that used a traditional grading method.
Sheldon, a gamer, game designer and television writer and producer, suggested that additional game design tactics could be adapted to the workplace, such as clearly defining a worker’s goals, providing incremental rewards and balancing effort and reward.
As the gamer generation moves into the mainstream workforce, they are willing and eager to apply the culture and learning-techniques they bring with them from games.
Sheldon’s idea sound a lot like those of Carnegie Mellon Professor Jesse Schell, who gave a fascinating presentation at this year’s DICE conference that revolved around the possibility of life eventually becoming one big role-playing game, where even mundane daily tasks are rewarded.