This is an under-construction ongoing post that will be regularly modified as the summer progresses. It’s a place for me to capture my thoughts about how I’ll be structuring my two major course-as-game efforts in the coming school year (16-17). There may also be responses posted here to some of my friend and colleague’s efforts along similar lines, over at Game On.
A tale of two games
My two game for next school year will be: a revised version of Gnimmargorp, my Introduction to Computer Science course, and a brand new site, Nolat Labs, which is for my IB Design Technology courses. I’ll talk in much more detail about each of these below. What they will both share are the basic mechanics and structure of Game-On, a plug-in for the WordPress website development environment. Game-On enables a gamified learning management system, or GMLS, which gives the capability to run my courses as a game by setting up assignments in parts, tracking players’ progress and earnings, awarding rewards, and providing oversight. For details, see this post at Game On.
These two courses are rather different, too. Gnimmargorp is well established, having gone through 3 full-year iterations so far. Many of the components will be familiar to my prior players, but several will be tweaked this year to improve classroom dynamics and engage players in more interaction. It will also be easier to navigate, start, and track your own progress.
On the other hand, Nolat Labs will be a brand new game and will be structured substantially differently than Gnimmargorp. In part, this is due to the nature of the course (having a more clearly defined curriculum and external moderation, for example). A larger part is due to me wanting to set up both a linear sequence – to accommodate learners who prefer this approach – and an open structure – to accommodate those who’d rather jump around.
This will be continued