This post is a final reflective piece pulling together your thoughts on the project process and outcomes. It is intended as to support students in thinking about their own learning and evaluating their contributions. I have divided this post into several categories.
Context of this project
As you start to address what is needed in this project you can draw on these reports on computing and schools in a UK context.
Evaluation of our process
The key moment of sucess so far has been the way we came together to adapt our plan on the day of the half term workshop. I’m sure each of you have reflections about the good parts of this intervention. Rukia and I made some notes on a debrief of this session which are here, and George’s blog post is here.
It feels to me that this is an area that really needs to be more developed by you as individuals and which would suit more regular group meetings to deepen our individual reflections through group discussions. Questions that arise and thoughts on the process can then be enriched by our readings around the area. Some questions that have come up are:
- Using activities around Game Making has a lot of potential to encourage interesting collaboration between young people and parents. How does this kind of learning differ from a traditional instruction based approach to learning a skill?
- How much should we step in and get involved in steering group work once it is set up and how much should we step back and trust the motivating nature of the activities?
- How can we best use materials to support our aims?
- In creating the rules of a game and discussing how the parts interact, young people and parents are learning useful skills about systems thinking and the mechanics of game making. How can this be best supported by our interventions?
- How can we get parents more involved? What is the best way to do this? When are parents a barrier to the process of young people and when are they are advantage? What other parallel activities would help build a family cuture of learning around making games?
Related readings and research
I’ve collated the following links to add to the exising blog posts to guide our learning:
- Issues of learner control – how much are we guiding the learners and how much are we letting them take control of what they are doing. This links to foundational educational theory of constructivism and application in Project Based Learning
- The use of materials, textiles and making elements all contribute to a rich learning environment which supports a constructionist approach and other related learning design principles – thus the work of S Papert and M Resnick are very helpful to us here
- The theory around Game mechanics and how best to create learning environments to support “21st Century” skills is explored in the work of Katie Salen and Robert Torres, in particular in this report on Quest to Learn programme.
- The attraction for educators to use the playing and making video games is linked to the on going popularity as a family activity. There is some interesting reading about this in the areas of Intergernerational or Family Learning here, here and here.
It feels to me that we have just stratched the surface with our approach to this area. I would welcome more explorations in designs and activites to be planned by EdLab students.
I want to invite you to contribute to a teaching resource for game making that I am working on here. Depending on your level of involvement in the project so far, you may need to do this project to cover your required hours of project work and to give you the opportunity to apply the ideas behind this project to practice, or you may use this to deepen your understanding to build on your previous work.
In either case here is the challenge.
Create one or more 15-45 minute activity which supports the kind of work we have been doing. This should be based on your own hunches of what feels right and inspired by the readings you have been undertaken.
You should make some activity resources and write a plan that will allow a non-expert to deliver your session. You could imagine a volunteer in a code club, after school setting, or a parent at home as the person you are writing it for.
Share these resources and your plan in a blog post which can be linked to from the teaching resource for game making. This can be as images, word documents, powerpoint presentations or just as part of the blog post itself.
Get this to me as soon as you can and I will give you feedback on it and give you additional links to related theory which you can include in your EdLab work.
Recap on assessment
The following online resources address assessment
– This one is an overview of the assessment requirements of the unit
– This one talks about the common assessment that ALL the students will complete
– And this is an exemplar.
If you are doing a 30 credit version of the unit and need to complete an extra assessment here is the briefing: