How I Use It
Warning: this review assumes some familiarity with the app. For a primer, visit https://help.classcraft.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003998533
In my classroom, Classcraft functions as a layer over the existing lesson. We begin with a Random Event to shake-up the day, students get points or take damage for completing the homework assignment, and also get points or take damage for demonstrating behaviors supportive of learning. During learning or formative tasks, I'll often pit teams against one another in a spirit of friendly competition. This game-like atmosphere helps engage students who lack motivation in class.
One tool I plan to make greater use of is the Quest tool. This creates opportunities for self-paced learning with clear progression and guidance. This could work as enrichment on top of an existing lesson, function as an entire unit, and/or provide additional support to struggling learners whenever they need it (e.g., you may have additional checkpoints and resources for students). When done thoughtfully, this provides opportunities for autonomy and reflection for learners.
The analytics tool is a great way to track student achievement in terms of behavior and daily class work. You can filter and sort data for any range of dates to see where the student is working well (earning XP or gold) or struggling (taking damage). You can also see which issues are consistent (e.g., not being prepared for class or off task behavior) to address them with students and parents. By using these detailed insights, troublesome parents are more supportive and rarely challenge any issues I raise.
Personally, I'm wary of Skinnerian approaches to behavior management. When Classcraft's tools are utilized in a way that promotes collaboration, autonomy, and fun, I think it makes a great addition to any classroom—particularly for teachers and students who enjoy roleplaying games.
Given the infinite possibilities of third-party integration, I’d like to see Classcraft provide better integration for other platforms, particularly as part of the Quest feature. You can link in a URL to anything, but it would be great for example to have students take a Kahoot! Quiz and receive XP or damage depending on their score. They could also take the quiz multiple times to reverse any damage or earn more XP.