After the first meeting with my Politics of Reading class, I decided to go back into the syllabus and plant some Easter eggs. Easter eggs are little hidden gems that allow students to do something to earn XP. I began the semester by putting in three.
The first one I embedded in the directions for doing Entrance and Exit slips. This one I am sharing with you in it’s entirety. I started them all off the same (explaining what an egg was), and then I gave specifics about what they needed to do to get the XP:
Are you still reading? Well congratulations. You have found an Easter egg. Easter eggs are little bonuses that get peppered in here now and then. To get this Easter Egg you must do the following: (a) participate in the entrance slip on 1/19, (b) use the words Easter, egg, or Easter egg in your response to the opening question, (c) typing JUST any of those words into Today’s Meet will NOT earn you anything, (d) the sentence you write must make sense in regards to the question being asked. Get 500 XP. Offer valid in class only on 1/19 until 11:05.
On 1/19, I plan to ask a general question for the entrance slip, “Tell me one new thing you have learned in the last week.” Then I will wait and see if anyone makes a sentence using the words Easter and/or egg. After class, I will delete the above from the syllabus as it will no longer be in play.
The second egg was embedded in the directions on blogging and looks like this:
Email me, and tell me, “I found the egg!” Also, tell me one thing you have learned about blogging or would like to learn. Get 500 XP. Offer expires 2/2.
They have a bit longer to earn the second egg.
The third egg was embedded in the directions for Tweet What You Learn. It reads:
Tweet out, “I found the egg!” In your tweet, include one thing you have learned so far in this class. Tag it with #educ511, #easteregg. Get 500 XP. Offer expires 2/2.
As of this writing, two people have found the twitter egg, and one person has found the blogging egg (but that person also found the twitter egg so only two people total have found them). I’m interested to see if anybody does what is necessary for the entrance slip egg.
I took a screenshot of all the eggs in the off chance I find a need to keep a record of them. Depending on how the class flows, I might show them to everyone at the end. Perhaps there should be a prize for whoever finds them all? Seems like there should be.
So – why do this? Well, first off it hopefully gets students reading the syllabus. I probably won’t be putting a whole lot more of these in after 2/2 because, realistically, how often does anyone need to be reviewing the syllabus? They are there now because I would hope that students are going through the syllabus and becoming more familiar with the details. We shall see.
At any rate, once I had a couple of students find the eggs it inspired me to make a scavenger hunt on twitter. Come back next week to learn what I did and how it went.