How can the creation of digital games encourage students to think critically about their world?
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study:
This residency is an introduction to the art of simple game design through the creation of digital text adventure and maze games. Students, working in teams of two, will explore game elements and try their hand at creating a simple digital game. Two teaching artists will walk the students through the creation of an original digital game using the Scratch 2D software developed by MIT.
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?:
To assist Young Audiences National in the development of an online arts-integrated content database which can be used by other affiliates throughout the network. The hope is that with this information, other affiliates can build on our work and improve the program.
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?:
Documenting a project of this size requires the assistance of the teacher and the teaching artist. As administrators, we were not able to be in the classroom for every moment of the residency, and relied upon our project partners to assist in gathering documentation. The teaching artist took photos and saved screen shots of the game images. The teacher sent along the files of the simple games created by students. When teachers are more invested in the project, the amount and quality of the documentation they gather is much better.
What conclusions have you drawn from the responses to the assessment tools you have developed?:
An assessment tool was developed in conjunction with the administration at one of the partner schools. They were particularly interested in assessing their students' technology skills, and their chosen game theme was bullying, so they wanted to assess their students' knowledge of bullying. The assessment tool was a survey for the students. Unfortunately, very few students completed and returned the survey. Many said they lost it, a few turned in ruined copies. Overall, in the future, it may be more helpful to have teachers and teaching artists assess students using a rubric, rather than letting students self-assess.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?:
By helping students fully understand the various components in a game or challenge, and how those components can be manipulated to make a more challenging or innovative game, we are pushing students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be applied to the structures and rules that surround them in their everyday lives.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?:
In this project, the most impactful portion of the residency occurred when students were asked to dissect the existing rules and objectives of a known non-digital game, change those rules, and then play the game with the newly developed rules. None of this required the use of the computer. Once computers and software were introduced, the residency became more about showing the students the functionality and mechanics of the software being used. Students thought critically about the components of gameplay. They then had the opportunity to create their own original game. However, lack of time became a major challenge, so many of the games only extend to one level of gameplay.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?:
This project requires a significant amount of classroom time in order for students to create an original digital game. Perhaps breaking the residency into smaller projects may work better. For instance, allowing students to explore game theory through a non-digital residency first, to solidify the concepts of rules, objectives, rewards, and winning. Then a secondary residency focused primarily on game software training and functionality, to teach students the basic mechanics and limitations of the software.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?:
This will inform the residency scheduling process moving forward. Expectations of outcomes will be reassessed based on resources and time available to complete a given game design project. Sessions will be focused to ensure that students are receiving the most important content in the limited amount of time they have during a residency.
Core Content Standards
Use appropriate tools strategically
Look for and make use of structure
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Production and Distribution of Writing
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Knowledge of Language
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Science / Dimension 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Developing and using models
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Science / Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts That Have Common Applications Across Fields:
Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation
Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
Science / Dimension 3: Core Ideas In Four Disciplinary Areas / Engineering, Technology, and the Applications of Science:
Links among engineering, technology, science, and society
21st Century Learning Skills
Learning and Innovation / Creativity and Innovation:
Work Creatively with Others
Learning and Innovation / Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:
Make Judgments and Decisions
Learning and Innovation / Communication and Collaboration:
Collaborate with Others
Information, Media and Technology / Information Literacy:
Use and Manage Information
Information, Media and Technology / Media Literacy:
Create Media Products
Information, Media and Technology / ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) Literacy:
Apply Technology Effectively
Life and Career / Initiative and Self-Direction:
Manage Goals and Time
Life and Career / Leadership and Responsiblity:
National Core Arts Standards
National Core Arts Standards: