Beyond gaming the grading system

When we're in a Bad Place that feels like Higher Ed Hell, we've got no scoreboard or dashboard. We're playing a Survival Game with only a bunch of schedules. We're a line item on the class roster whom is easily forgotten, much like the content we're taught that disappears after the test. We're getting gamed by the enrollment system which takes our money and offers little benefit in return. We walk away with lots of damage to our self concept, love of learning and intrinsic motivation. "Thanks for nothing!"

When we're in a Better Place, we realize that "two can play this game". We call a halt to getting gamed by the enrollment system. We launch our personal Power Game equipped with a scoreboard. We scheme to game the grading system, cheat our way through the useless ordeals and score maximum points on the respectable challenges. When we're shown disrespect or fed a pack of lies by authority figures, we figure out ways to return the favor. This place presents lots of battles to control more turf, gain more power and conquer additional adversity. Our scoreboard in use effectively tracks our progress, accumulated inventories and penalties, even though the scoreboard amounts to a disconnected dashboard.

When we get to a Good Place, we've had enough of gaming the grading system. We're ready to get more value out of the educational experience than we get from taking tests and achieving high grades. We launch our personal Mystery Game equipped with a complicated dashboard. We realize the importance of getting clues about where we're at, where others are coming from and what possibilities are accessible to us. We use our accumulated power from the prior games to play a different game from the one dictated by our GPA and transcript on file in the Registrar's database. We're puzzling through how to get more value, make a bigger difference and combine efforts more effectively. We gone from fitting into the machine to formulating some serious innovations. We're practicing "design thinking" while we respond to challenges in unpredictable ways.

When we get to a Great Place, we've developed so many innovations for ourselves and others, we can design games worth playing. We get how much we will learn from orchestrating others's experiences of challenges, mysteries and scoring. We see the point of getting gamed and then gaming the system as preparation for designing informal games. We realize how our own story becomes an underlying narrative for the games we conceive naturally. We transform our struggles to get value out of Higher Ed into a fun adventure for others to find challenging, enjoyable and rewarding.

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