Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Game Ideas: Liquefy syllabus, alliteration poem, song-story

| 3 Comments

I got two three cool ideas for games I might use with my students this semester. I teach the last 1/3 of a module on creativity, and my part involves students creating their own educational games. Last semester (my first time teaching it) I did this by playing games with them, then helping them reflect before they created their own games.

Liquefy our Syllabus
The first game idea is inspired by Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s post on the liquid syllabus (read it, it’s v cool). I thought it might be cool to have students engage the traditional syllabus and create a multimedia engaging version with their own testimonials added AND to make some changes to the syllabus. My syllabus is always negotiable and I change things according to student needs and all sorts of other contextual factors throughout the semester, but students (usually my students are in-service teachers, but this semester they’re undergrads) never actually go into the google doc and put comments or make edits. Doing this assignment would be a chance for them to:
A. Look closely at the syllabus, useful to later help them think of what an “educational” game would be like
B. help them think of creative ways to pass on a message, almost like an infomercial
C. A chance to play with new tools; maybe later they design
D. A chance to experiment with having a voice in their own education

The only question is: will I let them play with the whole course syllabus or just my module?

Also: can I make it more of a game, so that the best syllabus design gets to be used as advertising for the course in future? Or that the best suggestions for modifying the syllabus get changed this semester e.g. Modification of assignments?

Alliteration poem
This one’s just an ice breaker. I noticed my last post was full of “c” words, and kept adding more. I thought it would be a cool ice breaker to have students describe something or other (the course, the game they’re designing, the university, anything, we can choose as a group) using alliteration. In pairs or groups they can pick the letter and work together on it. The idea of playing with poetry and words and making it into a game comes generally from #clmooc & #tvsz where we collaboratively wrote stories and poetry. It’s possible also that the spontaneous collaborative poem idea played y/day w/ Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris has something to do with this, indirectly.

Song story game
This is one I have been doing as a kid and would love to try playing in a group. Where people collaboratively tell a story using only lyrics from songs, or song titles. I used to actually take an entire album and make all the songs fit into the storyline. The way the Mamma Mia movie did this was awesome. Wonder if my students can do something similar? Hmmm go beyond the storytelling and actually clip parts of songs together into story… A story-medley type of thing…

More ideas as they come to me…

3 Comments

  1. HI Maha.
    This isn’t exactly what you had in mind, I know, but I’ve just come across this (and I’ve had her permission to share it):

    an academic writing playlist
    Posted on August 18, 2014 by pat thomson
    1. A song for staring at the blank screen
    2. A song for explaining to your lover why you didn’t hear what they just said
    3. A song for reading reviewers’ comments
    4. A song for that feeling of being really, really stupid
    5. A song for pressing the submit button
    6. A song to drown out the noises in the hall
    7. A song to remind yourself to get off twitter now
    8. A song for an impossible deadline
    9. A song to soothe the savage writing
    10. A song which prompts you to go sit outside
    11. A song to celebrate getting the book proofs
    12. A song to remind you why you became a scholar
    13. A song that speaks back to administrivia
    14. A song for finding a typo in the just published paper
    15. A song to mark a co-author’s retirement
    16. A song which encourages you to think slowly
    17. A song which thanks your dog for just being there
    18. A song which counts ALL the work you’ve done
    19. A song for making new academic friends
    20. A song for waking up at 3 am writing in your sleep

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