Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Class in a MMO format

I've thought multiple times that I am really glad that I didn't find this game while I was in either grad program. I think I would have found it really hard to balance wanting to play with studying and writing papers and whatnot.

Well, a game design professor has structured his class in a MMO format. Professor Lee Sheldon at Indiana University at Bloomington teaches a class on design elements and production requirements for online games.

"Class time is spent completing quests (such as presentations of games or research), fighting monsters (taking tests or quizzes), and "crafting" (writing game-analysis papers and a video-game concept document). The 40-person class is divided into six "zones," named after influential game designers, in which students complete group tasks."

"Instead of receiving traditional grades, students earn "experience points" for completing assignments. Mr. Sheldon says that points system not only feels more like a video game, but also lets students feel like they're earning points for getting things right instead of losing them for incorrect answers."

Check out Professor Sheldon's syllabus for this class. The syllabus talks about your solo, raid, and guild activities. He also provides extra credit for votes within your guild/group for group participation:

Peer Review Secret Ballot extra credit. 0-100 possible XP as follows:

1. Guild Leader 100 pts
2. Raid Leader 75 pts
3. Solid Guild Crafter 50 pts
4. Needs Rez 25 pts
5. Leroy Jenkins 0 pts

Brilliant. Just brilliant.


  1. But... does the perfesser drop epics? How abouts a mini-perfesser non-combat pet?

  2. Interesting concept. And yes, WoW + grad school required a lot of balancing. And A LOT of self-control.

  3. I work in distance learning at a university, and have had fun linking articles about his class (from when I saw it on Teeth and Claws) to my coworkers. I agree, it is indeed brilliant!

  4. Yeah, as someone who was/still is a terrible procrastinator to begin with, WoW would have been a very very bad thing for mein grad school.

    @Kae: I know! Brilliant, eh? Hmmm... Teeth and Claws... I think I used to read that blog. Is he still blogging?