CubePoints is a way of awarding points (or “dollars,” if you’re feeling materialistic), to users for participating in your site–users have a great deal of control over what sorts of activities are worth points, and how many each activity is worth.  We see this plug-in as particularly useful for student clubs and other school projects which have fewer inherent incentives to participation than courses.  If you connect points to real-world prizes, or even just honorary titles, you might find your users are more active.

Many faculty around the world have come to believe that this model speaks to their students, encourages participation and enthusiasm particularly on low-stakes writing and other class work, and gets students thinking about school in different ways.  You can learn more about an attempt to study a very similar idea here.

The plug-in itself is quite simple:  it keeps track of each user’s activity, allows for a “leaderboard” on the site home-page, and gives the administrator a ton of specific options, making it very customizable.

To use it, first activate Cube points under PLUGINS in the left hand column of your dashboard.

Once activated, you’ll see CUBEPOINTS appear near the bottom of that left-hand column, along with several options for managing the plug-in.  Most of these are self-explanatory, but we might draw attention to CONFIGURE, which pulls up this screen:

There are two things here which OpenLa users might want to adjust.  The first is changing the suffix foro the display of points.  The default is “dollars,” which many users might find a little too materialistic for the college setting–you change it to anything you like.  Here we chose “points.”

Also note that you can exclude users from the point system–this is especially good if one user (usually the admin) does the vast majority of the posting on the site.

The modules page also gives quite a number of ‘modules,’ which you might think of as mini-plugins, most of which are also self-explanatory.

The only other thing you’ll want to do is give users a way to monitor their own points and have an idea of where they “rank” in terms of site activity.  You can do that by going to APPEARANCE>WIDGETS and moving the two CubePoints widgets into an active sidebar, header or footer.  As here:

That’s about it.  Let us know if you have any questions!



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