08 October 2010

Keeping it pointless

Can a class ever be a game?

I’ve often tried to take lessons from gaming and apply them to teaching (or at least, thinking about teaching). This thought-provoking presentation, which I discovered via Julie Dirksen’s Usable Learning blog, suggests that this might be impossible.

You’ll have to see this one full screen to read the comments at the bottom, but it is worth it.

In addition to the points raised in the presentation, social norms may be just too entrenched for students to ever accept an instructor’s invitation to play, rather than play along.

As a bonus, check out this interview with game designer Kellee Santiago, to see why she thinks the GRE is a good example of applying gaming strategy.

1 comment:

Girlpostdoc said...

To answer the question posed at the beginning. I'd say, "yes" if you were teaching game theory or basic evolutionary theory.

In the first case, with game theory, the main lesson is a zero sum game. There is a total number of marks and any marks that one person earned meant fewer marks for another student in the class. This should result with on average everyone having the chance to get 70.

Alternatively, you could teach them about relative fitness using their marks. As long as you get the highest mark, you get a hundred percent and then everyone else gets scaled by you.

This could prove interesting don't you think?