Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Modified Quest-Based Learning

Last month I participated in the three week Teacher Camp: 3DGamelab, run by Lisa Dawley and Chris Haskill. Quest-based pedagogy was the theme. Quest-based learning was the process. We went on quests, we used the 3DGamelab tools - a learning management system and guild site that facilitated good gaming practices in teaching and learning.

With my new term of Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds beginning soon, my mind exploded with the possibilities. I started to move my quests from Second Life to 3DGamelab. Then reality hit. Quest development is a craft that takes practice. And May 8th was on the next page of my virtual calendar.

So Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds 2012 has begun. I have made significant but manageable (haha) changes to the design. We have not moved to 3DGameLab but we are questing.
  • First I have invited non-matriculated students to join from around the world (a mini MOOC of sorts with representation from seven countries)
  • A thin but mostly relevant narrative ties the themes of the course and my quests together. Jane and Esme are leaders of a study abroad program, the participants are studying the cultural and pedagogical practices of the metaverse.
  • Except for the first two weeks, the modules/quest-chains are independent. As long as a learner completes low level quests before higher level quests they can pick quests from different chains at different times.
  • Not all quests need to be completed. Choice is built into each quest chain.
  • Reward systems are clunky and manual (meaning that they aren't immediate) but learners level up based on experience points: roadie -> tourist -> traveler -> adventurer....
  • Experience points are the number of points assigned in the Moodle grader. Who knew that you could use the grader to tally vs average and that there is no apparent cap on how many points you can assign. I give full credit (xp) or ask for the quest to be resubmitted with guidance.
  • Some assignments pay Linden$ (and later copper in WoW) and various virtual goods that can be traded in the DUTY-Free Shopping Exchange (moodle forum).
  • It's rough around the edges because I am developing as I go. But I always seem to be redesigning along the way so this is just me doing what I do - making learning and teaching messy.

If you would like to learn more about what we are doing please reply.
Esme and Jane

No comments: