See de tea


by Bob Hoffman

Bob is a recent graduate of the EDTEC program and is now enrolled in the joint doctoral program in multicultural education. He has a stuffed dog named Ferlin.


Instructional objective Given a learning objective, the learner will be able to classify it in terms of the content/performance matrix.

Learners/Context The learners are graduate students in Educational Technology 544, Instructional Design. At the time they are playing See de tea they are being introduced to Component Display Theory (CDT) and related concepts.

The students have received a presentation and notes defining fact, concept, principle, procedure, remember, use, and find, and explaining the matrix those concepts define. See de tea serves as a practice for understanding the classification of objectives within the matrix.

Rationale Classification of almost any kind seems to lend itself to practice using card games. Solitaire and Poker/Rummy class games are particularly well suited to this purpose; I chose the latter to introduce some friendly intra-student competition. Since the knowledge being practiced is in the form of a matrix, the play configuration can imitate the form, providing elegance and further processing of the "to-be-learned" material.

Rules The game is similar in several ways to Rummy.

The dealer :Each player draws an "objective" card from the deck to determine the dealer. If a "kind" or "level" card is drawn, it is returned to the middle of the deck. A card with a "Principle" objective wins over a "Procedure," which wins over "Concept," which wins over "Fact." In case of a tie for winner, a runoff drawing is conducted between the tied players.

Dealing The dealer shuffles the deck (including "kind," "level," and "objective" cards) and deals five cards to each player, beginning with the player on her left. The remaining cards are placed face down in a "draw" pile in the center of the table. The top card is turned face up as a separate "discard" pile beside the "draw" pile.

Beginning play Play begins with the person to the left of the dealer and proceeds clockwise.

Each turn To begin a turn, the player must draw a card from the top of either the "draw" or "discard" piles. If no play is made, one card must be discarded face up on top of the "discard" pile at the end of the turn.

To play To make a play, the player must hold a minimum of three cards that fit together in the matrix. These may be any combination of "kind," "level," or "objective" cards. For example, three "objective" cards of the same kind or type, two fact "objective" cards and a "FACT" card, or a remember fact "objective" card with a "REMEMBER" card and a "FACT" card. After three cards have been laid down, any related card can be added to the set. To begin another set, a minimum of three cards is required.

Scoring When the "draw" pile is used up, the round is over. Each player counts the number of "objective" cards they have played (do not count "kind" or "level" cards) and receives 1 point for each. Players with "objective" cards remaining in their hands must subtract 1 point for each.

Card and Deck design * 16 "kind" cards (3 each: Fact, Concept, Procedure, Principle)

* 12 "level" cards (3 each: Remember, Use, Find)

* 33 "objective" cards

Typical cards are pictured below.



Design process I began with the idea of the matrix as the way in which the cards should be played. I then designed appropriate cards and formulated the rules by which they could be played. The design of the cards and rules were premised on the idea that in order to make a play, the player must "process" the categorization in terms of the matrix.

I rejected solitaire because of the complexity of the subject matter, with the idea that players could check each others' "plays" in the hope of finding them wrong. The competition could enhance the processing.

Another idea was to deal all the cards at once. This, however, would have proven too cumbersome and overwhelming to players. By having only five cards in their hand at a time, players can remember what they have, and know what to discard (reject in the categorization they are building) or play.