Musings and findings about teaching with games. Created by the learning community of EDTEC 670 at San Diego State University.
I've had a fascination for those older computer games that I was able to play on my old Apple II. This is Alter Ego, originally created by Peter Favaro and published in 1986 for the Commodore-64, MS-DOS, Macintosh, and of course Apple II and has evolved thru various versions.
While doing the e-game design, I learned quite a bit about the Unity game engine (and its price tag). I wondered if there was a web site out there that compared all of the game engines available. After browsing the web, I found this web site:
The process of starting and running a small business is a complex task suitable for simulation by board or online games. The players seek a desired change of state (no business to profitable business) by following a specific set of tasks. The environment includes competition and risk, and is an area that is relevent and interesting to many individuals.
The content and the development of the simulation are very attractive. The background information is good and the game layout is eye catching, however the complex interaction of variables whose behavior is not made explicit can demotivate. Importantly, I really did not feel I was actually learning the content i.e. how to make a PVC industry profitable but green at the same time. I felt I performed actions almost unconciously, which sometimes had positive results, but other times negative, in other words, I did not receive feedback of how my actions improved or made worse my situation within the simulatio.
To conclude, the game is obviously a business simulation game. In order to make decision making more strategic and satisfying, the player needs to understand better what the stakes are. For students who are not business orientated, we need some pre coaching on what makes a business and a sustainable one profitable.
I came across this post from the Educational Games Research blog and thought it would be fitting to share.
I stumbled across this interesting website that discusses games, simulations, and virtual worlds used for public health applications, sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Distance Education (CADE).
I found this site to be very interesting. The overview game a brief introduction of a land that is corrupt and dangerous. The game is suppose to teach high school students how to write investigative stories that portray the true events of the situation while exposing them to a different culture and global conflict. The game is a 3D role-playing game used to teach players different situations occurring in Latin America.The game is divided into five operations so players can choose the most relevant topics and make the game applicable to them. The interesting part about the game is it is based on true stories from teachers,students and subject matter experts who have experienced these situations. The game not only teaches students about global conflict in Latin America, but it includes geography, history, and current events. Here is the web site http://www.globalconflicts.eu/gcla/teaching.php . The sample picture would not load for some reason, but check out the web site for more information.
Labels: Global Conflicts
The Defense of Hidgeon is a web-based board game developed to teach research skills to incoming students at the University of Michigan. It is profiled in the article "The Effectiveness of a Web-based Board Game for Teaching Undergraduate Students Information Literacy Concepts and Skill," in D-Lib magazine.
How do you explain Nobel Prize winning work? How about with a simulation style game! The good folks at NobelPrize.org have done just that, as part of their Education Games series, previously featured on this blog. This post will focus on the economic game, called Trade, which is modeled upon the Heckscher-Ohlin theory of goods and services. The into screen invites the player to read up on the theory itself, which being a good gamer I ignored (to my peril, as I was to discover).
I came across this game when I was looking at the Wikipedia page on Serious Games. This game, actually published by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), is decidedly serious. The player must distribute food to a country that has been stricken by drought , due to natural and man-made causes. Ideally, the country will not only recover, but also regain self-sufficiency. While playing Food Force, the player learns about what the WFP's mission is, as well as how prevalent the problem of world hunger is.
I had the pleasure of attending the Elearning Guild's DevLearn 08 conference in San Jose, CA last month. Serious games were a serious topic at the conference. While my interests were broad, I did attend a few of the many available sessions on learning through simulations and games. Here are a few of the learning points that resonated with me.
A lifetime ago I participated as a cadet for three years in Air Force ROTC. Though I did not go through with earning my commission as an Air Force officer upon graduation from UCLA, I still have fond memories of my experiences with military training. Twenty years later, although separated by many miles and separate lives, I've maintained contact with friends from my Air Force ROTC days. It's interesting to note that the company I work for is currently seeking to develop business relationships with the Air Force's Air Education and Training Command (AETC), specifically exploring their training needs for Airmen.
TruSim is developing a serious game for the purpose of training health care workers that are the first responders in the case of a violent disaster. The gamer interacts with a three dimensional environment where the camera views the world through the eyes of the first responder. As the player walks through the world, they encounter debris, injured people with visible wounds of various types, etc. The graphics and imagery are realistic enough to make the squeamish uncomfortable as they move through the environment.
I found this game while I was researching competitive games for the one I am creating for my e-game. The game has come up with a lot of realistic experiences the students in a high school will go through. I plan to allow my freshmen to try it out!!!
Each of your students is a unique individual, with his or her own likes, dislikes, and feelings. Your students get better or worse at things like academics, sports, and art depending on how much time they spend doing them.
The right frame of every screen contains the image below. The number of points earned is listed at the top (1) and below is a map of the school (2) showing the four rooms utilized. Next, there are horizontal bar graphs (3) noting the levels of academics, athletics, artistic ability and happiness. Lastly, there are comments on what the student is thinking (4) and details about the student (5) that is currently selected.
Different things make different students happy. Doing things they like will make students happy and when they have to do things they don't like, they'll get sad.
Your students will decide what to do if you don't give them any orders. They decide what to do next based on what they think about things and how they're feeling.
Students will look for someone to talk to when they feel like socializing.
Studying at the library makes their grades go up, playing basketball at the gym makes them better at sports, and painting in the art room improves their creativity. Each student has activities they like and ones they don't.
FRIENDS AND DATING
Your students make friends by talking with other students. If students have a lot in common, they'll start liking each other more and eventually become friends.
After a while a student might develop a crush on another student if they like someone enough. If they work up the nerve to ask their crush out, the two students will start dating if the other person feels the same way. If not, the person with the crush will get rejected and will end up having a pretty bad day.
The Cafeteria is where students each lunch everyday, all at the same time:
This screen lets you customize your student and learn more about him or her.
The journal lets you read your student's innermost thoughts. They'll write about how their day has gone and what they think about other students.
This lets you check out how your student is doing at school, and will show what they need to be spending their time on.
This readout lets you see the student's happiness level over the past 5 days.
Give Crush Button
If you have enough points, click this button to give the student a crush on another student.
Give Body Odor Button
Make your student smell so bad no one will want to be anywhere near them. The effects last one day and will cost you 100 points.
Buy your student one of these items if you think they could use a boost in a certain area. Students can have only one item at a time:
Click here to cycle through different styles of clothing. Changing a student's outfit will cost 250 points.
A small Seattle-based company called Sabi has recently teamed up with Microsoft to develop an interactive drawing/reading program called Itzabitza for the Microsoft platform. The game is unique because of its ability to recognize drawings and create interactions with the drawings that have been created.
I came across this game when I ordered a book through Amazon, as a simple way to teach basic accounting.
Labels: lemonade stand