If you’re a Classcraft user, then you’ve likely relieved that the long-anticipated Boss Battles have finally made an appearance.
A few days ago, my students and I decided to check them out. More about that in a minute. First let me run through the set up.
2. Add the Questions. The Classcraft engineers have made the questions customizable to include video or image (albeit small). For instructors who want students to read a longer passage or examine a larger diagram, hard copies or opening the image in another window may be an option.
3. Select the Reward. Select the XP and/or GP students will earn by defeating the monster. Also, note that students can also earn the “Flawless!” reward if no errors are made.
Boss Battles in Classcraft have been long awaited, and based on comments I’ve been reading on the discussion boards, they’ve been worth the wait overall. I’ve divided my comments about the new battles in three categories below.
Worthy of Note:
When writing the questions, consider the number of HP you’re applying to each question and the monster. Obviously, the HP available in the questions needs to add up to (at minimum) what the monster has for HP. For example, if the boss-monster is worth 100 HP, the battle questions need to add up to 100 HP, and preferably more so students can miss one or two and still make it possible to defeat the monster.
1. Points & Powers Integration. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the integration of the battles into the Classcraft system. Students can lose HP, and teammates can protect them with their powers–this is one of my favorite parts, as I rarely need to deduct HP for behavior issues. (Yes, my students are so awesome this year!) But because of this, the Random Event of the Day or our bi-weekly Battle Day are the only two times students usually use protection powers. This adds more attractiveness to acquiring those powers.
2. Misses & Critical Hits. I love that randomized misses are included in the games. Just because a student answers correctly does not mean it will hit the monster. Vice versa, not every incorrect answer results in deducted HP, either. Plus, the system includes randomized critical hits, where double the HP is deducted. If students are behind in a battle, they still have the hope of making a critical hit and winning.
Improvements I’d Love to See:
1. Individual Battles. Currently, the boss battle is solely run through the teacher’s computer. This is great for classrooms that are not 1:1 devices, but I’ve read several comments already about wanting students to complete their own “boss battle quizzes” on their own screens, and frankly, I’d love that, too.
2. Students Challenging Each Other to Boss Battles. My students would love to have more one-on-one interaction in the game, and instigating their own boss battles against other students would be a great way to do this. I envision a system similar to the Trivia Crack app, where players challenge each other by answering questions within a teacher’s cache of questions.
3. Larger Screen for Images. Images must be close to a 16:9 format. Even a pop-out window ability might help here.
I don’t foresee boss battles becoming a daily occurrence in my room, but perhaps every week or two as a formative assessment. Usually my formative assessments now require all students to answer all questions, but boss battles only allow for one student/team at a time. If boss battles could automagically work so all students could complete their own assigned boss battles on their own computers, I’d likely be using it everyday.
Overall, a huge kudos goes out to the Classcraft engineers for unveiling the boss battles at long last. The design and programming are endless work that I can’t begin to imagine!