Jeff and Mark are hardworking EDTEC students who use their Instructional Design knowledge in their current careers.
Bodylink attempts to help students learn to integrate their
knowledge of the various components of human physiology.
These components, body parts, body systems, and body
processes are often taught as independent units. In reality,
they comprise an intricate pattern of interlocking
relationships. No single entity stands alone. Instead, each
entity has a multitude of connections to other entities and
systems. The game is designed to graphically display this
web of relationships. Body parts are linked to related body
processes, grouped with common system entities, and
connected to other body parts. Body Group challenges the
player to categorize entities into groups, and to link those
entities with related groups. This understanding of
component relationships accurately, if not simplisticly,
reflects the nature of human physiology. By gaining this
understanding of the larger systems picture, the learner may
also be able to transfer this thinking to the many other
physical and social systems that are a part of our
with several parents and individuals in the health field, it
was decided that the appropriate learners would be high
school students currently taking a course in Human
This game is designed to be a supplemental exercise. Two biology text books and a registered nurse were used to check the correctness of the content.
APPROPRIATENESS OF A BOARD GAME
A board game
is an appropriate format for this subject for several
By laying out the tiles within the various relationships, intricate patterns of interlocking relationships begin to form. The Group tiles (being a separate color) constantly reinforce these relationships.
The boardgame format allows for competition which should increase motivation and the time spent on the task.
HOW TO PLAY
Players attempt to gain points
by grouping together tiles of body parts and body activities
according to physiological relationships. The tiles are of
two types: Play Tiles and Group Tiles. Play Tiles identify a
body part or a body activity (e.g. brain, muscle
contraction). There are only three types of Group Tiles:
SYSTEM, CONNECTED TO, and PROCESS. These Group Tiles (in
blue) identify the relationship between the Play Tiles in
one of three ways:
Players attempt to place
together a string of Play Tiles that belong to the same
group. The Group Tile that identifies the type of group
(System, Connected To, Process) must also be placed at one
end of the string. See Relationship Groups below for a
complete list of the acceptable groupings.
Two to four players can play.
Tiles are laid out face down. All players select 7 Play Tiles and 2 Group Tiles. The first player must lay down a Group Tile and at least two Play Tiles that belong with that Group. A sample play might be "CONNECTED TO-heart-artery-capillary". The Group Tile, is placed on the center square with the Play Tiles branching off on any one side. Subsequent plays can be made in one of three ways.
If a player cannot make a play,
they can trade in any number of Play or Group Tiles for new
ones, but they lose a turn. After making a play, the player
replaces their Play and Group Tiles so as to maintain 7 and
2 respectively. A player can challenge a play if in doubt of
its accuracy. If the play is correct, the challenger will
lose a turn, if the play is incorrect, the challenger gains
10 points and the player loses a turn. Play continues until
no more plays are possible. This will normally take between
one and one half hours. The player with the highest score
Adding a new Group Tile
are three ways a player can add a new Group tile to the
Points are gained according to how many tiles are played at
one time: the larger the group of tiles, the more points
achieved. Scoring is as follows:
1 Play Tile: 1 point
2 Play Tiles: 5 points
3 Play Tiles: 10 points
4 Play Tiles: 15 points
5 Play Tiles: 20 points
6 Play Tiles: 25 points
7 Play Tiles: 30 points
All Group Tiles: 5 points (except on the opening play where it is worth zero points)
Scoring for a sample play of PROCESS-nerve firing-muscle
contraction-bone movement would be
5 points for the Process Group TileWhen any part of a play lands on a Double Score or Triple Score, the total score for that play is doubled or tripled accordingly.
15 points for the 3 Play Tiles
for a total of 20 points.
Part of a System (SYSTEM
|Circulation System||Nervous System||Respiratory System|
|heart||associative nerve||broncial tube|
Connected To (CONNECTED TO GROUP)
When using this
Group Tile, the following Play Tiles must be laid down in
the sequence shown or in reverse. Any portion of the
sequence is playable.
nostril-pharynx-larynx-trachea-bronchial tube-lung-alveolusPart of a Process (PROCESS GROUP)
brain-spinal cord-sensory nerve-sense organ
brain-spinal cord-sensory nerve-associative nerve-motor nerve-muscle
brain-spinal cord-motor nerve-muscle
brain-spinal cord-motor nerve-associative nerve-sensory nerve-sense organ
heart-artery-capillary-[any body part tile]
heart-vein-capillary-[any body part tile]
The Process Group requires the use of the
body activity Play Tiles. These activities can be grouped to
create three different body processes. Although these events
do occur in a sequence, it is not necessary to play these
tiles in sequence. One cannot however, duplicate an activity
tile when creating a process grouping.
|Breath Process||Cellular Respiration Process||Bone Movement Process|
|brain signal||capillary action||brain signal|
|nerve firing||gas exchange||nerve firing|
|muscle contracts||nutrient exchange||muscle contraction|
|lungs expand||waste exchange||muscle relaxation|
All body activity tiles also
include the name of the body part that belongs with that
activity. For instance, the "gas exchange" tile also states
"capillary" below the event.
nerve firing, capillary action,
muscle contraction, muscle relaxation : 6 of each
all other Play Tiles: 3 of each
all Group Tiles: 5 of each
The original board design was
based on the 15 X 15 space Scrabble board. After several
games, it became apparent that a larger board would allow
for higher point plays. The final board has 19 rows and
columns. Bonus spaces were also introduce to increase the
"fun" of playing by increasing potential strategies and
higher point plays.
The tiles were designed to be easily read, and comfortably handle. In the finished product, the tiles will have graphics and racks will be provided to help keep the playing tiles orderly.
This game evovled from an idea
that the dynamic relationships between objects and processes
could be reinforced through the use of a board game. The
original idea was to use the various biological systems of
the human body. We felt it would be easy to show the
multiple interlocking relationships that exist between
functions, physical relationships, and the actions of human
body parts. This proved to be too big of a job for one board
game so we limited our components to the respiratory and
circulatory systems of the human body. As we field tested
our prototypes, other problems became apparent. Our first
attempt found still too many categories and not enough
pieces in each group. This made it difficult to make bigger
point plays. We narrowed our groups down to three per
category and added new parts to the various groups. We also
made the body activity tiles capable of branching by listing the
associated body parts with each event of a process. With these
changes it became easier to make longer plays, and the
players began having more "fun".
The description and rules also went through several revisions. What seemed to make sense to us was nonsense to our "learners". Part of the problem arose from the fact that our test learners had not had any recent exposure to the subject matter. The game also requires significant up front understanding in order to play. The player must understand the idea of grouping tiles together nad how to link different groups together.