Rob Schwartz

Gamefied Curriculum- the UBER-LITE version

Best Practice Published 9/28/12 Last updated on 5/16/18
This is a quick intro video on how to quickly and easily add some gamification aspects to your wordpress website. Give students online access and XP for participating on the site and mastering projects with this easy setup. Inspired by Mike Skocko's implementation (which is way cooler) linked below.

Check out this video of the system (CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO). Inspired by Skocko's implementation which is much nicer, but won't run on my shared hosting. :( I say in the video it runs cubegold- but it's just regular cubepoints.

this will have to do until he has a lite version. Strongly encourage you to check out HIS THREAD.

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Ahmed Belal

Posted on 11/28/18 7:35:22 PM Permalink

​Thanks for Sharing


Posted on 11/26/12 10:08:11 PM Permalink

Thanks Rob

I didn't use Mikes post. You can take the credit. Just read through your original post and kept adding bits, and tweaking lines of PHP.

Thnaks for the advice. I've got my head around it more now.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 11/26/12 10:03:43 PM Permalink

Hey Paul!

If you have gold, then you must be on the lite version on Mike's thread. But the Gold is really the KEY! Gold can only be obtained for mastery, so they have to master the content, which is a higher level of cognitive processing than just completing the projects.

Gold can then be used to purchase items in the lab, like printouts, bathroom passes, etc...


Posted on 11/26/12 9:55:15 PM Permalink


terrific post. I've had a fiddle (neither a Gamer nor Wordpress user, but really like the idea of gamification), and been able to get XP through CubePoints and gold through Buddypress Achievements into a Wordpress blog.

Strikes me the gold is pointless, unless it can be used for something. Any ideas for "a noob" where it can be used??? I had thought of swithcing stuff on within a theme, but, just not sure where to go.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/8/12 5:43:32 PM Permalink

Hey Gang... Uber lite is now LITE thanks to Mike's kids!!

Grab the files here for Mike's Lite version of his system. I'll keep posting here about how to implement... but not much. Most of it needs to happen on mike's post. If you have questions about how to run without mike's plugs, answer here, as of now, I'm on the Cubegold bus!

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/5/12 6:15:32 PM Permalink

I made this change in lines 31-33 of cp_core.php to enable negative points to -500.

// no negative points below -500
if ($points < -500) { 
$points = -500;

I’m not sure if that will break anything later, but seems to be working now. I guess I need to start learning some PHP…

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/4/12 2:37:39 PM Permalink

Plugin List

Click image for full size image:

Bold plugs required. All recommended.

Aksimet- Spam Killer

Buddypress- community features and base for the users and cubepoints. Allows for activity streams if you can't do blogs for all kids

Buddypress Album- upload images in buddypress. Great for uploading images for mastery of graphic images

Buddypress Pending Activations- In school kids can't get to email... this lets you activate their user in class.

Buddypress Template Pack- Only needed to add support for themes that don't have BP support.

Cubepoints- base for the XP and all the goodies!

Gravity Forms- I paid for it for side work so I use it... Contact form 7 for a great free alternative.

PC Hide Pages- hide hidden quests from searches and menus

Restrict Usernames- Make sure usernames do not include words you don't want on your blog.

Shortcode buddy- Mike's kids wrote this. Allows you to insert username of visitor into posts to personalize message.

Shortcodes Ultimate- Has TONS of features. Lots of layout and display bonuses that take a regular theme and add premium features. I use it to list subpages on the quest pages.

Signup TOS- Paid module from Adds terms of service to the signup page.

Ultimate Tiny MCE- makes the visual editor more powerful.

Useername changer. Change the unchangable username if a student messes up. I have a convention I want them to follow for privacy and also so I can find users based on class period.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/4/12 2:21:21 PM Permalink

Don't have their own blogs right now. Not sure cheap shared hosting will support a blogfarm. HOWEVER, there is an "activity" feed that's like a facebook newsfeed where they canpost activity. I'm doing mastery there for now.

For a luddite, I'd probably just stick with buddypress default!

Stepping up, I recommend a good responsive theme for newbies... probably "responsive" "Blackbird" "Catchbox" "oxygen" Evolve" "gridilicious: or "ifeature".. Every theme has it's own quirks and advantages. Learning the ins and outs of a theme is almost a whole new challenge above learning wordpress. The more powerful and flexible the theme, the more complex the setup and mastery. (like our classes. Lots of gold and XP for theme mastery.) Suffusion and creativix are also great themes that I don't think are responsive but I've used a lot. Highly customizable but highly complex.

Attached is the plugin list I'm using. I'll add notes in a bit.

