For more than 30 years, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program has been a conduit connecting researchers, undergraduate students, and community partners and organizations. In 2019, new associate director of curriculum and retention Chris Bohle was tasked with reinvigorating the program with a fresh take on its curriculum.
Adopting the philosophies of gameful learning, Bohle decided the more autonomy the students had, the more agency they would have in their education. And when the students began seeing the results of that agency and curiosity paying off, they would become more engaged with the material. That’s the gameful learning approach.
That led Bohle to GradeCraft, the Center for Academic Innovation software program that allows instructors to build courses using gameful pedagogy. GradeCraft offers students a platform to track points, unlock assignments, and evaluate their progress using learning analytics. GradeCraft’s pedagogical approach aligned with several goals Bohle had for his new take on the curriculum — putting students in charge of their learning, allowing students the freedom to fail, a system that made the required learning more engaging.