Quest Tips and Tricks



Does any have any tips and tricks that you've learned for using quests?  I'm going to start using quests now and I'd like to learn from your experience.


Tips I've picked up in the last couple of days of usage:

1) Use hyperlinks to websites if you are linking to websites, don't just tell them to go to the site they regularly go to. 

2) The story part is skipped by most students it seems? 

3) Your tasks need to be DETAILED, or students will end up having to ask you for clarification from your different classes.

4) Make sure your rewards for xp and gp are high enough that students can feel a sense of progression in their adventures through the quests.  [For example, I am giving out 100 xp per quest done for the first week so that they will hit level two within a week of playing. Slowly increase the xp with the difficulty of the work as well.]

 

I agree with almost everything @Nathaniel said above, but wanted to include a few of my own.

1) Grade tasks independently of quest progress - I frequently remind my students that each task of a quest is an assignment that is worth a grade. It's great if they accomplish the bare minimum to pass and earn their reward, but in the real-world gradebook if they keep getting C's & D's on assignments it will hurt them.

1a) Establish your own guidelines of task completion. If I give my students a self-grading quiz through Google Forms or and EdPuzzle, I often say that they need a 75% or higher before I give them a pass on the task. 

2) Have consequences for failed tasks (especially on self-progressing quests) - Students will try to cheat the system and fly through tasks to say they've done it. If a student doesn't adequately complete the task, I've started building in a punishment task that is always linked to each task as the "X" path. The punishment task is often a problem set, an extra reflection journal, or sometimes something simple like begging for forgiveness. If a student becomes a repeat offender, I might even start dealing damage for trying to cheat.

3) Checkpoints - This was said in a self-progressing quest thread, but it holds true for most of my quests. I always build in a part where I wait for the class to get caught up. I hate having students lag behind while eithers fly ahead, so I'll often make a task that says "You must wait for your team to catch up." It adds a little social pressure to do assignments, but it also reminds students that even though they can interact with the info at their own will, you're still in control of the pacing of the class.

4) Differentiate with different paths - This is one of my favorite things to do with quests. I'll have a task split off in 2+ directions and tell the students to choose their own adventure. Often they'll ask what is easiest, but then you can throw in the catch that they MUST complete two tasks before moving on. You can pull this off using the Check and the X paths:

When they reach the point of splitting, I mark them with the X (failed completion) and then the red paths become available. After they complete two of the 4 activities, I move them on using the green arrow which lets them move forward in the quest.

I have a question for the group. I teach 10/11th grade geometry.

I've gotten hooked into CC with the idea that I could create a quest to go totally electronic in giving out my HW assignments and be able to add additional activities that I normally wouldn't be able to do this whole school year.

So, I put all my worksheets that count towards their HW scores as Google Classroom tasks and my "side quests" are for those who want to learn more.

My question is this: am I utilizing the quest feature "incorrectly"? I see how other people have used quests as HW tasks in themselves apart from the other assignments. Should I go back to the way I was checking HW physically and have the rest of the quest as fun option?

I feel if I do, I will lose a lot of those students who actually need  the extra practice which is what I like about CC quests.

I've done a 'test quest' to see if the students would do better/worse/same in turning in their assignments via GoogleClassroom and I have to say the results were worse. Which is why I've been rethinking my approach.

I would appreciate any suggestions/ideas.

I do a mix of both. Sometimes I make the quest the main part of the assignment and sometimes I build quests that are entirely for "enrichment purposes."

If you want to reach a happy medium, you can always split a quest to have multiple paths. Use the homework as the main and direct path to the quest end and then have offshoots periodically that take students through the enrichment scenic route. You can also send students to the enrichment as a "x" route if they didn't perform well on the main path.

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