College Game Design Classes Graded Like World of Warcraft

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Students in two of Lee Sheldon’s game design classes at Indiana University are graded using a system of experience points similar to systems used in games like World of Warcraft.

According to Australian site iTnews:

“Students commenced the program as avatars at level one, which corresponded to zero XP and a grade of ‘F’. They gained XP by completing ‘quests’, ‘fighting monsters’ and ‘crafting’– in other words, giving presentations, sitting quizzes and exams, and handing in projects.

Like in the popular online game World of Warcraft, the students were grouped into ‘guilds’ and had to complete quests solo, as guilds, or as ‘pick up groups’ with members of other guilds.”

Sheldon says that the system has been well-received. “The elements of the class are couched in terms they understand, terms that are associated with fun rather than education.”

He also thinks such a system could do well in the workplace because it’d help to define goals more clearly and reward progress toward those goals incrementally. The end result would be ongoing feedback instead of, say, bi-annual reviews and a more robust pay-to-performance ratio.

Of course, you’d have to get the companies and employees on board. The system would likely be much easier to implement inside a brand new company than one that’s been around forever.

I’d personally find some level 80 employee to power level me as soon as possible. Maybe this person has some old armor they’re not using any more. Maybe they’ll let me join the Accounts Receivable guild. Just gotta play it cool–I don’t want to come off as too needy right away but, hey, maybe I have some Celtics tickets I’m not using. This is already getting complicated.

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