the good, the bad, and the ugly
So the big question for me is: does it meet my standards? This is where we get into the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Classcraft is so unique and there is so much editing that can be done to the play style (by the educator). Educators can change the names of skills and effects to match more real world goals and skills. Also, the RPG/game like elements are just really fun. The whole process of creating a character and selecting a class is totally unique and provides students with ownership over their character.
So what’s the bad? First, this is mainly meant to be played in groups. In order for groups to be successful, they should be balanced. This means one warrior, one mage, and one healer at minimum. Groups can have more students, but their should be one of each type of character archetype present. Why is this bad? Well if my group partner chose warrior and I wanted to be a warrior, I’d be a little upset. I should have the freedom to choose what I want to play as. Of course you could group me with another group but what if the same problem arises in the new group? I would definitely feel unmotivated if I didn’t get to play as who I wanted to play as. Also, understanding why groups need to be balanced is a high level developmental capacity line of thought that younger students wouldn’t understand.
Now the ugly. Ambassadors and Classcraft wizzes would totally disagree with me here. Outside of creating your own character, there really isn’t anything intrinsically motivating about playing. A students characters progress is directly linked to a students real world actions. If I don’t do my homework or if I’m noisy in class, not only will I get in trouble but my game character will lose health points. If I lose too many earth points, my character will become inactive (form of death). If that happens, I will be placing a burden on my group mates as they will have one less member and they will have to work twice as hard in order to obtain skill points and revive me. If I do this too much my group mates might just end up hating me. See where I’m going? There are a lot of extrinsic motivators present here. This isn’t a bad thing, but you shouldn’t market the product as solely intrinsic.
If I worked in a typical school setting with no students who are nuero-developmentally delayed, I would totally use this product. However, as someone who has solely worked with nuero-diverse students, I would never use this in my computer groups or recommend that a teacher in my school (all nuero-diverse) use it.
Learn more about Classcraft at their website