Essential Question: What is the rationale for the evaluation tool your group created to allow teachers to determine the use of serious games in the classroom?
If for nothing else this week, may I at least serve as a cautionary tale of the importance of hitting the “Save” button! I was merrily writing away in my groups’ wiki, thinking I was making a great contribution, only to have my delight dashed away by the realization that I saved nothing! When I went back to redo it, I realized that I could hardly remember everything that I had previously stated. Talk about frustrating! I’m just thankful that most word publishing software have auto-save functions built in, because I have done this before with a 15 page thesis. I guess when you have a multi-editing platform like Wikispaces, that’s not really possible… yet. So everybody! Rock that Save button!
While I might not have been able to contribute to my groups’ rubric with my brilliant take on Problem Solving, I did look into the Utility of the game. We of course have the main ideas behind the goals we wish to achieve with the users (our modern students). Are they critically thinking? Is the story engaging? Is the game building skills as it advances? Is the game itself engaging? And what does it take to actually get into the game? Is it high or low cost as far as subscription and equipment? My contribution was questioning the game play itself. Are the controls simple enough to begin getting into the meat of the experience? Or do you have to read an entire manual just to learn how to move forward? In my opinion, it’s games that you can just jump right into that are the best… and you want to look cool while doing it!
It’s important to ask these questions before we set our students on this project, because no one has a more critical eye than a teenager! And this is meant to make them engage in higher thinking. Engagement is one of the most important key elements in learning, and a teacher cannot hope to obtain that with a sub-par product. I think serious games are worth the consideration because they are a way for the user to experience a scenario without it becoming a reality. And for most scenarios we want students to consider, we hope to elicit thinking in how to avoid those situations.