Ten years ago, a group of us tried to develop what has now become Interactive Learning eXperiences (I-L-X). It didn’t work. One big reason for the failure was that we could not figure out a way to discourage students from “gaming” the game.
Now we have.
In most courses, evaluations are exam-based because professors can pretty easily change questions (on the same concepts) from semester to semester. Evaluations based on projects or other student “behaviors” are more difficult because some students will inevitably try to “copy” their classmates.
I-L-Xs are all about behavior, and designed as whole stand-alone courses in which no teacher intervention is required. They do not emphasize testable knowledge, but rather focus on students being able to translate knowledge and concepts into behaviors and actions that make for smart business practice.
So how do you guard against the natural inclination toward copying and cheating? Especially as thousands of students may be participating in a single, graded I-L-X at the same time?
We believe the answer is in tracking student progress through the game with algorithms that identify those following the same, or similar paths. Then having the ability (because of our proprietary engine) to change that path – altering links, removing characters, even editing sentences in the game to make “crib sheets” pretty worthless; all without the need to alter the code.
This is the direction that “online courses” must go to be relevant. And it is exciting to be on the forefront of what may be a revolution in the way we all think about higher education.