Online College Course Turned into a Game

David Wiley says that teachers can learn a lot from online video games — the kind where players pretend to be orcs and wizards and work together in teams to slay dragons….Mr. Wiley will invite students who sign up for his spring course (which is about online teaching methods) to be an artisan, a bard, a merchant, or a monk and go on learning “quests” together.

Although he’s using a game metaphor, Mr. Wiley says that dividing students up into teams and asking them to work on group projects are time-tested teaching techniques — ones that the best video games happen to make use of. “If you reverse-engineer a popular multiplayer game, they’ve somehow encoded all these things about what good learning ought to look like,” he argues….And Mr. Wiley is inviting anyone to play along. Although only students at Brigham Young who enroll and pay for the course will get official credit, Mr. Wiley is inviting anyone else to participate informally free.

….When asked whether the playful approach might somehow dumb down the learning experience, Mr. Wiley defended the course. “I challenge you to find a meatier class in terms of the kind of skills students have to develop and the kind of project they have to pull off in the end,” he said. (Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

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