So I suddenly realized there was a missed opportunity in my educational game design module. I focused on teaching my students about game design and tagged on a “how to make them educational” but I didn’t spend enough time talking about learning or education. Not nearly enough time.
So I was wondering if I might design a game just for that. Instead of having an open discussion about students’ educational experiences, we could do this game. A role-playing one, too.
A really open version of the game would entail students brainstorming the different stakeholders in Education in any context (classroom level, school level, town, country, world). At country level, stakeholders would include: students, teachers, parents, school admins, govt policymakers, funding organizations, alternative educators or educational activists…am I missing someone?
Students could also brainstorm elements of what makes an education/learning eg teachers, classes, school infrastructure, textbooks, exams, labs, extracurricular learning, web, etc. And this list helps them in the next steps
Once we agree on roles, students would in some random way end up representing a certain role (in groups) and write out a card describing the expected behavior of that role. What do they care most about? What kind of problems do they face most? What kind of challenges do they want to solve?
Students could also create problem/opportunity cards
The game would have people picking out random problem/opportunity cards such as:
Opportunity: funding organization is willing to fund a large edu project but JUST one. All involved need to come up w ideas and the ppl doing funding orgn role need to choose a winner who gets the funds and justify why (note: an additional challenge could come later where funder insists that more than one stakeholder is involved in the project idea).
A problem could be an emergency (e.g. in the past in Egypt something like exam questions leaking out before national exams)
Students would work on their roles and how their role would respond then discuss with others in different roles.
This is a cooperative game in the sense we all win if education is improved BUT we all have competing interests and different perspectives on how this should look. Talk about ill-defined problem.
I could use the two examples above of problem/opportunity and then ask students to make up their own and we can play the game over two classes (give them time to reflect).
Ideas? Suggestions? Does this even look like a game? I do wanna introduce my students to the idea of a role playing game. But it feels like this idea needs lots of development