City Tech Games & Learning Faculty and Staff Interest Group
Tuesday, March 19, 2012
Attendees: Maura Smale (Library), David Barthold (Restorative Dentistry), Karen Goodlad (Hospitality Management), Carol Stanger (Learning Centers), Jonas Reitz (Math), Reneta Lansiquot (English), Ezra Halleck (Math), John Driscoll (ADGA)
Thanks to everyone for coming to our second meeting, especially at this very busy time of the semester. Below are some notes on our discussion.
– We began with a quick recap of our last meeting, since many folks in attendance hadn’t been able to join us last semester.
– While the goal of our group is to facilitate discussion of using games in our classes, there are a wide range of activities the group could engage in. We’re still fleshing things out so suggestions and ideas are very welcome!
– David reported on his use of Quizlet (http://quizlet.com/, creates flashcard-like content as well as quizzes and games), suggested by Damon in our last meeting, in his Restorative Dentistry classes. Some students really took to it, and one even took it upon herself to create her own content sets and quizzes. It was interesting to see the peer group dynamic at work in the class, which of course, as Carol pointed out, can be a motivator.
– David is also experimenting with the idea of rewards, even points (without prizes) can sometime be a motivator. He’s also considering ways to meet the students where they are and create games that they can access on their mobile devices, etc.
– Karen notes that her department has a grant to provide ipads to all second semester Hospitality students for the time their enrolled in the course.
– David notes that Quizlet’s limitation is that it focused on mastering a body of factual knowledge, doesn’t really give an opportunity to synthesize or integrate it. Interesting to see that students from outside of the class and even outside of City Tech joined into the Quizlet groups, is there a way to award students points for bringing a friend?
– Maura mentions a plugin on the OpenLab called Cube Points that can be used in courses to award students points for certain activities: writing a post, commenting on a post, friending a fellow student, etc. She hasn’t played around with it much yet but it seems promising. Can be activated from the Plugins screen on the Site Dashboard in an OpenLab course (which is available to all faculty and staff to create a course).
– Carol wonders whether we can think about games for different levels of competencies, back to David’s thought: memorization, interpretation, evaluation, etc. These are the competencies that employers want.
– Reneta notes that there’s a robust literature of the theory and practice of games-based learning, and suggests a spot on our OpenLab project where we can begin working on a collaborative bibliography. Could help us make sure we’re not reinventing the wheel or going down a path that’s unfruitful. Maura will add a page to the project site and start seeding it with some sources she has, please all contribute!
– John notes that he’s teaching a game design course right now and the most important learning for students is being involved in a collaborative design process. They are building a game, and by doing so they learn about this process. So it’s not necessarily about the content or even the functionality of the game. Could be used in other disciplines too – when you ask students to brainstorm or prototype a game about content they need to learn the content well before they can even outline the game. The game is the tool.
Again, we’’ like to remind everyone that we have a space on the City Tech OpenLab for this group that we can use for discussion, to share resources, etc. We can make any member of the group an administrator, so if you have ideas for the format and structure of the site please share. The project is here – please join us!
We’ll also think soon on planning one additional meeting this semester, perhaps in mid- May just before finals? We’ll send out a poll after we’re back from Spring Break to see if we can find a good date/time.
Please share widely with your interested colleagues, thanks!