This semester, I’m doing something unnecessarily complicated but I think is doable.
Students are working in groups of 5 to design educational games. For their final reflection, they have the choice to either:
- Create a multimedia “making of the game” & write a blogpost with suggestions for 2-3 things they would do to improve one module of the course OR
- Create a “liquefy the syllabus” project recreating a module of the course using multimedia to make it more engaging & write a blogpost reflecting on the making of their game
Basically, I am asking each group that 2-3 of them take option 1 and 2-3 of them take option 2, such that I get a “making of the game” and “liquefy the syllabus” for each group of students, but I also get blogposts for the same ideas from all the class.
Making of the Game
The idea was inspired by a comment by Terry Elliott last semester. The “making of the game” can take any form. It can be a video, it can be a website, it can be a play they act out, a song, anything, as long as it shows the process of how they created their game. I am hoping to see fun as well as serious aspects.
I am inspired by the “Showing Your Work” guidelines for #YouShow15. Here is my brief re-write of what I expect my students to do:
- Pick a catchy title for both the game and the “making of the game” video or other multimedia product
- WHY: Explanation of the thinking behind the game they created: why did they choose these options? what motivated them? what kind of discussions did they have? Which articles they read or games we played or any other past experiences helped them in their thinking?
- HOW: insight into the process of creating the actual game: how did they reach the final product? what kind of struggles did they have with the conceptual and physical design?
- FUN: show photos of the final game itself, show some people playing it? (possibly in the class itself or in the public display on May 18)
Students who will do the multimedia will include 1-4 in their multimedia product, and post a link to the final product on their blogs. I need to know which students worked on it, so all those involved will post it on their blogs.
Students who will do the blogpost will answer questions 2&3 individually in a blogpost. They could include photos of 4 if they like 🙂
Liquefy the Syllabus
This is similar to an assignment I created last semester, inspired by Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s Liquid Syllabus blogpost. I agree with Jesse Stommel’s latest post – I don’t like to repeat anything exactly the same twice, so I’ve changed the timing of the assignment and want to emphasize the aspect I added to the assignment which is “suggest 2-3 changes to the module” (I won’t let them do the entire course). Which is why I’ll have some students just blog about it, not do the multimedia version. This multimedia assignment asks students to do the following:
- Read Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s blogpost to understand the purpose of the liquid syllabus and see examples
- Re-create one of the modules of the class in an engaging way (they can use the tools she recommended like tackk or populr.me or some other form, I don’t want them to get bogged down with details)
- In their re-creation, make 2-3 changes to the module, changing/adding assignments/activities to the module that they think would make it more engaging for them (highlighting in some way that these are “new” or “changed” from the original)
Students doing the blogpost only need to do step #3 but to add to it a justification of why they made the particular changes they made.
Is this too complicated? Too guided? Too unguided? Not sure
Next semester I will hopefully have my students for a few more weeks so I can actually ask everyone to do both assignments over a longer period of time.