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XP Calculator and Leaderboard

One of the key components of gamification is feedback. Games give players timely, if not instantaneous, feedback. The quicker the feedback cycle, the more effectively the player can adjust their strategy. To effectively gamify a classroom, it is crucial that teachers give feedback to every student in their classroom as quickly as possible. In other words, we need methods of collecting, processing and communicating large quantities of data, usually in the form of experience points (XP) and leveling up. This is where technology can give teachers an advantage.

Many teachers who are gamifying their classrooms have been harnessing the power for Google Sheets. A spreadsheet can quickly process data. But what about collecting and reporting? It is often time consuming and tedious to enter data directly into a spreadsheet and a teacher rarely has access to the sheet while they are circulating in the classroom. To remedy this, I have created a an XP calculation and leaderboard sheet that will allow teachers to process data entered from a google form! The sheet also includes charts that one can easily embed in a google site so that students can see data without seeing the original sheet. Here is how you do it…

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 4.31.52 PM1. Create a Google Form for the input of student XP- Simply make a “text” item for each student. The “Question Title” should be the students name or ID. (If you want anonymity, use an ID number or an avatar name as the title and put the real student name in the “help text”). *Pro Tip- Bookmark your XP Form link on your mobile device so you can quickly access it and input XP on the go.

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 4.32.31 PM2. Copy the XP Calculator Sheet into your Results Spreadsheet- Make a copy of this Classroom XP Calculator and Leaderboard Sheet. From the tab dropdown menu, select “copy to”.  Select your Form responses sheet. The XP Calculator sheet will automatically pull the data from your “Form Responses 1” tab.  It will Sum the XP of students, look up their level , and also report the name of that level if you have titles to each level. The Purple is a cumulative total for the class. The Yellow is where you customize the minimum number of points and the tiles assigned to each level ( eg. Level 3 Novice) This what the Final Responses Spreadsheet should look like. *NOTE- this methid is designed for NEW sheets! If you don’t have a green checkmark indicating that you are on new sheets, you will have to change the name of your form responses tab to “Form Responses 1”

3. Adjust the sheet to fit your needs- Alter the yellow section to fit the point structure and theme of your class. What is the XP needed for each level? What is each level called?  The Leaderboard chart is currently set to show only the top 10 students, but it can be edited to show more or even all students.

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*Tweak- If too few students are entered, there may be blank spots at the top of the Green leaderboard section. Just delete any of the #REF at the bottom of the Blue area to fix this problem. **Currently the sheet is set up to support 35 students at a time, but there are ways we could edit it to facilitate more.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 1.53.12 PM4. Publish the results- I have included a Top Ten chart and a Class Total XP chart. You can use these, modify them to meet your needs, or make your own charts.

Embeding them in a Google site is extremely easy. From your Google Site edit mode, use the Insert menu and then select “Chart” This will prompt you to select the sheet in your Drive  where the charts reside. Then just select which chart you would like to embed. That’s it.  You could also get embed code for other types of sites like Moodle by  clicking the dropdown menu on the upper right of each chart. Select “Publish Chart” and select “Interactive Chart” from the dropdown. Copy the embed code and put it into any website you want.

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The website images should update any time the Results sheet is updated by submitting the form! This is what my Google Leaderboard Website looks like.

Remember that effective gamification is not about the points and leaderboards, it is about diversified learning. Slapping some XP on a project does not gamify a classroom.  However, points and levels can be powerful feedback tool in a properly gamified system. For more info on best practices for leaderboards check out 6 Tricks for Shameless Leaderboards.

*UPDATE!!! TUTORIAL VIDEO: 

http://youtu.be/3mi-_W9W2cw

 

20 thoughts on “XP Calculator and Leaderboard”

  1. I have been trying to find a leaderboard to rank groups in classes and to rank classes. I would like individual XP points to count toward a student’s group’s points and class points.

    1. The benefit to this system is tht you can use a google form for the XP input. It may be possible to do what you want but it would involve a much more specifically engineered calculation template. It would have to involve a branching form and some preassigned groups and designated cell ranges so that the points could be calculated. Not impossible but it would take a lot of work too much to explain in a comment. Techedupteacher.com has a solution that might work better for you. http://www.techedupteacher.com/gamify-your-class-level-ii-leaderboards/

  2. I’m wondering if there’s a way to account for negative points? In my system, students earn a certain amount of XP for turning in assignments early and on time, and negative points if they don’t turn it in at all. I can leave the student’s individual totals at 0 and just note for myself when they don’t turn it in, if necessary, but I’ve challenged them to score more XP as a class than my class last semester, and negative XP should bring down the class total (and maybe provide some gentle peer pressure to turn assignments in so as not to impact the whole class). Thanks for any advice! (I love the Google Doc, it’s a huge help!!)

      1. Yes, entering a negative amount does bring down the overall total – great. One other thing, currently this student has a negative individual total (-25), and his position on the leaderboard (the last spot) reads: (blank for name), 0 Total XP, and #N/A for Title. Hopefully he will go into the positive and this won’t be an issue in the future :) but it appears as though having a negative total doesn’t play well with the leaderboard.

  3. Hi Chris, thanks again for your help. I’m sorry to be annoying, but it looks like I’m encountering the usual slew of beginning of the semester issues. :) Now I have a student who has dropped the class. I deleted the student’s name/question from my TSEM XP Calculator form, but his name persists in the Response form. I’ve tried deleting his name from various places in the Response form, and it either comes right back, or messes up the order etc. of the other students. Any advice for deleting a student? Thanks!

    1. Sorry I caught this comment so late. Forms are wierd when it comes to deleting Questions. Once the response sheet is created it, to my knowledge, does not dynamically regenerate. I think the easieast thing to do is to delete the response sheet, delete the student from the input form, then make a new response spreadsheet by choosing “responses/choose response destination/new spreadsheet” then copy over the calculator sheet again. this whole process should only take a few muniutes tops. Contact me by email if it is still not working. Good luck!

    2. Sorry I caught this comment so late. Forms are wierd when it comes to deleting Questions. Once the response sheet is created it, to my knowledge, does not dynamically regenerate. I think the easiest thing to do is to delete the response sheet, delete the student from the input form, then make a new response spreadsheet by choosing “responses/choose response destination/new spreadsheet” then copy over the calculator sheet again. this whole process should only take a few muniutes tops. Contact me by email if it is still not working. Good luck!

  4. This is a cool hack. I would even think about using the Form Mule Add on to send the students email notifications (on form submit) when they have received some XP. I’m going to play around with this… Thanks!

  5. Hi how can i edit, so I can increase the amount of students from 35 to say 100.. in the blue section i can see the students names, but the students names wont appear in the green section and so wont it on my google site.

    Thanks alot for this great calculator

  6. I am having an issue where the the first student and their points show up on the xp calculator and leaderboard but when I add other students and give them points only their names show up not the points. Any thoughts? Is it because I am adding more students to my form after the xp calculator and leaderboard are created?

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