GradeCraft wins national award for innovative teaching
GradeCraft, a learning management system developed by a team based at the University of Michigan School of Information, has received a 2016 Innovators Award in the Teaching and Learning category from Campus Technology magazine.
The CT Innovators Awards recognize institutions, technology project leaders and vendor partners that have used technology in new ways to support teaching, learning, administration and operations.
GradeCraft uses game elements such as badges and unlocks to chart students’ progress through a course. With unlocks, for example, a student may have to complete a task before moving up to the next level. The system lets students design their own path through a course, selecting to complete the assignments that most interest them.
UMSI doctoral student Caitlin Holman developed the software specifically designed to support teachers who were implementing gameful learning. She created the program as a class project while she was a master’s student at UMSI.
“She is the main force behind the design and research of GradeCraft,” says Barry Fishman, UMSI professor and the lead faculty member on the project.
The program has received support from U-M's Office of Digital Education and Innovation and the Office of the Provost. GradeCraft can work as a stand-alone platform or in conjunction with a traditional LMS via the LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) protocol. The system was introduced at the University of Michigan in 2012 and was in broad use by winter 2015. In the winter semester, 2016, 29 instructors used GradeCraft in 58 courses across 17 disciplines.