As I’m reading through the literature, I continue to find references to ARGOSI as a successful ARG designed to help students through orientation, which also publishes their information! SCORE!
When we originally designed Jack-the-Symposium, we designed the quests to help students explore our Undergraduate Videogame Symposium. Anticipating (correctly) that this symposium was the first academic conference many of these students had attended, and with the cross-disciplinary presenters and attenders, we needed a way to show students how to be Symposium Attendees (with all the rights and responsibilities afforded by that title). We designed a game to assist students with attending panels, interacting with peers, interacting with peers from other majors, and interacting with symposium organizers, to help walk them through the symposium. While not everyone played, the game was a success, and our approach meaningful. When we presented at PHX Comicon pushing the determine your learning goals then design your game idea, the attendees (teachers, students, dungeon masters, and many more) left with ideas for designing learning in their own contexts.
So now we want to take the game to a higher level. What we learned through various presentations and discussions and department orientations was many people like the idea of a videogame symposium, and understand at a high level that the focus is not A videogame, but what videogames tell us about learning. HOWEVER they don’t know how to talk to their students about these ideas. So as I began creating learning material to help faculty and staff, i started realizing that students may not know these ideas either. While all parties affiliated with the university have access to research databases, they don’t necessarily know what they’re looking for.
This is where our JtS game is now headed, and why i’m overly concerned with learning goals and learning objectives, and the deliverables found in missions and quests to meet those goals and the design of the game that allows exploration of the learning principles, and the design of the technology that hosts the game to further help students with these ideas. So while I’m used to designing learning objectives in course settings, I typically then assign an article, or book, begin class discussion to lead students through learning, then assign various writing assignments to allow at-home written exploration of those objectives. None of these ideas work in-games. They sound boring, and fun games are hard, not boring. So what verbs lead to strong learning objectives that I can attach missions and quests to that will show learning deliverables?