This post is just a side note to my thinking about games and grades, but as I’m writing about that subject, I can’t resist noting that students can now place real-money bets on their own grades.

I won’t bother shooting the fish in the moral barrel on this subject. I will instead note that the implementation seems poorly calibrated and easy to beat. It also involves a low cap on initial bets, so students have little incentive to alter their grades materially to win the bets.

I wonder what the real game is: does the company let the students win easily on those low-dollar initial bets and then let their real prediction model take hold? (I’m thinking of the classic pool shark model.) As far as I can tell, that model explains the information in the article better than the company’s rhetoric.

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