- 2 hours
- Social and Emotional Skills
5Schedule 10/23/21 08:00 AM Game Challenge Let’s combine learning and playing with the Game Challenge. Students often learn best when interacting with content in a game-style format. The Game Challenge is a PBL-designed project that asks students to design a game with the goal of educating an identified target market about specific concepts. This game could https://teacheverywhere.org/activity/game-challenge/Print
Let’s combine learning and playing with the Game Challenge. Students often learn best when interacting with content in a game-style format. The Game Challenge is a PBL-designed project that asks students to design a game with the goal of educating an identified target market about specific concepts. This game could be a board game, multi-player game, or any other design – It is up to the student to design which type of game format best resonates with their target market. Ready, set, play!
A popular game company is in desperate need of new games to increase their company’s revenue. They have reached out to ask you to help them design a new educational game for a specific target market. [If you are going to assign the target market, insert here.] All games designed must help the player master the learning outcomes assigned. [If you are going to assign the learning outcomes, insert here].
Social and Emotional Skills
- Students are practicing Relationship Skills through this activity as they are conversing with and observing their target market. To capture the information they need to inform their game making abilities, students will need to practice active listening, asking appropriate questions, and seeking help when needed. In addition to practicing verbal relational skills, students will have an added element of capturing virtual feedback which may be more difficult. Students will need to pay close attention to the target market person’s body language and eye contact to catch subtle information to inform their creations.
- Students are also practicing elements of Social Awareness. They are creating a game not because they are particularly passionate about games but because they have been given a challenge from a company that a game needs to be created and they are the chosen solutionist. To achieve the anticipated outcome, students will need to empathize with their target market to hear the value that the game will create and specifically what in the game will create the most value. Additionally, students will have to set their own thoughts and feelings aside as they take on the perspective of their target market. If a student does not listen well during their market research, they may be imparting their biases on the game that are not warranted.
- Determine what platform you will use to engage students in the activity. Upload worksheets and other activity supporting documents to your classroom platform.
- Review activity guide to ensure understanding of activity instructions and debrief.
- Decide the learning objectives you want your students to address. Is the game focused on a specific unit’s content or Foundational Value objectives? Or do the students get to select any content topic they have studied, perhaps as a year-end review activity?
- Decide how the target market will be selected. Do students get to choose based off their game design or will you decide for them prior to beginning the game design process?
- Develop your project timeline, including deadlines and deliverables.
- Include a deadline of when your students need to share what product they will create in order for you to have time to purchase additional supplies, if necessary.
- Determine how you will arrange groups or if students will work individually.
- Consider having your students, whether working individually or in groups, complete an “Action Plan” – see this document posted in the lesson on YE Academy.
- Purchase materials needed for activity and have them shipped or delivered to students. Another option is to have students use the materials they have around the house.
- If students will engage in online collaborative games as part of their research, consider having game options predetermined for students to choose from.
- Determine how you will engage students in the debrief following the activity.
Throughout the project, it is important that students regularly reflect on their work. Check out the “Reflection Log” document posted in the lesson on YE Academy for an idea about how you can do this.
Part 1: Research (90 min.)
Students must conduct research to learn more about their target market and how they can be customer-focused in the design of their game. Allow students to generate their own driving questions – These are questions that push them through their research. What do they need to discover to help them answer the essential question of “How can I best teach these learning outcomes to my target market through a game?” It is critical that they are customer-focused in the design of their game. As they research, make sure they record what they learn – Check out the “Research Log” document in the lesson on YE Academy for a way to do this.
Examples of driving questions might include:
- What kind of games does my target market find entertaining?
- How can you use games to teach concepts?
- What methods of games are best for the skill level and abilities of my target market?
Potential learning outcomes to address:
- Foundational Values
- 10 Economic Principles
- YE Core key concepts
- Find a couple of free, online collaborative games for the students to play. Ask them to identify what they are learning and how the game accomplishes those goals.
- Have students observe their target market to discover their interests or habits.
