Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Changes to my Edu Game Design module this semester

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

I need to update my syllabus for this Spring. I am tagging this #moocmooc as well because I am trying to think of agency as well… Just not “there” yet, i think.

Here are some rough thoughts of overall changes I need to make:

TvsZ:

i am unsure what timing will suit other ppl, but it isn’t the same time (end of April/early May) that is best for me. I have four three options: 1. Give em a taster during educause ELI Feb 10 workshop (too near beginning of semester); 2. Go with whatever date others want and have students work on it before they meet me for our module (this worked last time coz i was meeting them soon – will see this time); 3. Have them participate during our #et4online conf in April which will be during our module or just before it; 4. Run my own version at the time that suits me and hope some ppl will join (not preferred). The problem is that tvsz is a fast paced game and exhausting to manage for 2-3 days; however, my students’ feedback was overwhelmingly to allow them MORE time, eg a week, to play it! It kind of loses the whole coolness of the game but i can see value in it. Oh, no, another hack of the hack? A “slow” TvsZ? Mmm dunno if i like it

Twitter Scavenger Hunt
I am definitely keeping this! I just need to make some tiny modifications, also hopefully to have it run in the afternoon here so ppl in the US may be awake. To increase agency, i may structure this less but make the goals more explicit as Chris Friend has done in his course

Liquefy the syllabus
Again, a definite keeper. Just considering making it my LAST assignment so they’ve had my entire module before doing it, and it is a low stakes relaxing type of assignment, i think. And i also want em to be more relaxed about their big project, the “game”. This assignment is already about agency as the students pretend to be teacher and make changes to the syllabus and make it more engaging; we take these suggestions and make some changes next semester; it,s been awesome; i also hope it makes them more willing to suggest such things in future to other classes

Changes to the “game” project
I always ask students in the game design class to create a game about a cause they care about, and leave it pretty open

Two major changes i am determined to do:
1. I want students to play their game with an authentic audience in a public space on campus like library or outdoors – so anyone can play it. That would be the last day of our class. They would have a chance to demo it to me and their colleagues the week before, make tweaks, then display it as an interactive exhibit to the community. So even though our class will support them, throwing them out to an authentic audience should be exhilarating

2. I want students to create a “making of” video, as recommended by Terry Elliott. This to me is major, because it emphasizes a “shift” in focus – focusing on the process of learning and not the product. Plus, it’ll be fun and it’ll give students a chance to show how hard they’ve worked. I will give few guidelines on style, but be willing to look at drafts

Ok there is a third one:
3. I plan to share with students the #YouShow15 guidelines for showing their work. This means i still want that blogpost not just the video in #2 – the video for showing process, the blog for reflection

Ok, a 4th one:
4. I am thinking of assigning mixed readings. Diff ppl from diff groups can read diff readings, so that within a group, ppl know diff things about edu game theory. Still pondering how best to benefit from this and assign equally-good/difficult readings plus random vs assignment. Jigsaw so that those who all read same thing work together to produce a summary or something, as well as the project work itself. Maybe i will let students pick, as long as one person from each group reads each reading?

Ungraded Activities I Plan to Keep
A. Hack-a-thon – this worked wonderfully to develop questioning and hacking ability
B. Guest speaker, edu game designer – another definite keeper and inspiring in many ways
C. The showing of the landfillharmonic video and asking an architect from the fab lab here to get them recycled materials to work from

I might add/change: Jeopardy name-the-game game
A. I want students to play the games of previous semesters to get inspired and also to make the games of prev semesters more “sustainable” and “authentic” – teaching material for future. I may invite the game creators, too. P. S. We are already having a creativity day late Feb where this will happen, so no extra planning on my part this time 🙂 i just need to require my class to pass by that area that day for an hour or so and blog about it.

B. Having students bring their own fave game to class and do some kind of guessing game with this rather than do the jeopardy game of before. The purpose of the jeopardy game was to:
1. Build community with a light activity
2. Expose them to many diff games in a fun way

If i ask them to bring their own games, and they tell me beforehand which game they will bring i could
1. Create a guessing activity where ppl either guess a game, or guess whose “favorite” game it is; maybe even vote on how popular a game is within the class or how educational it is
2. I can embed the hacking into this activity where ppl get to hack their favorite games or someone else’s

I only have 8 weeks to do all this, so i better plan properly and find synergies or the students will get overwhelmed with the fun 🙂

Added a few mins later: i just read this really subversive way of looking at grades; ok, it’s already similar how i really do, but i would love to tell the students that,s how i do it! Basically:

To get an A, you need to demonstrate both engagement and insights on the course topics.

Yep. Pretty much. Though i lay some burden of engagement on myself

Ooh and from the comments i found this which inspires me to have students also question what grades mean and how to determine them… This could be a really cool class activity or part of their liquid syllabus… Hmmm,

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