Leaderboard alternatives in education
managed by a digital teaching assistant (DTA):
Recent rate. Rate per badge. Gamification.
Many educators see motivational problems with leaderboards. A digital teaching assistant can support alternatives that may offer better gamification and better motivation.
The Empty Classroom
Taking notes is not the only skill
Do leaderboards motivate everyone?
- Leaderboards in education
- If you are way ahead, you can slack off.
- If you are way behind, you can give up.
- Some see themselves falling farther behind every week.
- How does a leaderboard work in games?
- Games are short. Soon you start a new game with a clean slate.
- You get to pick your game. You have a choice.
- A digital teaching assistant (DTA) can easily handle the implied adjustments
Each week is a new game
- Instead of a cumulative score, a new leaderboard is created each week.
- No one gets way behind, no one gets way ahead.
- The emphasis is on growth: How much did your skills grow this week?
Leaderboard per badge
- If the class develops more than one skill set, each can be awarded a badge.
- The DTA can track progress of each student on each skill set.
Leaderboard on self-improvement
- "Never compete with anyone but yourself."
- The leaderboard shows each student's change from the previous week.
- "Is your rate of improvement going up?"
Privacy versus public shaming
- Public display of a class leaderboard can be considered public shaming.
- The favorable motivational effects can be achieved by a private notification.
- The private notification can identify the recipient's record and give no other identities.
- That record shows how the recipient performed relative to others in the class.
- The DTA could calculate that for each student and report it by email.
- Or it could be placed in the student's private records.
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