LSRI Speaker Series presents Barry Fishman, University of Michigan

Date / Time

October 22, 2021

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


The Learning Sciences Research Institute presents the LSRI Speaker Series

“Changing the Way We Grade to Change the Way They Learn”

Barry Fishman, University of Michigan

We want our students to be deeply engaged. We want them to work hard and take on challenges. We want them to take risks. And perhaps most importantly, we want students to be resilient in the face failure. Why does the design of our education system encourage exactly the opposite behaviors? I propose that the way we think about grading is at the heart of the problem.

In this talk, I critique dominant grading approaches and describe an approach called gameful learning – based on observations of one of the most durable and natural environments for learning – learning from play. This is not about learning by playing games. Rather, this talk posits that learning in school is already a kind of game, but a poorly designed one. The goal is to design a better game, and a better system.


Barry Fishman is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Learning Sciences in the University of Michigan School of Information and School of Education. His research focuses on the development of usable, scalable, and sustainable learning innovations through design-based implementation research. He is the co-creator of GradeCraft, a game-inspired learning management system. Dr. Fishman was named the 2017 Michigan Association of State Universities “Distinguished Professor of the Year” and is a Fellow of the International Society of the Learning Sciences. He received his PhD in learning sciences from Northwestern University in 1996.

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