Race For The Master' s

by Denis Angleton
Jeffery Mandrake
and Stacy Gomes


Instructional Objectives
Learners/Context
Design Process
Rules
References


About the authors
Jeffery Mandrake, aka "Buffalo hunter," and Denis Angleton, aka "Water Buffalo," describe themselves as motorcycle ridin' , leather wearin' , volleyball playin' , jargon usin' , renaissance techno-nerds of the fifth order. They are co-founders of BuffaloSoft, a multimedia and Internet endeavor. In his spare time, Jeffery teaches science at Gompers Secondary school, and Denis works as an Authorware programmer at Jostens Learning.

Stacy' s hopes for the future are to design and develop web based instruction and information. She is also very interested with the public school sector and continues following innovative schools and districts in the nation in hopes of working with children someday.

top of page


Instructional Objectives
The goal of the game is to graduate with a master's degree from the Educational Technology Department at San Diego State University. In order to graduate the learner will be able to:

top of page


Learners/Context
Entry students in the Department of Educational Technology are not formally instructed on the requirements necessary to graduate with a master's degree. As a result, many students spend frustrated hours studying the graduate bulletin and comparing it to the departments requirements for graduation. The target audience is first semester educational technology students at San Diego State University. These students need anecdotal information to be familiar with resources, unexpected events and technology they will encounter over there graduate education. Students will move along a circular path collecting 30 units and up one of four spokes, or avenues, for graduation. The object is to obtain classes and experience by either landing on class location or through "chance cards." A graphical circle analogy is used reflecting the many ways a student can achieve their master's degree.

top of page


Design Process
After deciding on the content, the first step was to find the best board game format to fit the content. The main requirements were to focus on the different requirements to graduate from the Educational Technology Department at San Diego State University with a master's degree. We tried to keep the rules as simple as possible to help the players focus on the contents of the game. The decision to include chance cards arose from the need to find a way to find a winner at the end of the game. We did not want to just let the first person in the graduation circle be the winner. Obtaining a degree does not guarantee success in real life. What matters most consists of all the special things students do along the way such as internships, networking, and other projects that help them find leads. The game also introduces the students to insightful information and situations regarding the pitfalls they may encounter. Upon completing the game, the players will have familiarized themselves with the different requirements for the master' s as well as the three ways to attain it.

top of page


Rules
Two to four people may play at the same time. The time required to complete the game will vary between 30 and 45 minutes.

The goal of the game
The goal of the game is to complete 10 classes and all requirements of the Master's degree in the Ed Tech department at SDSU. Points are gathered on the way in the form of awards, portfolio pieces, jobs, and published papers. The winner is the person who has the most points at the end of the game.

The play
Players begin in one of the four 540 squares situated on the corners of the board. High roll of the die determines who goes first. Play then proceeds clockwise. Players roll the die and move the indicated number of spaces in any direction. The squares in the outer circle represent all the classes that are offered in the department for completion of the master' s. Classes are added to the checklist when a player lands on it. Players must have ten classes before they begin to collect the final requirements for graduation as represented by the spokes on the game board. The spokes represent the different ways in which a student can complete their master's.

Here is what the basic layout for the board looks like:


Chance cards
Chance cards can be either positive or negative. Players can gain awards, scholarships, classes, etc. They can also lose these things. If a player gains a class through a chance card, they choose a class they want and move their piece to any square on the board that represents that class. If a player loses a class through a chance card, they erase it from their checklist.

Here is a sample of what the chance cards look like:

Points
Points are awarded in the following amounts and tracked on the checklist: Money- 3 points Scholarships- 4 points Awards- 6 points Portfolio Pieces- 5 points Publish/Present Paper- 6 points Contacts- 4 points Points are totaled at the end of the game. Any player who finishes before the others, gets one point per turn in experience points until the rest of the players finish.

Finishing the game
When all players have reached the graduation circle, points are totaled and the player with the most points is the winner.

Here is what the checklist looks like:

top of page


References
Morris, M. (1995). HTML for Fun and Profit. Mountain View, CA: SunSoft Press.

Lemay, L. (1995). Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML in a Week. Indianapolis, IN: Sams Publishing.

top of page


Last updated by Denis Angleton , Jeffery Mandrake and Stacy Gomes on October 19, 1995.

Return to the Board Game Table of Contents.