online classes

I would love to hear how online schools/classes may be using this, especially in K-12.

Hi DelRae,

Here's a great article from our front page showing exactly what you're looking for. I hope this helps!

I teach middle and high school classes online, but haven't integrated Classcraft yet : (

Classcraft has amazing levels of customization... but it also has mages : ( While I love classic fantasy lore, I have a few parents who have zero tolerance for "magic" of any kind -- so it's really a dealbreaker. I'm dreaming of the day Classcraft offers premium reskinning into a space exploration theme!

Hi Mrs. Barnosky,

We’re sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, we only have a fantasy theme to the game at this time and the esthetics and core mechanics of the characters are not something we can change easily. This is not the first time someone has brought up this concern and we will look for ways to address this in the future.

We are always exploring new ways to improve our platforms and hope to be able to offer different themes later on our roadmap!

I am planning to use Classcraft with my high school music appreciation students this fall! I am hoping it will help with increased participation during class (using the microphone, on task during independent work time, etc.). I have been working on adapting some of the rewards/consequences for the virtual setting.

Andrew linked to my article in his post above, but here are the main ways I adapt the game to my Online classes (which are the bulk of my teaching load at present): 

I created some screen cast videos showing students how to play.  Classcraft has a lot of videos, but most are geared towards the teacher with the expectation that they will then use that information to introduce the game in person.  Mine are directed straight towards the students.  This is one of them.

It's easy to do screencasts with free software like Flashback Express or Screencast-o-Matic and a $15 headset mic (though you'll get better sound if you spring for a $60-70 snowball microphone - it's worth it if you plan to do a lot of videos).  

I also use low-stakes assignments as part of my Intro Unit that are worth a few points and ask students to learn their first power and explain their powers to their teammates.   That way I know they've read/watched info about the game and tried it out already from the beginning!

For Random Events, I do them the night before.  I post them in the announcements on my Learning Management System (Blackboard).   They're also in the Game feed, of course.  And I've customized many of them.   So for example, the "talk like a pirate" event becomes "post like a pirate."  I have many events where I ask students to talk about themselves on our Main/General Discussion blog.   There are events that ask them where they would go on vacation, what their favorite recipe is, what superpower they would have if they were a hero, what the workspace where they do their homework is like, etc.   Others ask them to find a song or image relevant to the course (I teach history), or talk about the most interesting thing they've learned in the class so far....  

I also love the delayed damage queue.   When I enter grades, I always use that.   Then I post that warriors should log in in the next day or two to block damage.  After they have had a chance to do that, I apply the damage.   Then healers and mages can log in and heal damage and restore AP.   

In terms of picking teams when the students themselves never meet each other in person, I ask them to self-assess how comfortable they are with the class.  I want to make sure I don't have a team of people who are ALL uncomfortable with online learning!   I also do my best to get a good mix by gender.  And I ask them to rank their choices of character to play.  I always try to give them their first or second choice, but having a mix in terms of comfort is more important.  Then I have several low- or medium-point team-building activities throughout the course to help them get to know each other:

  • They pick a team name and a scribe who will report on team activities to me.
  • They make a team sigil using the Game of Thrones Sigil Maker
  • They pick a team theme-song
  • They read about the Hero with 1000 Faces and share 3 steps on their own personal journey to heroism.
  • They create study resources for the material and share those with their teams.

I'm happy to talk to anyone about customizing the game for online!   If you want to reach me off this discussion forum, just email me at ltrauth[at]ccbcmd[dot]edu!

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