vendredi 16 décembre 2016

Teacher pioneers : Using Role-Playing Game Creation in Teaching [2 chapters]

Hergenrader, W. T. (2017). Immersive Learning—Using Role-Playing Games to Teach Creative Writing, Literature, and History. In C. Williams-Pierce (Ed.), Teacher pioneers. Visions from the Edge of the Map (pp. 54–69). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.

The author describes his experience of teaching creative writing through RPG because it provides a situated and embodied experience (which mean deep learning, says J.P. Gee). Situated = learning  within a context. Embodied = experiencing something directly (in person or via an avatar).

A 6-steps framework to design your own teaching experience with RPG is detailed.

Conclusions:
  • RPGs are good for collaborative classroom projects
  • Our world and RPG worlds are complex and follow rules. RPG rules have to be made explicit. « The goal is not to create a world for play, but rather to lay bare the workings of a world through rules. Expressing these rules through a combination of numbers and words presents a unique challenge for students, who must work together to create a coherent and consistent model through debate and compromise. »
  • Quantify and qualify the informations/rules created
  • Taking decisions based on rules previously created and detailed
  • RPGs are modular: so the teaching is like a toolbox
  • Experience another personality going through social forces, and how social force are changing
 * * *

Glazer, K. (2017). Beyond Gameplay—Using Role-Playing Game Creation to Teach Beowulf in a High School English Class. In C. Williams-Pierce (Ed.), Teacher pioneers. Visions from the Edge of the Map (pp. 43–53). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.
The teacher asked school students (grade 11-12) to create a role-playing game based on a literature fiction book (Beowulf, then 1984, then Frankenstein). Students were so enthousiastic they wanted to combine it with other fictions (« they wanted to do more work than was asked of them »).
The students had to :
  1. create the game: historical and geographical research, create a board for the game (a good assessment tool to check if they understood the entire story), write possible adventures for the characters they created and design their own rules of the game.
  2. play the game : « At first, boys who were used to volunteering for leadership roles were tasked to run the game; however, many groups soon realized that it was better to have a gamemaster who was skilled in storytelling. As a result, many of female students ended up taking over as gamemasters, which led to an opportunity for them to demonstrate their leadership skills. »
The students enjoyed to use their imagination. Some complained about the time consuming of the process because they had high self-standards of quality. Playing in the fiction made them experiment what the characters felt. Creating their own game put them in control as builders of their future not passive receivers.

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