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Gradega.me Press Release: Life is a game – where do you stand?

October 9, 2010

New Australian application GradeGa.me allows students to upload and rank their transcripts against their peers.

GradeGa.me, an Australian application that has just been released, allows students to upload their academic transcripts, post their marks and rankings online and thus compete with classmates and friends. The whole project was created over a single weekend at Sydney Start-up Camp, run by Bart Jellema from Start-up Australia, and Patrick Driessen from Seed Accelerator. 10 teams competed over the weekend, forgoing sleep and living on a diet of coffee, to build new web applications and pitch them to a panel of judges. GradeGa.me is available now to UTS students on initial release, and will be available to other universities shortly.

The five young founders of GradeGa.me aim to show that by harnessing the competitive nature of students, students will be encouraged to push for additional marks. One of the founders, Sean Marshall says “A student who is already achieving at a high level has very little incentive to push themselves for additional marks under the current system. By showing them that by scoring 2 additional marks they can improve their ranking within the course, students have that reason to try a little bit harder”.

The team behind GradeGa.me want to continue to extend the functionality of the system to allow students to earn badges and awards, view leader boards and build a profile of their academic and non academic achievements while at university. The profiles students create will then be used to create a recruitment portfolio for their resumes, and to qualify students to tutor their peers in subjects in which they have received high marks.

Game mechanics like these are being implemented in online applications as diverse as mobile check-ins (Foursquare), personal finance (Mint) and locating the nearest pub that stocks your favourite beer (Beerby). As Seth Priebatsch said in his TEDx Boston “School is a game, It’s just not a terribly well designed game”.

“The commitment and energy of these young people is truly amazing. They worked through the night and were still excited and working in the morning”. Bart Jellema also helps organise an online email group for technology start-ups called Silicon Beach, and a related weekly networking event.

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