- Host a virtual focus group. Invite individuals from the target market to answer questions to help with their research.
- Leverage break out rooms when possible and the random sort feature.
Part 2: Product Creation (90 min.)
Consider assigning this phase to your students for independent work and be available virtually if they have questions.
- While we encourage you to give students the opportunity to choose the kind of game they want to create, for logistical, cost, or time constraints this may not be possible.
- If possible, encourage students to collect user feedback throughout the game development process. They should then use this feedback to refine their prototype. Encourage them to talk with their immediate and extended family and neighbors to capture feedback if relevant to their target market.
- Optional: Ask students to complete the Pricing and Profit calculations for their game design. See Dirt & Worms and Back of the Napkin for potential financial steps. This does not mean that a student has to sell their game, but it is an important factor in whether a game would be produced in the real-world.
- IMPORTANT: Research continues through this part – Students will need to continue researching driving questions related to their business idea. Just like in Part 1, make sure they are recording what they learn – Check out the “Research Log” document in the lesson on YE Academy for a way to do this.
Part 3: Pitch Preparation (60 min.)
Have students prepare a brief pitch to share their game creation. Here are some ideas about how you could set up this pitch:
- Test Market: If student created a virtual game, invite individuals from the target market to test the game design virtually and provide feedback to the presenters. You could also have these market testers select the best game design.
- Class Pitch: Students will share their game design virtually with all students in the classroom, along with any supporting materials they feel are helpful. If your video conferencing platform allows it, spotlight the student that is presenting so that all students can see them as the main presenter / full screen mode.
- Video Pitch: Incorporate digital media and audio/visual skills by having students create a video pitch to share their idea. This could be posted to YouTube, your school website, and/or your virtual classroom platform and shared with others.
- Virtual Gallery Walk: Students can record and save their video pitches for you to post in your virtual classroom platform. Request students to view each video and ask them to “vote” for their favorite ideas.
- If you’re interested in having visitors view the gallery walk, upload students’ videos to Youtube and create private links to share with a few visitors to learn about the games and vote for their favorite idea. Be sure to include a way for visitors to give feedback to the presenters. You may consider having other classes as your visitor judges.
- Student Choice: If possible, allow students to choose which presentation method best suits their idea and personality. This may be difficult to logistically plan; however, it will give your students greater ownership in the project.
Part 4: Pitch Presentation (45 min.)
Allow students to deliver their pitch in whatever mode you selected and include a plan to record and/or collect feedback from the audience, which could include the target market, their classroom peers, other students, staff, or community members.
- Pro-Tip: If students are pitching live in a virtual call, consider using a virtual vote option with pre-populated multiple-choice options. Ask voters to vote for the game that successfully achieves the game’s learning objectives.
Part 5: Post-Presentation Reflection (15 min.)
Engage students in a reflection of the entire project. Ask them to think about what they learned and the process of how they learned it. Are they proud of their work? What would they do differently next time?
When you debrief you can do it a few different ways. You can do it as an entire class and ask them to discuss the activity as a whole. The other option would be to work through it group by group. Below are some questions and topics to you could cover during the debrief.
- Why was it critical that you understood your target market while designing your game?
- How is designing a game that meets the need of your target market having a Win-Win Focus?
- What Responsibility do game designers have to their customers when creating games? Do they have a responsibility to create games that use common or shared language? cultural norms? demographic or geographic language or representation?
- How did you/your group demonstrate the FV of Opportunity in this activity?
- How are you displaying Knowledge through the design of your game?
- When providing feedback to your peers about their game’s design, why is it important to Be Principled?
- How did Freedom influence your participation in this activity?
- Do you feel that designing a game to review content helped you better master the content? Why or why not?
- Did you test your game or parts of your game to get feedback from users during its development? If not, how could user testing have impacted the development process and the end product of the game?
- If completed Pricing and Profit calculations: How did the financials impact your game design? Do you feel like this would be a game that users would want to purchase in the real-world? Why or why not?
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