"Play is the highest form of research." -Albert Einstein

Game-Based Learning Activites

Rebuilding Crimwell Village

A Lesson using MinecraftEdu

Crimwell Village is a town that was struck by a comet which wiped the memories of the townspeople. All of the books have been destroyed and various buildings have gone missing. The only objects left that can be read are signs and plaques on the wall that have simple phrases regarding judicial affairs and community ethics. Your job is to gather clues and help the people in the town establish a list of community laws, reprimands, and a code of ethics for everyone to live by, and then help them rebuild the lost buildings in their small government.

Lesson plan for the instructor, and worksheet guides for students, and .mcworld game file are available below.

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An interactive PowerPoint Game

Ahoy, Pirates!

Pirates have been the focus of fantasy and folklore for centuries, but how much of their true history shines through the stories? Learn about the pirate code, ship layout, and much more in this interactive PowerPoint game-based lesson.

First contact! 

 

Aliens from Planet Zebulon have shown up at your door asking you to help them with their galaxy wide scavenger hunt! Captain Gibbs and his companions have visited many different species in an effort to research the various famous or historical monuments that are unique to that planet. The captain’s child, Zimm, is around your age and wants to see what kind of remarkable structures exist on our world, and you are the lucky winner who gets to show off Earth! Using their transporter, you are able to travel the world and visit all the famous and historical monuments that you think Zimm should to see and learn about. Are you ready?

An historical "Choose your own adventure" game

AdventureSpace

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My Role

Project Description

The conception of Rebuilding Crimwell Village emerged in Fall 2019 during the Educational Games Design course where we were tasked as a team with finding and modifying an existing MinecraftEdu lesson. Originally A Stranger in Crimwell Village, the biome was very large, incomplete, and lacked all instructional and learning theory principles. As a team, we built individual lesson activities and divided them into 5 days of organized game play for middle school students. Rebuilding Crimwell Village is an immersive experience for the students learning about the judicial system, laws and consequences, and personal ethics. 

Learning Objectives

Students will demonstrate how to write and establish laws for a community.

Students will recognize why laws are necessary in a community. 

Students will distinguish how maintaining order and safety is essential.

Students will examine why enforcing the law is necessary.

Students will be able to explain what it means to be ethical.

Project Description

This artifact was created in a Multimedia Studio course during a project where we were to use technology to create an educational game. I'm very proud of this project even though it is not designed on a platform intended for educational games. Unfortunately, I was limited in resources so I made PowerPoint do a ton of stuff it didn't know it would love to do so well. Overall, I think this took me about 20 hours to create, and I guarantee you a solid 9 went into creating the background map that no one will bother looking at. The joys and struggles of being a creater ☺.

Target Audience

  • Middle School students to adults.
  • Useful for formal or informal educational settings.
  • Can be linked to the internet for easy access.
  • Easy to follow instruction and simple navigation.

This game became my baby after all the work I put into it, and admittedly I'm sad that it's no longer around. I was responsible for a vast majority of the narrative and story flow. I exercised creative writing skills I didn't even realize I possessed and had a blast in the process. I was challenged to write narratives from various points of view representing different personalities, as well as keeping the story interesting, entertaining, and properly intertwined between the different choices the player can make. I was the primary person for questions, changes, and suggestions to the project, and I ensured we had solid cohesive communication by use of a Google Doc for all necessary conversational needs. Overall, our game was very well received by our peers, and was awarded full marks on the project rubric.

My Role

Project Description

AdventureSpace was a group final project for an Educational Game Design class. Designed to be in a Choose Your Own Adventure format, the player gets to travel the world with an alien companion while learning about various historical monuments and landmarks. Initially designed with five levels consisting of the Pyramids of Giza, the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall of China, Mt. Fugi, and the Grand Canyon, however we only finished the first two. The original platform we were tasked to use as a liner story board (Twine) was adequate for a text-based self-paced game, however, we were instructed to transfer to Articulate Storyline to utilize more interactive features. Unfortunately, because of this change I no longer have access to this game for viewing. Furthermore, as a primarily text-based game, I do not have images to display either. However, I have included our team Game Conceptulization Worksheet which contains various important information to the development of this game.

Identifying the Need

Middle school teachers are tasked with many difficult challenges in certain subjects of their classrooms. Some of these challenges are:

  • Lack of teamwork, empathy, and support between students
  • Not enough time to plan with all their daily tasks
  • Excessive paperwork for data collection taking away from planning time
  • Applying a prescribed curriculum to all types of students
  • Students are not typically engaged with social studies.

During our time as a team, I assisted in writing the new story narrative, designing lesson activities, and making in-game revisions. Together we formed a well-functioning team due to our strong communication methods by using a shared Google Docs file in which we created our game design plans, lesson worksheet layouts, in-game modification needs, and general task related conversations. We each had our delegated roles to contribute equally to the project as it was presented at this time. 

 

In Spring 2020 I decided to make this game the focus of my Master's Evaluation Project, which has lead to many revisions from the class project version. I re-wrote the learning objectives to closer align with the princples of PBL which then required in-game modifications, the adaptation of new materials, and revisions to existing materials. Details of these revisions can be found in my Master's Project section of this portfolio.

Purpose

  • Educating the user about the interesting untold lives of pirates.
  • To present an alternate and accurate depiction of pirates as opposed to the 'Hollywood' representation.
  • To provide fun and memorable facts about pirates and their legacy.

Design Plan

  • Questions will route to a correct answer screen, and an incorrect answer screen to show instant feedback.
  • Storyboard layout to determine the order to deliver the content.
  • Originally, I intended this game to progress across the map as the user advances. However, this was out of PPT's limiations leading to delivery revisions.

Plot: First contact! We’ve made contact with Planet Zebulon and you’ve been tasked with showing them some of Earth’s most important historical landmarks.

 

Characters: The first character introduced is the main character, which is yourself. As the main character, the player is in control of the game and determining choices made. Other characters consist of the two aliens: Captain Gibbs and his child Zimm. Zimm is your travelling companion as you visit various historical monuments on Earth. Additional characters will present information in different locations of your choice as they are encountered.

 

Gameplay: Choose your own adventure. Single player and self-paced. 

 

Style: Free images and free sounds integrated with creative narrative text. If I had drawing skills, this would be a great game to deliver as a graphic novel.

 

Components: Twine and/or Articulate Storyline. Twine is free and easy to use, whereas Storyline requires licencing and webhosting. 

 

Personnel: Ideally, a creative writer, a programmer, an artist, an instructional designer, and a game designer (likely a SME). 

 

Design Plan

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