EDTC0560 Assignment 5: Edtech Enhancement Proposal

Enhancing the Fundamentals of Game Design and Development

Section 1: Background

For this proposal I choose the Fundamentals of Game Design and Development course offered as part of the Interactive Game Design program offered at Red River College. I designed and taught this course in 1999.

The course was delivered using the following methods:

  • Lecture and discussions in a classroom setting;
  • Gameplay in a networked computer lab followed by discussion and evaluation;
  • Student presentations on gameplay, player choice, and environment (area or level) design.

The course used the following technologies:

  • Computer and overhead projector;
  • Networked gameplay of Unreal Tournament and StarCraft in a computer lab;
  • Student presentations using in-game video capture to demonstrate gameplay, player choice and environment (area or level) design;
  • 3D animation software for environment development and character design.

Section 2: Rationale for Change

Game design and development, like other design and development disciplines, relies on team based, collaboration and development of Community of Practice in order to succeed. But the course was taught using a traditional pedagogical methodology, in which, learners worked on their own with little or no collaboration. Thus, the learning was neither situated nor real world or authentic.

The internet was in its infancy when I designed this course and there were few digital tools available to use. Many of the projects were developed by learners and tracked on paper. Teaching and sharing were limited by spatial and temporal contexts. Discussions and presentations were synchronous, unrecorded, face-to-face and limited to the confines of the teaching environments: classroom and computer lab.

The reimaging of this course involves integrating educational technologies to support a more constructivist pedagogical approach with a focus on new strategies, such as, collaboration, asynchronous communications, and development of communities.

The introduction of educational technologies will enhance the course and support the learning objectives.

  • Design within the framework of an overall narrative structure to create plots, subplots and gameplay for an area or level;
  • Evaluate and develop game design environments and area or level design;
  • Evaluate user choice, engagement and experience;
  • Collaborative development of an area or level design from initial design to working demo;
  • Manage the production of a level design, allocating resources and developing an effective and efficient schedule and milestone plan;
  • Employ professional skills and techniques used in the design, development and documentation of computer games.

Section 3: Proposed Enhancements

A platform is required for learners to post their reflections and evaluations of course materials, share their ideas digital artifacts, and invite comment and feedback from peers and the public in order to support critical inquiry. The platform will also operate as an ePortfolio allowing learners to manage and share their digital artifacts. The platform would also integrate well with social media such as Twitter. These activities satisfy these course learning objectives:

  • Design within the framework of an overall narrative structure to create plots, subplots and gameplay for an area or level;
  • Evaluate and develop game design environments and area or level design;
  • Evaluate user choice, engagement and experience.

I propose using WordPress, evaluated using the SECTIONS framework. Other tools considered were Weebly, Wix and Blogger.

A suite of tools is required for learners to develop Community of Practice. One tool would allow learners to manage their group projects and prototypes (i.e. builds), communicate across multiple platforms (mobile and browser), and use real world tools and skills. This tool would ideally integrate with other tools or apps that provide communications, mind mapping and conceptualization. These activities satisfy these course learning objectives:

  • Collaborative development of an area of level design from initial design to working demo;
  • Manage the production of a level design, allocating resources and developing an effective and efficient schedule and milestone plan;
  • Employ professional skills and techniques used in the design, development and documentation of computer games.

I propose using Trello, evaluated using the CSAM model. Although Trello offers a web based interface, I used CSAM for evaluation, as learners are likely to use Trello with mobile devices for the affordances of flexibility and access in class, at home and on the go. Other tools considered were Google Keep, Mural and Scribbler. 

Section 4: Recommendations

WordPress provides opportunities for learners to develop and participate in Community of Inquiry using blog posts, sharing to social media, inviting comments and feedback from peers and the public (i.e. leaders, mentors). WordPress is not a supported enterprise system, which allows students the freedom to maintain their ePortfolios after their studies to assist them in securing employment.

Trello provides opportunities for learning authentic, professional tools and skills. It also allows for collaborative, team based conceptualization development. Trello integrates well with other collaborative tools and apps and synchs across all devices. These are essential for the development of Community of Practice required for this discipline.

Section 5: References

Akcaoglu, M., & Kale, U. (2016). Teaching to Teach (With) Game Design: Game Design and Learning Workshops for Preservice Teachers. Retrieved from: http://www.citejournal.org/volume-16/issue-1-16/general/teaching-to-teach-with-game-design-game-design-and-learning-workshops-for-preservice-teachers/

Bates, A.W. (2014). The role of communities of practice in a digital age. Retrieved from: http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/10/01/the-role-of-communities-of-practice-in-a-digital-age/

Bates, A.W. (2015)Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Retrieved from: https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/

Byrd, K. (2017). How to Choose the Best Blog Sites & Platforms for Free Blog Basics. Retrieved from: http://blogbasics.com/free-blog-sites/

Garrison, Anderson, & Archer (2000) Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. Retrieved from: http://cde.athabascau.ca/coi_site/documents/Garrison_Anderson_Archer_Critical_Inquiry_model.pdf

Educause (2005). Community of Practice Design Guide: A Step-by-Step Guide for Designing & Cultivating Communities of Practice in Higher Education. Retrieved from: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/nli0531.pdf

Masuch, M. & Rueger, M. (2005). Challenges in collaborative game design developing learning environments for creating games. Retrieved from: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1419790/

Online Learning Insights (2014). How to Develop a Sense of Presence in Online and F2F Courses with Social Media. Retrieved from: https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/tag/community-of-inquiry-model/

Power, R. (2013), Collaborative situated active mobile (CSAM) learning strategies: A new perspective on effective mobile learning. Retrieved from: http://lthe.zu.ac.ae/index.php/lthehome/article/view/137

Sinnappan, S. & Zutshi, S. (2011). Using Microblogging to facilitate Community of Inquiry: An Australian tertiary experience. Retrieved from: http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/hobart11/downloads/papers/Sinnappan-full.pdf

Stewart, C. (2016). The 20 best tools for online collaboration. Retrieved from: http://www.creativebloq.com/design/online-collaboration-tools-912855

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