Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

GradeCraft – A gameful learning management system

Technology #6664

In current undergraduate education, low performance in classes can be attributed to lack of engagement. The way education is structured, giving students little choice in how they learn, with evaluation based on high-stakes assessments, leads to extrinsicly motivated and disengaged learners who feel school does not work for their needs. For today’s digital generation, gamification has become a popular tactic to encourage specific behaviors and increase motivation and engagement. Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems or accomplishing tasks. It attempts to superimpose the simulating motivational aspects of the game world onto a real-world situation. Gamification has recently been implemented in educational programs with the intention to use it as a tool for engagement and motivation. But gamification uses only the superficial elements of games. A better approach is what the designers of GradeCraft call gameful design, which addresses the deep structure of courses, re-shaping assessment systems and syllabi to better support three key areas of human need: support for autonomy, a sense of belonging, and support for developing competence. The primary way gameful design reshapes learning is by allowing learners to set and understand their own goals, encouraging risk-taking and exploration by reducing the consequences of failure, and by changing feedback to be frequent and detailed.

Increasing student motivation through the gamification of learning management systems

GradeCraft is a gameful learning management system designed to be used in conjunction with primary learning management systems. GradeCraft primarily acts as a gradebook; allowing students to submit work, receive feedback, and track progress. GradeCraft brings in game elements such as a badging and leveling system, team competition, and leaderboard. It offers a unique grade predictor utility as well as an interactive grading rubric to allow students flexibility in choosing coursework that best suits their learning style to achieve desired results. GradeCraft is designed to create a more engaging classroom that makes learning more dynamic and personalized to each student.


  • Supplement to current primary learning management systems in commercial or educational setting


  • Unique grade predictor
  • Badges and leveling
  • Team competition and leaderboard
  • Advanced data analytics on system activity and achievement metrics
  • Unique grade predictor
  • Dynamic grading rubrics

If your organization requires payment via a Purchase Order please contact the licensing manager, Drew Bennett for further details. Contact details can be found on the right hand column.