THE GRADING GAME
CONCEPT: Attempt to pay off your debts by taking on the marking of an embittered professor who wants nothing more than to fail his students. Locate the grammatical errors to earn cash.
DELIVERY: Marking. It's often said that teaching would be the perfect job if it wasn't for all the marking. So to many, the idea of a game based around it sounds a little like hell. Fortunately The Grading Game blends fun and a little Lemony Snicket style reverse psychology to produce an engaging and enjoyable experience.
The pitch is that you're a TA working for the malignant professor Snerpus, who keeps finding students complaining about him on social media sites. Thus his goal, and yours, becomes failing them! You are presented with pieces of writing and under a strict time limit have to use the touch screen interface to locate the grammatical and spelling errors. For each error you identify, their grade drops lower and Snerpus pays you more money.
A nice touch is that in between rounds, Snerpus will communicate his latest grievances with you and provide little grammar lessons at the same time. This is great as it cues you up to look for these types of errors in future essays- both in the game and in your own writing.
The game has two modes, the first of which is essentially a survival mode where you keep playing until you fail (ie you don't find enough mistakes to fail the student.)
The second mode is the career mode where you choose a topic and complete three rounds of marking. Each round differs in structure slightly. Sometimes individual sentences are presented one at a time for checking, sometimes you have a whole block of text to check. Another nice touch is that for each piece, the expected words per minute reading rate is provided.
LIMITATIONS: there will be times when you spot something you feel is grammatically wrong and it isn't one of the errors you're looking for. The ability to change the language and associated spelling/grammar would have been ideal.
CONCLUSION: It probably shouldn't be fun but it is. A unique and useful game for educators. 4/5
Teaching scanning skills
Improving proof reading
As part of English CPD with staff!