Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen high school students obsess about their scores via our online records systems, often checking grades 2 and 3 times a period. The behavior have often seemed more “game-like” than constructive (particularly when instruction is going on!). Came across this interesting quote yesterday. Speaks volumes in favor of more formative assessment that is constructive rather than cumulative. This educational practice would mirror the “practice” venue in video games where students participate (voluntarily and enthusiastically) without the promise of points. Interesting stuff.
In school, the grading system has created the moral hazard of game play. It has replaced the real reward – learning for learning’s sake – with artificial rewards, these arbitrary letters. And when you replace the real with the artificial, you invite people to game the system and take the actions that would earn them these artificial rewards. — Seth Prierbatsch Keynote @ SXSW 2011