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Digital Innovation Greenhouse Welcomes GradeCraft

Gradecraft, a learning management system dedicated to supporting the gameful classroom, has officially become the fourth project within the Digital Innovation Greenhouse (DIG) portfolio. This incorporation is another step towards continuous innovative growth to shape the future of higher education within the Office of Digital Education & Innovation (DEI).

GradeCraft will be able to harness existing DIG resources around software development, infrastructure expertise, and user experience design to scale up technology through the Greenhouse’s extended resources in order to increase the application’s reach to over 20,000 students at U-M over the next three years. Alternately, GradeCraft will add another layer of expertise to DIG with the introduction of new programming languages and project management expertise, including coordination with external software development resources. These additional capabilities will further support the core functions of the DIG Gradecraft project team as they focus on software development, user experience design and user community mobilization as pathways towards furthering future digital collaborations at U-M.

GradeCraft joins ECoach, Student Explorer and Academic Reporting Toolkit 2.0 (ART 2.0) as the fourth portfolio project within DIG. ART 2.0 focuses on fostering increased student engagement through the dissemination of personalized information to better inform student decision making. Student Explorer leverages course performance data to provide students and advisors with real time updates on course progress, while ECoach provides personalized feedback and advice to students in large, introductory courses.These projects highlight just a few of the many ways DEI is partnering with faculty innovators to investigate, design and use learning technologies to to develop tools to facilitate personalization at scale at the University.

GradeCraft was designed by Professor Barry Fishman and doctoral student Caitlin Holman as a web application to support learning environments to better support students’ intrinsic motivation. Developed in partnership with DEI and the Learning Analytics Task Force,  GradeCraft has been used by over 2,000 students across 40 courses to date, and was awarded a $1.88 million grant from the Transforming Learning for a Third Century (TLTC) program through the Third Century Initiative.

The Digital Innovation Greenhouse (DIG) is comprised of a team of software developers, user experience designers, behavioral scientists and multi-disciplinary student fellows that work with user communities in order to provide resources for homegrown educational software innovations on campus and scale up these digital enterprises to maturity through collaboration across U-M’s digital ecosystem.