Scream Challenges: Using Gamifcation to Level Up

Submitted by Erin Blomstrand on

In ENH235: Survey of Gothic Literature I utilized gamification as a method for offering modified assignments (prizes) and extra credit. For each week, I created a "Scream Challenge" that was optional for students to complete. These were typically short critical thinking writing assignments. There were three levels of Scream Challenges: Monster Head (3 points), Mad Scientists (5 points), and Nightmares (10 points). If the student completed six Monster Heads s/he received a "No Questions Asked Late Pass" for any assignment; collecting five Mad Scientists earned a modified midterm assignment; and collecting three Nightmares earned the opportunity to skip the course final. Each Scream Challenge was designed to demonstrate the student's depth of learning on the course concepts. On average I had three students complete the challenges frequently (3-6 challenges) but no student actually earned the prizes (one student missed a prize by one challenge). Feedback indicated that: (a) students liked the challenges; (b) students felt communication of prizes or extra credit points needed to be clearer; and (c) prizes/extra credit awarded needed to be more apparent.

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Peter Turner Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:37am

Sounds like a  fun activity for the class! I'm a little unclear of exatly what the SCREAM challenges look like. Are they mini-quizzes? Are they papers to be submitted? That said, if you implement the changes suggested by students and then survey them again, it sounds like you have the making of a good CATS!

Heather Muns Fri, 02/05/2016 - 12:33pm

I like this activity.  Can you provide an example of one of the challenges as an attachment?  What will you change about the activity in order to compare data?  I'm excited to see how this goes for you.  :-)

Olga Tsoudis Sun, 02/14/2016 - 11:16am

HI Erin, This is a fun learning experience for the student! How did you collect the feedback? Do yo have a survey with results? This would help strengthen the CATS. Thanks, Olga

Erin Blomstrand Tue, 02/16/2016 - 10:41am

Hi Olga. Yes, I did ask students to complete a survey. I added the survey questions. Unfortunately, I don't have the numbers because they were in Canvas and the assignment isn't accessible any longer. I'll try to capture numbers Fall 2016. Erin