Jon Cassie is an educator, writer, podcaster and game designer based in Southern California. See his work at Game Level LearnIlinx and SchoolNEXT.

How To Play in the Gamified Classroom

After three classes, it is already clear that there are going to be some big successes in my gamified America 3.0 classroom. Of course, the successes are built on the foundation of what we are learning together in class and the degree to which we can remedy mistakes, poor design or poor clarity. This post speaks directly to that last point - clarity. I wrote a short, unconventional syllabus and shared it with students. I also shared a document called "How To Win," explaining how to get an "A" in a classroom without grades. What I didn't write or share, and which would have ensured day 1 success (rather than day 1 confusion) was the most obvious thing of all - a guide to playing. Rules. "How To Play." It's impossible to work a game without knowing the rules! When I provided them in day 2, the class really got off the ground.

So, the rules of the game:

1) Take Stock

  • Remember "How To Win:" Get to Level 100 in the Knowledge Tree; Earn 100,000 points in the Doing Tree and Earn 50 Achievements.
  • Know Your Score


  • 65 minutes of class time...before coming to class each day, have a plan in mind.
  • Will I gather knowledge in the KT? How am I going to level today?
  • Will I demonstrate what I know in the DT? How many points am I going to earn today?

3) Level

  1. Choose a branch of the KT (like Social Change or Politics).
  2. Read the requirements of the level you're on (ask me for clarification).
  3. Execute.
  4. Bring your work to me, paying close attention to your citations. Where did you get your content?
  5. I will either give it an "A" = "authorized to level" or an "N" = not authorized.
  6. If you get an "A" and the level has a required "Do," proceed to the "Do." If not, proceed to the next level.
  7. If you get an "N," I will tell you what you need to do to remedy the "N." Remedy and bring the results of your work back to me. I will then give you an "A" or an "N." Proceed to step 6 if you get an "A."

4) Earn Points

  1. Choose a branch of the DT (like writing or modeling).
  2. Plan. How do you want to get the work done?
  3. Points. Meet with me and I'll tell you how many points your plan will earn.
  4. Execute and bring your work to me.
  5. I will either give it an "A" = "authorized to earn the points we agreed to" or an "N" = "not authorized."
  6. If you get an "A," record your points and go level.
  7. If you get an "N," I will tell you what you need to do to remedy the "N." Remedy and bring the results of your work back to me. If I then give you an "A," proceed to step 5. Otherwise, I'll tell you what you need to do to remedy the "N."

5) Achievements

  • You earn achievements over the course of doing your other work. When you unlock an achievement, I will tell you.
  • There are lots of different kinds of achievements. If you work creatively, with diligence and with speed, you will be rewarded.


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