Technology for a University of Michigan learning approach that employs video game-style strategy made its way to the market over the summer, and it has important implications for classroom technology use.The gameful instruction tool known as GradeCraft is now available to K-12 schools and universities, and a key university that promotes the use of technology in the classroom has signed on.The release also illustrates what can happen when the higher-ed community collaborates and works together to improve education for students.“With the ability to access and leverage GradeCraft, instructors around the world are now able to join a growing global community of educators committed to increasing student learning,” said James DeVaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation. “This is a perfect example of what’s possible when a research university like U-M supports a culture of innovation in learning, and a talented group of faculty, staff and students invests significant effort and creativity into solving a complex problem.”
GradeCraft supports gameful instruction, a new approach to course design that emphasizes the need for students to make meaningful choices about how they will make progress within a course, be enabled to take on work that constantly challenges them, and feel connected to both their peers and instructional staff . These courses are designed to encourage students to take risks and make self-aware choices regarding how they best learn. Since its initiation, GradeCraft has been used by over 2,000 students across 40 courses on the U-M campus, and was awarded a $1.88 million grant from the Transforming Learning for a Third Century program to make GradeCraft available to all instructors and students on the U-M campus and beyond.