Game-Based Learning

The resource for this study track, The Woods (, is a unit that is designed as a "macro" level game. (You will learn more about micro and macro games later in the week -- check the Holly Path off of the Hickory Trail.) Note that we are not using the Birch Trail, History of Games, as part of this course, in the interest of time. You are welcome to peruse that trail to satisfy your curiosity, as you wish, but assignments for the week need to be drawn from the other 5 trails listed below. Many of the key readings come from McGonigal's Reality Is Broken (Chapters 1-5 and parts of chapters 7 and 8). Copies of that book are available for loan during the class, and may be easier to read than the scans.

The assignments here are written as Pilgrimages or Quests, which are combined with other game elements when used in the larger course game environment from which these trails are excerpted. Ideally there would be a great deal of freedom for choosing what to pursue. For this compressed class, the is a need to be far more directive to ensure that basic concepts are covered, as noted below. This track should complete 150 XP (30 XP/day, average) for an A in this section of the course. With 95 XP designated as required, students may choose more than 1/3 of the XPs needed. There are approximately twice as many as needed from which to choose. Where the Performance Records for these Pilgrimages and Quests reference an Adventurer's Blog, just understand that is your class blog.

Monday, May 26 - Aspen Trail - Why Use Games? (Plus, you may pick up Cedar Carvings from the Chestnut Trail if you wish to read the McGonigal book in chapter order.)

  • Required: Ring of Apricot Trees (5XP), Almond Walkway (10 XP), Alder Tree (10 XP), and Ash Forrest (10 XP)
  • Optional: Apple Orchard, Birch Trail
  • Advice: Jane McGonigal has a broader vision than just education, but her foundation concepts work for education - even if we are not necessarily aboard for the "full ride" of what she is about.

Tuesday, May 27 - Chestnut Trail - What is a Game?

  • Required: Cedar Carvings (10 XP), Cherry Trees (5 XP)
  • Optional: You will have read McGonigal's book chapters 1 and 2 in these first 2 tracks, and will have the opportunity to read chapters 4 and 5 in the next paths. If you wish to read and write up Chapter 3, you may do so for up to 10 XP.

Wednesday, May 28 - Dogwood Trail - The Psychology and Physiology of Games

  • Required: Field of Daisies (10 XP), Ebony Tree (10 XP), Evergreen Glade (10 XP)
  • Optional: Cave Entrance, Stalagtites, Stalagmites, Hidden Cottage, Eucalyptus Tree

Thursday, May 29 - Elm Trail - Micro Games for Schools

  • Required: There is a general assumption that some choices will be made from the Elm Trail, but there is no need to require any particular parts.
  • Optional: Fir, Gingko, Hazelnut, Hemlock (5 XP each) -- and you may do one extra quest for 5 XP by choosing 2 games you have not already reviewed from any of the 4 areas presented in Fir, Gingko, Hazelnut and Hemlock paths.

Friday, May 30 - Hickory Trail - Games Used in Schools

  • Required: Holly (Structure & Function, 5 XP), Locust (Marked Tree, 5 XP), Magnolia (McGonigal, p.127-132, 5 XP)
  • Optional: Holly (Guidelines), Locust (RLS Middle, TxTU, OVC of Tech), Magnolia (Web site, Salen Video, Quest to Learn book, p. 29-40)
  • Optional: The paths through today allow the opportunity to read chapters 1-5 of McGonigal's book, as well as portions of chapters 7 and 8. If you wish to ready chapter 6 and review it in your blog, you may do so for up to 10 XP.