Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CILDC : Game-based Learning

M.J. D'Elia
MJ D'Elia - University of Guelph

  • He is not a gamer
  • He has read a few books on this topic
  • He doesn't like the word "gamification"
He is not arguing for games and learning
He is not going to make best practice recommendations
His ideas are highly speculative

Had taught and tried to be engaging.  He decided to learn more about engaged learning and read:
  • Reality is Broken
  • Play at Work
What is alternate reality gaming (ARG)? Immersive game, networked narrative, chaotic fiction....

An example....The Beast - the viral marketing campaign for the movie A.I.   This was a deliberate attempt to build a new type of immersive experience.  Solving the mystery required collective intelligence.  Game designers remained unknown while the game was active.  Information presented in a variety of formats.

Four terms:
  • The rabbit hole - the initial clue or artifact that players stumble upon.
  • Puppet master - the people who design and run the ARG. They stay hidden.
  • The curtain - players do not interact with the puppet masters directly.  They interact with the fictional characters.
  • This is not a game - refusal to admit that there is a game at all.
This ARG was a marketing technique, but it didn't produce more customers.  This fatal flaw is an opportunity for learning.

  • ARG is non-linear.  In a course, the content is linear.
  • In an ARG the narrative is essential for engagement.  In learning, it is typically about facts (disciplinary learning).
  • In an ARG there are no boundaries.  In elearning, it occurs in a constrained system.
  • ARGs require collective effort.  In elearning, individual effort is required. 
  • An ARG has ine big goal.  In elearning, there are many litle goals.
  • In an ARG, Information gets pushed to players at any time.  In our contained elearning systems, students pull information at themselves.  They must fit learning into their schedules.
  • ARGs are a dynamic experience in real time.  In elearning, the strategy is predetermined and static.  
  • In ARGs, the focus is on real world exchanges.  Fictional elements are incorporated in the real world.  In elearning, learning experiences are planned and controlled (laboratory like).
Spongelab created the "History of Biology" which is ARG-like.  

An ARG makes it the learner's journey.

The hero's journal:
  • The ordinary world
  • Call to adventure
  • Refusal of the call
  • Meeting with the mentor
  • Crossing the threshold
  • Tests, trials, etc.
Jill's commentary: Three of the sessions today (thus far) have gone well together and might cause me/us to do things a bit differently in terms of training.

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