A New Take on Grading

The never-ending debate on how to best grade students takes a new turn as an Indiana game design professor uses, in classic video game style, “earned points” to grade his students:

Students at several of Indiana University’s game design courses begin their class with zero “experience points,” which corresponds to an F grade. Instead of completing presentations, they’ll perform “quests;” sitting exams becomes “fighting monsters;” and handing in assignments becomes “crafting.” Students even team up into “guilds” to tackle group projects.

Why use game elements in a game design course?

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

While this strategy may prove fruitful for a class that’s actually focused on games, I don’t see the scalability to a more traditional course, such as mathematics or history.

How can we grade students on “experience” points rather than “memorization” points in the traditional classroom?