We have so much to learn from our students. In an effort to grow the student perspective within our gameful community, we have invited nine students to join our team as GAME Ambassadors. They will help us spread the word about gameful learning on the U-M campus, including running demos, identifying bugs, brainstorming new features, and assisting their peers in navigating gameful courses. All nine have mastered at least one gameful course, and some have taken as many as three! We are incredibly inspired by the discussions we’ve had with them already this year, and can’t wait for you to hear more from them directly. To start us off, we asked each of the GAME Ambassadors to share one piece of advice for students who are new to gameful classes.


From top left: Monica Chen, Michael Digiovanni, Zain El-Amir, Ethan Goldberg, Jeremy Kaplan, Giacomo Squatriti, Shelby Steverson, Alex Wilf, Kelly Yuen

Monica Chen Senior, BSI- User Experience Design; minors in Music and Linguistics
“Take ownership of your freedom of choice early and frontload your work if you can because the future is always more uncertain than the present. Plan as if you need to achieve more than you truly do, and underweight your projected scores through the Grade Predictor to give you a comfortable buffer if something unpredictable comes up. Overall, more flexibility can mean more work – only if you let it – but the work is more rewarding and motivated!”

Michael Digiovanni 
Senior, BSI
“When taking gameful classes try to test everything and then stick with what you are passionate about. The class becomes more rewarding when you put more into it. The best lesson to learn from these classes is different for each person. I was initially uncomfortable, but eventually grew to love that I was able to make a mistake and “fail” by traditional schooling, but be able to try again and succeed. Being able to learn at my own pace is something that I look for in a learning environment and Gradecraft is one of the best resources for that. Good luck!”

Zain El-Amir Sophomore, Microbiology & English
My advice for students who are new to these types of classes is just to try new things without hesitation because the set-up allows you to fail and still succeed.”

Ethan Goldberg Freshman, Undeclared – deciding between Computer Science, Business, and Math
In gameful classes you are not expected to do every assignment. Instead, you are expected to broaden your horizons and try assignments that interest you.”

Jeremy Kaplan Freshman, Undeclared – most likely Cell and Molecular Biology
“Take feedback and criticism seriously. Unlike in normal classes where losing points is a permanent mark against you, gameful classes give you the opportunity to learn from feedback and gain back lost points through additional demonstrated mastery.”

Giacomo Squatriti Freshman, Undeclared – deciding between Poli-Sci and Computer Science
“Make sure you take full advantage of the opportunities gameful classes offer. Do something you wouldn’t normally do, branch out a little bit!”

Shelby Steverson Freshman, Undeclared – deciding between Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience (BCN) or Neuroscience
“Plan early. Don’t let a large project at the end of the course determine your final grade. Earn points early and often. Set some time aside each week to check your progress in the class and see what projects you can do right now to raise your grade to the next level. Even projects with small point values could be the difference between an A- and an A. If you work hard early on, before you know it, you’ve earned an A in the class weeks before the end of the semester. “

Alex Wilf Freshman, Undeclared – considering Poli-Sci and Computer Science
“This may sound obvious, but the course itself is a type of game. In this model, there is nothing against acting in whatever way gets you the most points (except for cheating).  Game the system.  [See Alex’s full post here]

Kelly Yuen Senior, BSI – User Experience Design and Minor in Entrepreneurship
“My advice for students who are new to gameful classes/using GradeCraft is to have fun with it! It’s a very different style of learning but if you have fun with it then you’ll be successful.”

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