I am a psychology professor and life long gamer. My wife is a math professor and life long gamer as well. Recently we have endeavored to design and implement an XP based grading system for our classes. This current semester has shown excellent outcomes. We are still in the mechanics testing phase, but we have had excellent feed back from students! Along with XP rewards we have designed course specific achievements, levels, and titles that can be earned by the students. The next phase is plot development and we would love any ideas anyone might have!

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I think it might be interesting to use narratology to come up with different plot branches for different students. I think the key would be to make the branches come together aggressively. You might find the articles on writing interactive novels on Choice of Games useful. I think one thing that is hard to do in the classroom that would help a lot would be some personalization of assignments, so that people level by pursuing what they are interested in, instead of every student doing the same assignments... When I thin about implementing this, I imagine old assignments I've given as the branches and the trees as your texts. Maybe you could even have them read the same material, but focus on different ideas for their specialization. And I think they should earn titles...

this certainly sounds intriguing. could you specify a bit more what exactly is the course about? is this psych 101, psychotherapy, diagnostics, theories... it would make it easier to think of plotlines

It is a general psychology course.

I like the menacing of mankind. I'll have to think about that. Last semester I just used the online grade book for the course to tally for me and did the rest manually. Right now we are working on a macro that automatically lists achievements, levels, and titles based on xp gained. 

This is a really interesting endeavor - as intro psych has SO MUCH sweeping content.  

I'm totally guessing the topics include:  research methods, evolution & heritability, the brain & nervous system, sensation & perception, learning, memory, development, emotion, motivation, social cognition and other social psych stuff, personality, psychopathology/clinical.

And learning objectives are something like this:

Course Objectives: An overriding course goal is to provide access to the way psychologists conduct science, communicate research findings, and apply psychological knowledge. Toward this goal, our objectives are that each student will:

  • become familiar with current scientific theory and research in the major topic areas of psychology.
  • discover the personal relevance of course material, including an understanding of the role of psychological forces in their lives and the lives of others, and an appreciation of the practical value of psychology.
  • develop skills necessary to evaluate and think critically about information concerning psychological phenomena obtained from research, the general public, and the media.
  • be well prepared for advanced study in psychology.
    And are your learning objectives something like this?

Based on the topics and objectives, how about -helping a manufactured human become "real" - by ensuring s/he/it has a memory, can learn, has emotion, etc?

Nice! I really like the idea of a manufactured human! 

Are you using Moodle as the core or something else?
Are you familiar with Paul Anderson's "Flipped Classroom" using XP and game mechanics?

As a fellow teacher, if you have a blog or site to demo what you are doing, I'd love to see it!

I'll see if I can get something together for you to check out! Thanks! I'll take a look at his site.

I love this idea! My first degree was in Psychology and I constantly got frustrated that Psychology professors (ie those who are supposed to be at the cutting edge of knowledge of human behavior) would stick to the same old teaching methods that everyone else is using.  It always seemed to me that a psychology professor is in a prime position to implement experimental practices into their teaching style.

I am a university theatre professor and I am constantly frustrated that my colleagues stick to the same old teaching methods. Theatre is changing, education is changing, communication methods are changing, and higher education is stuck in a rut.



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