My Capstone project is looking into encouraging student engagement through the format of their feedback. Each week they respond to a survey on how effective they felt text, video, and finally audio feedback was to them. What I’ve decided to do is a Civilization style game that would be episodic, and save their progress till the next ‘chapter’ until they have receive their final grade. Once they receive feedback they will have the option to ‘remodel’ the perfect submission based on what they learned each week. Reinforcing the previous week’s components, and refreshing it in their mind for the next.
This game would run the length of the class I teach. Essentially this is a two player game between instructor and student. The game would be ‘saved’ until the instructor sent out the next grade in the new format. This would open up the new chapter for the student to play through. However an open board for posting progress and images would add in some competition or encouragement between classmates.
This game would be rather intuitive as most of my students do not seem to be very good at reading instructions that are placed separately. Tool tips would pop up as they registered and submitted each piece of demographic info in the first segment, Each week, there would be new tool tips, all backed up with catchy game music and animations.
In keeping with the material and equipment they are working on, the interface would be a standard computer keyboard, with mouse support. They would click through to the questions, and then use the keyboard for their observations. The randomization factor would come in the fact that they could choose what format they wanted to receive their feedback in, however this would be counter balanced in that they could not pick the same format twice. I would add another level that would base the format partly on whatever grade they received on the previous activity. If their grade was lower, then it would be a format that was one they were more comfortable with to encourage them to improve.
Students would go into each ‘chapter’ knowing that they will need to ‘remodel’ their submission if they did not get 100 on their work. So understanding the requirements of the activities, will be beneficial to them. This depends on if the student did not make a perfect score. That though leads us to our next point…
This would be approached on several levels. These are broken down by type below.
- Submission Activity – Two types – a higher level one for normal submission, and lesser for late submission.
- Feedback Activity – feedback itself would be coached in achievements of different levels, depending on what the student did in the actual work. This would be based on the rubric for the lesson.
- Remodeling Activity – If a student receives a 100, this would not be required. Otherwise they will take the components and to achieve ‘access’ to the next level and get higher achievements they have the opportunity to make corrections to their work. This would be as a simulation and not change their actual grade, but by making the effort they will get an achievement. The highest possible if they can remodel their submission to be perfect.
My perception is that, ideally, that each achievement would be a different building element, some fancy, some practical. This would help make each student’s building unique in the end.
Since I am encouraging them to be better students, we are going to be building a spectacular castle. Students may be given the option to build some other structure if they prefer it. They are the architects of their destiny, and this encourages them to see each brick, each stone that goes into creating something to be proud of. The whole initial introduction would be of a humble mason. He has big dreams, and sees these fantastic creations, but the question he has, is how to make them into reality. Each section of the game would build a portion of their building, culminating in a fantastic structure that reaches to the clouds, making the humble mason into the Great Architect of Dreams.
As I mentioned some in the previous segment, the end game would to see if the student became the Great Architect of Dreams. Depending on the students achievements and how they handled the choices, their building will vary. Students could even compare their castles. Because I do want to encourage them, there would not be any ‘losing’ unless they chose not to participate. Depending on the quality and scale of their buildings the Architect title would vary with their success. In a sense each chapter would have an end game, since they finish off a certain level with achievements based on that week’s work. Students could be more determined by missing a point or two and hopefully have a renewed sense that they will come back in the next chapter and get all the achievements so that their building is that much stronger and better in that week. I think as an added element, the so called bosses, or mini bosses each week could be element that have some practical suggestions upon defeating them. For instance, one week, you could have the Duke of Doubt, perhaps the Abbess of Assumption, and the final boss (since this seems to be a big issue in my class) would be the Timelord, with dominion over Time management.
This is demonstrated in two ways in the game. First off would be the building the student creates, since it is build based on their successes through achievements. The second would be the quality of the work and their grades in each of the regular submissions. Remember a student that submits a perfect project would already be ahead of their classmates since they would have that achievement. There could also be acknowledgement of the student that had done all of the ‘remodeling’ each week and demonstrated improvement in their submissions.
Some of these points I have addressed in other segments, but this would not be a one time game and done. Since it addresses building skills and awareness, I think my players are best served by the pacing of a longer term concept. This ties into the concept that becoming the Great Architect of Dreams is not a quick process, and takes time and effort. It would show that mistakes could be made but it takes extra effort to correct them, but yes, many of them can be corrected if you are willing to learn from your errors. Each chapter helps build their dream building, and in turn, ideally, will build them into a better learner; more willing to correct mistakes and learning from them.
Fun and Motivation
This game is fun and motivating since it not only is part of who a student would see their grades but by taking the subsequent steps they can see how to improve, and in the process create a fantastic creation that is unique to them. I think providing them a board where they can post pictures of their buildings in progress, will add a competitive and encouraging aspect with their classmates.
I do see several motivational theories that are part of this process, depending on which component of the game we are focusing on.
- Extrinsic Theory – the look of their building, and improvement of grades
- Control Theory – having the ability to control and determine their ‘destiny’ aka grade
Operant Conditions in place would be the follow up exercises that show the student how to improve their past work, hopefully by this improve their future work. This would enable them to get the higher achievement to start with upon accessing their grade, and getting a higher score.
*Both images are CC from Torley Olmstead