This post is set to go up a few hours before my talk at MEAD. It’s meant primarily for those who attended but I figured others might be interested so I made it public. It is slightly cryptic in that a.) I show the actual websites and games I use as much as possible rather than slides, so I don’t have a linear Powerpoint b.) the slides I do have tend to be understated and don’t make total sense without the talking to go with them and c.) there’s a fair amount affected by audience participation and ad libbing.
Pre-prologue: Pronouncing Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
Prologue: What this talk could be about and what it is actually about
b.) Having students create games
c.) Having students play games
d.) Using ideas from game design to modify the classroom environment. <– focus will be here, although we will also consider using a game design angle to improve (c.)
I. Hint tokens
Participants are in groups. Set up gamification of talk: show prizes, set up leaderboard.
Give two hint tokens to each group.
Have them work on average speed problem.
Award points after set time limit (10 minutes?) as necessary.
II. Nonlinear lesson planning
Open style problem often presented linearly but not discovered that way by students.
Example from Adventure (Nonlinear lesson design)
Example from Treasure Hunt AD&D Module
Example of average speed problem just solved; have participants try their own structure diagram
Dicussion of using structure to anticipate student questions; what help to provide
Modifying “mundane reality” to be games: badges, progress bars, levels, experience points, leaderboards.
Problem of renaming without substantive content change: “Experience points”
More substantive examples: socialPsych
Gamification ethics (optional based on time, may also be moved to later portion of talk): Badges etc. accused of being behavioralist. What are the ramifications? Noschese criticism (may have the “disastrous consequence” of making pupils mechanically repeat lower-level exercises to win awards, rather than formulating questions and applying concepts.)
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi measuring happiness, flow being the optimal point between too much difficulty and too little
Demonstration of flOw game, discussion of other instances in gaming (Max Payne, Parodius)
Comparison to traditional scaffolding: not only gains in difficulty but reduces in difficulty as necessary
Demonstration of “paper” version of flow (using puzzles)
Downside of flow: gaming the system (intentional losing, artificial feel when too mechanical), difficulty of paper implementation. Possibility of implementation into Khan-like software.
V. The McLeod criticism and Devlin criticism of educational games
McLeod: Do most educational games suck? Graphics-based criticism.
Devlin: No need to to present traditional symbolic-based learning (“has to arise naturally out of the natural environment and have meaning in it”)
Terminology of 1st generation / 2nd generational / 3rd generation educational games
1st generation, drill with game attached: relation to “Soup Cans” problem of compromising environmental mimesis by presenting a nonsensical task (7th Guest example)
2nd generation, integration around mathematics.
3rd generation, complete integration of environment and mathematics; Physicus & Chemicus examples
My small-picture criticism on 1st generation: often only cursory gameplay, meant as excuse to drill. Can we improve an educational game as a game?
Single round of “vanilla” math basketball
The only “strategy” students can use is “get the answers right, get the shots”. Could we incorporate more strategy, that is, more choices that affect things at the game level?
(Group discussion of improvement, test of improved rules)
[Optional if time permits] Same treatment to classroom Jeopardy!