We are starting week 2 of Game Lab, and I can see a lot of frustration with not knowing where students are supposed to go and what they are supposed to do. My role has been to reach out to students and walk them through logging in. I only have a few students who have not logged into GameLab yet. I have a lot of students who have not finished their assignments in Brainhoney. I am wondering if there is another way that we can get students to acknowledge the Academic Honesty Contract and Pacing Guide. The idea of a handbook is a great idea. So far, I think we need to include the 3 sites, their purpose, the links, and where students get their login information aka how to log in. We need to include a part about discussion board expectations and then a part about submitting quests when they haven’t even done them. I have found a few students who have been submitting quests, but have not been completing the work. Also, another thought about giving points for viewing events. This has come up quite a bit with parents, so we need to make this a part of the discussion in the future. Another idea that I have is to make the Academic Honesty Contract, the Pacing Guide, and the Pre-Game Lab Survey a quest in Gamelab.
Game Lab is now officially halfway through the semester, so here is a running list of suggestions for future offerings of this course.
1) Use Brainhoney as an area to check grades, but don’t require students to go there.
2) Create the following new quests:
a. How to take a Screenshot
b. Pacing Guide
c. Academic Honesty Contract
d. Student Handbook Acknowledgement
3)Update the instructions for the latest version or indicate which version is being referred to in the video and they should offer the tutorials on a Mac and on a PC. *This has been a serious issue.
4)Create a Student Handbook and include
a. Guild Leaders names and email addresses or phone numbers
b. Pacing Guide
E. Academic Honesty Contract
F. Descriptions of Game Lab and the Guild Site
5) Bring guild leaders in house.
6) Run course for 18 Weeks.
7) Offer more options. I thought a game reviewer track was supposed to be offered, but it wasn’t.
I am so excited to be helping teach the 3D Game Lab course. I took the course while in college and I loved it. It is so exciting to see a school who is not afraid to venture out and try new things. So, far the pilot seems to be a success. Whenever I talk to students, they sound excited about the course and are sharing with me some of the things they are learning. On the down side, we have had a lot of tech issues, so here are some ideas for improving the launch of the course next time:
1) We need to improve the process in which students register for GameLab. We could give students their logins to Brainhoney, and then provide a link in the course to sign up for GameLab or send students an email to sign up. Many students had forgotten the gamertag that they picked at registration, and a lot of them didn’t remember if they chose one. I had a parent say that their school was a pain about getting kids signed up. We just need to make this process smoother somehow.
2) The Pacing Guide Assignment: As I am going through and correcting these, I am seeing that students don’t know what they are supposed to do with this assignment. We need to make the assignment clearer and maybe even model it in a session.
3) It is too difficult to have 3 different areas that students need to login to. We need to create a webpage where students can have access to all three links or something to that effect. We definitely need to include a description, a link, and instructions on how to obtain their usernames and passwords and how to login.