Donald Peters

Posted on 10/4/12 12:21:50 PM Permalink

More questions:

Do the students have their own blogs for posting work/whatever else is needed?

and if so, are those also run off of the hosting service?

which wordpress template would you recommend to use for a luddite?

This is my thinking at this point in the game: next month (money REALLY tight this month) sign up for the hosting service and start setting up the Lite version.

November/December work on setting everything up and playing with it to make sure I understand it

End of January: Implement Lite version next semester with my Ceramics class only (think that class is most game friendly - can easily be setup to be completely self-paced)

June - reflect - show to big wigs to prove why I need wordpress installed on our servers

July/August work on figuring out if it is worth implementing in other classes...and whether or not I want to try the full version

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/3/12 8:01:51 PM Permalink

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/2/12 3:30:39 PM Permalink

Changed the system to allow for ease of use and for some accountability. Here's me explaining why the change and the accountability stuff interesting to teachers.

Here's the video of how mastery WAS working. This was for the kids so you can see how it worked and why it was wonky for the user as much as for the admin. This is the 2 question hack I mention in the video.

Here's the new version for the kids:

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/2/12 3:14:13 PM Permalink

Changed the way I do quests in uberlite.

Simply give points for comments and use the question4points module to let them claim mastery. Then they get a timestamp and linkback to the quest for accepting (commenting is accepting) and then they get points for mastery. Would love an intermediate step but thought about it... I can also design quests into miniquests that make a "mission" and then mastery is easily attained on each subsection. Will post as we test it.

Problem is- and mike must have the same one, that the page list in the dashboard is getting HUGE. You have a page for each quest. Getting hard to find stuff. It's definitely not as nice and neat back there before quests. :)

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/1/12 5:34:18 PM Permalink

Mike GREAT idea on commenting rather than stripping.

Comments on ideas moved to your thread.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 10/1/12 4:15:18 PM Permalink

Semar's stripping as much code as he can (including time and date stamps) from CubeGold to make CubeGoldLite. May have a functioning version to test in the next day or two. Fingers crossed.

Note: I've asked Semar to comment out code rather than delete it. That way we'll have a clearer idea of what might be causing the server drag if this works.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/1/12 4:06:37 PM Permalink

The system I'm using can be totally done for free. (aside from the hosting)

1- wordpress with any theme. (though the one I'm using I paid for because it's snazzy)

2- cubegold is Mike's student's add on to cubepoints that adds the gold and minutes. It also tracks all the time though, and that's why it's so heavy on the server.

3- I'm using Site5, but bluehost is cheaper now. I'm no longer happy with site5, so I definitely recommend bluehost.

4- LOL. I'm sure it's as facetious on you as it is on me! But it's fun, in the game since XP aren't grade affecting, I'm a lot tougher. :)

5- There's an "album" plug in for them to post images. I'm going to have them post images there in their profile and they can do short documentation with the activity stream. I don't think it defeats the purpose becuause in many courses, the proof of mastery would be off-site. That's something for me to let them document however they want, and isn't an integral part to the gamification and AMP model. That's just the accountability structure that schools want, but Mike and I both aren't big on grades or that kind of "accountability." Carrots and sticks kill creativity.

6- Hmm. District hosted videoblogs. No shocker there. but that's all I can post to in school. Try again today, it's been weird lately round these parts with the interwebs. ;) Please let me know if it's still bad, I'll let them know.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 10/1/12 4:03:33 PM Permalink

Music to my ears when Schwartz says: think i have a better way to track the accountability stuff. We're experimenting today.

(He comes up with the best ideas!)

Donald Peters

Posted on 10/1/12 3:31:56 PM Permalink

Rob, some questions on the 'lite' version:

1) running on wordpress - does it still need the commercial theme?

2) cubegold? = cubepoints plugin?

3) who do you use as your 'site provider'? - in case I can't convince my IT to install wordpress on our servers

4) love the 'iceprince' = cold hearted and mean - sounds a lot like me. Tongue out

5) no images? no blogs? how do they prove mastery or prove they've completed an assignment? Do they have to turn in images elsewhere? doesn't that defeat the purpose?

6) your vodcast is a twitchy little girl... have to keep restarting it and it keeps stuttering as it plays. and it crashed on me twice. just an fyi.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 10/1/12 2:36:49 PM Permalink

I'll be making a new video and posting since I've thought about it more and discussed with the kids, think i have a better way to track the accountability stuff. We're experimenting today.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 9/29/12 9:19:22 PM Permalink

And by a little, everyone, he means a ton. ;)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 9/28/12 8:48:03 PM Permalink

Hey, it's Holy Grail-like in that it gets the gamified learning environment rolling in more classrooms. :)

Well done, Rob!

And as Schwartz said, there's a little more info over here.