In my education and games research over the past couple of years I’ve been looking at different ways to represent learners in to provide appropriate and motivating feedback. We have been edging more and more towards systems of reward similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Live gamer score and achievements system. We have found that participation levels improve significantly with our system and there is evidence of improve academic performance, particularly with weaker students. I’m sure that we are not the only ones working on such systems and here is one approach that I found via my colleague Daniel Livingstone’s site:
Its only based on quiz style questions, but to be fair mostly advancements in this area are very incremental and I haven’t seen much to set the world on fire yet.