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Gamified Gradebook in Canvas

So, I've been working with some faculty to incorporate gameful learning practices into their Canvas courses and I thought it might be useful if I started sharing some of the techniques (hacks) I've come up with. Here is a quick tip for creating a gamified gradebook in Canvas:

How to create a Gamified Gradebook in Canvas:

  1. Create a "Games" Assignment Group with a 100% weighting
  2. Choose the the gradebook option: "Treat ungraded as Zero" (required for scoring to work)
  3. Create an Assignment with "Paper" submission worth 1000 points(or so); no due date (I'm going to call this Assignment "Max Points")
  4. Create several "game" assignments or "challenges" worth 0 points within the Game Assignment Group; no due date; Tell students how many points the challenges (assignments) are worth in the assignment instructions (be sure to publish all the assignments)
  5. Let students pick (submit) as many game assignments as they want
  6. Grade whatever assignments they pick and score as appropriate

Students accumulate points towards that 1000 point mark by completing assignments of their choosing. Of course you never score Max Points assignments; it just sets the target for 100%

As a variation, you can hide (disable) the Assignment tool form the students and use Modules to conditionally reveal challenges or "bonus levels" (game assignments).

3 Replies

The link to the duplicate discussion doesn't work. 😞 

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Community Team
Community Team

johnpj​, I just came across this post, and it looked familiar to me--I could have sworn I made the same comment Janell did about the "treat ungraded as zero" setting--and I realized that you have posted the same discussion in two separate spaces. Did you know that you can share a post in more than one community space? Rather than creating two copies with differing comment threads, you can create your post and then use the Share link in the upper right to share it into additional spaces. Because you are a member of the Gamification group, for example, you can ask questions in the Start a Discussion/Question... area of that group and then share it into the Instructional Designers group, as well as to any group of which you are a member. Using the Share method allows us to consolidate resources, as it keeps all of the comments in a unified thread that is accessible to a larger audience.

Accordingly, I've done the following:

(1) I've locked this discussion for further participation;

(2) I've shared the duplicate discussion--Gamified Gradebook in Canvas --to the Instructional Designers group, so we can maintain a unified thread;

(3) Tagged​ with this request: Janell, please read my comment on the above-linked blog post, and if you would be so kind, re-post your comment to that blog, which is now available in two groups.

Thanks to all for keeping Community sources readily searchable!

Community Member

This is really cool to see another way to do grading with a game-based learning approach!

Have you used this in a class? My instinct is to think that the student probably can't see the ---/1000 grade unless you set the default for that assignment as zero. Using the "Treat ungraded as zero" may only be changing the instructors view? per this Canvas guide How do I treat ungraded assignments as zero in the Gradebook?

I would love to see more of this, either with images or a short YouTube video 😜

Thanks for the weighted idea!