I went ahead and buried an achievement into my syllabus for both classes. It was sneaky, I know.
I have decided to release my syllabus to my students on/around August 1st. I was worried about doing this, but I decided it might not hurt. Normally, I do release the syllabus to my students early with the caveat that nothing is set in stone until the first day of class. Entire assignments could disappear or be completely redone.
But this time is different. This time, since I am gaming the class, releasing the syllabus early has the potential to confuse people or even stress them out. I don’t want that, but I figured it could also give them time to process things a bit before the first day. That might be good. They probably need all the processing time they can get. I know I would.
And I went ahead and hid the potential to unlock an achievement and earn achievement points deep within the bowels of each syllabus.
Wanna know what I did?
Recall that I use wikispaces for my syllabus. I have a page on the wiki called Assignments & Grades (which should really be changed to Quests and XP). Click on that, and you get taken to a page that lists off all the quests and explains how XP work. Each quest has its own page. On the blogging page (for my explorations class. hey, other class, see Where Are You Now), I have embedded waaaayyy down in the directions the following statement:
OMG! Are you reading this before our first day of class? If so, shoot me an email at [here’s my special email!] and see what happens!
I made a special gmail just for this purpose. And, because I did the same thing for both classes, I can use the auto reply message for both classes. If you email me – before the first day of class – you get the following response:
Congratulations! Because you read the syllabus so closely (or you at least read a small portion of it so closely OR maybe someone just tipped you off – honestly, it’s not like I’ll ever know) prior to the first day of class, you have unlocked the Deep Reader Achievement and earned 1000 Achievement Points.