In just 6 throws of the dice: Digicoach the Game

Hi Judith, (Hi Jane, I hope),

It only took 6 steps before they did it! Digicoach the Game has hit the jackpot!

Throw a six: Be inspired

Inspired by the games I played with my students since I took up teaching in 2007. Inspired by the TED talk of Jane McGonigal, inspired by her book “Reality is Broken”, inspired by lot of games played in education throughout the recent history of Zuyd University of Applied Science. I experimented with gaming in education a lot. But this always was within my own course, with my own students. I was inspired but surely not the only one to be inspired?

Throw a five: Do some inspiration

I knew Ankie van den Broek since several years. She is an educationalist working at the Teacher Training Institute at our Zuyd University of Applied Science. She is a true innovator! Searching for new stuff, trying new stuff, but not only within her own courses, she also is trying to convince her students, the teachers of the future (K12) that they should be more aware of technology, of innovating educational techniques and of involving other areas (like gaming) into their lessons. Talking to her is always great and it was easy to give some of my inspiration to her.

Throw a four: Not only talk but also try

Ankie has a ‘minor’ (10 weeks part-time course) which is called Digicoach. The aim of the minor is to teach the students what 21th century skills are, what innovation is, to show them around in social media and new technologies and to train them how to coach their peers in their future workfield. An inspiring minor with far too less participants. Young students at the Teacher Training Institute aren’t fully aware of the future potential of this minor.

Ankie and I decided that gamification and serious gaming should be part of her course. So I gave a few lectures, I showed the TED talk of Jane and got the students awake and aware of the potential of gaming as an educational tool. We even had a game-day were two teams of students competed against each other in imagining building the most inspiring educational game with the help of Tablets or mobile phones. The winning teams product would be developed by a group of Software Engineering students. [It is off topic now, but a demo of Game On to Play Out was built, by our Software Engineering students. I will talk about it in an other blog]

Students found it a great experience, but the actual result was approximately a year after the students finished their course and because of busy working schedules only one of the ‘great minds’ behind the product was actually at the presentation of the demo.

Throw a three: Take the next step

In the next run, a bigger game was presented to the students. Half of the tasks which they had to perform during the course were presented in a game called SoMeGa or SΩ (The Social Media Game) I have even written about that Game in English: It was great to play. The students had several roles and they had to use Social Media to communicate about tasks they had to execute. But there also was some roleplaying going on. Some of them had to ‘pretend’ to be a student from another institute just to create more buzz online on their blogs, twitters and facebookpages. We experienced that the quests were fun, but that we, as game leaders, couldn’t keep up with the inspired students, because of our other tasks we had to do. This decreased the speed of occurring new quests or new scores too much and the students lost interest in the game.

Throw a two: Learn from  your mistakes and make some new mistakes in stead. Immerse yourselves.

In the next run of Digicoach we made the entire minor a game.

‘Digicoach the game’ let’s you experience the power of new media, techonology enhancement and knowledge sharing within your workdomain. First started as a game within the world of the Teacher Training Institute now intended to broaden the workdomain.

In 30 quests students are inspired to build up and share their new found knowledge about technology enhancement and new media in their workfield. There are 10 individual quests, 10 quests where a team of students is a pseudo consultancy company, and 10 quests on a network on one of technology enhancement or new media topics.

Points can be scored on: technology, communication, creativity, special and ‘regular’ questpoints. Players are playing in 2 teams with different partners (company and network) and for themselves in individual quests. The ultimate challenge is a small conference where everyone is involved and experts from the workfield are invited.

In our run in the fall of 2012 we experienced that student involvement is very high. These students participate while executing an internship at local schools. Every second week they have to participate in our course where the game is played. Students can score points on several elements (creativity, technology, communication, special and ‘questlists’). For each quest we communicate when you score points on the different elements. In our fall 2012 run we experienced that these way of scoring was too much to handle for the gamemasters (teachers) that had to assess the students. With 3 teachers we didn’t had the time to view all material we asked for in the quests. Second mistake was that there were too much different attributes to get points on per quest. The feedback system was too complex to fill in and too complex represented to have a great view as a player where you are ranked.

Great bonus of the game was the final day where students inspired their own teachers in the field of technology enhanced learning. Colleagues of Ankie, management of the Teachers Training Institute and other visitors were surprised and inspired by the students that presented great material in a miniature conference on Technology Enhanced Learning.

Throw a one: Let it go en enjoy how they finish it!

In the most recent run I had to let it go. But the run before I already had a great substitute which took my position with greatness; Chris Kockelkoren. He is a Software Engineering teacher which is an inventor, explorer, inspiratory and a Duracell Bunny (I’ll explain someday) He supported Ankie and adapted the quests, the scoring system so that it was easier to assess and that it was more fun to play, because the scoring system was more transparent.

They did great. Students appreciated the changes. The self-efficacy of the students was researched by Chris. Students were inspired and spend a lot of energy. I am convinced that they learned a lot. Because of the creativity of Ankie and Chris they had a great final day (theme; airport) which was used as an internal study day for the colleagues of Ankie. Management and teachers were impressed, both by the content and also by the cosmetics. They were that impressed that the miniature conference is going to be repeated 2 times in the next months (both for the entire workfield in the south of the Netherlands and for a special occasion).

And I am proud that Ankie and Chris got second prize of most inspiring, innovating course of the year from our partner institute Fontys University of Applied Science. *Snif*… Six times we threw the dice. From 6 to 1 and from being inspired, to do the inspiring, into seeing how that inspiration spreads out! Just by one throw of the dice at a time and some great people like you, Ankie, Chris and Jane!

Thanks to you all.

Marcel Schmitz

Geplaatst op 17 september 2013, in #1 Tackle necessary obstacles, #3 Do more satisfying work, English Jam, Gaming en getagd als . Markeer de permalink als favoriet. 2 reacties.

  1. Marcel, thanks … You are one of the most inspiring, positive, creative persons i have ever met. Always with a lot of ideas that you share and where we dream about … Good to have a person like you in my life… You are keeping me focussed on the new great things in life 😀

  1. Pingback: #digicoach #mysteryguest | 2 BE JAMMED

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