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#7998460 Jun 17, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
What type of charter will you have for your guild? As the teacher will you develop fully or will you guide your students.

What guild charters have you seen in your research and what do you or dislike about them. Have you found anything that will work for your classroom?
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#8005367 Jun 18, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Guild Officer
10 Posts
I'd definitely leave the guild charter to the students in part. I'd set guidelines, but I feel like it gives them ownership of the experience form the start if they can have a hand in building the charter. It also makes them aware of the expectations of the guild in a way that asking them to read something I've set up won't. I'd set some ground rules, let them know what I need to see addressed in their charter, and I'd probably send them to some samples. I really like this guide to making a guild charter, so I'd be tempted to use that as part of my set-up.

Honestly, the guild charter reminds me in some ways of learning team contracts that we used when I worked in dropout recovery. We'd set up groups of students who would need to create a contract between themselves about their goals and the standards they wanted to be held to and how that would work. They were twice as aware of not letting each other down and not letting each other off the hook because it was something they co-created.
#8005514 Jun 18, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Guild Officer
73 Posts
I agree with the idea of allowing students to experience the extended rights and responsibilities of guild participation, beginning with charter creation. I think it could be a useful activity to request that each group identify a modern guild in the region to assist with charter creation, as well.
Games Based Learning Mooc (gamesMOOC)
FRCC Humanities Instructor
The best combination of technophile and luddite

Twitter @ThereseEllis
#8009454 Jun 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM · Edited 4 years ago
561 Posts
When we talk about guilds, I always bring my students back in time as to why guilds came into existence and what purpose it served. I found this history of Medieval Guilds to be very helpful in getting my head around the concept outside of today's MMORPG's guilds.

Medieval Guilds History

If I were to involve my students in writing the guild charter, I would certainly want them to understand the historic functionality of a guild. I am an anthropologist, and in the tradition of Malinowski, I want to know the structural-functionality of the guilds, why did they come into being, how were they structured and what function did it serve to maintain the culture and society. How did it impact other institutions within that culture. I would also point them to today's trade unions, which serve similar functions, you join (some are harder to get in than others), what are the benefits, what are the costs, what are the responsibilities, etc., and how does belonging to an occupational Trade Union help you in today's world. I would send them to this link, and then ask them to compare the Medieval Guilds with today's Labor Unions.

Pros and Cons of Joining a Labor Union

After those discussions they should really think about how they would want the class guild to operate, including mandatory v voluntary membership, mission statement, goals and objectives, a guild or union, after all, is a business model, not a fan club. I would like it to be inclusive where they help each other.

Our classes, according to Charles Horton Cooley are Secondary Groups, "Secondary groups are large groups whose relationships are impersonal and goal-oriented. Some secondary groups may last for many years, though most are short term. Such groups also begin and end with very little significance in the lives of the people involved. People in a secondary group interact on a less personal level than in a primary group. Rather than having as the goal the maintenance and development of the relationships themselves, these groups generally come together to accomplish a specific purpose. Since secondary groups are established to perform functions, people’s roles are more interchangeable. Examples of secondary groups include: classmates in a college course, athletic teams, and co-workers." (, yeah, wikipedia, what can I say...)

So I would hope that the charters, that our members create, focus on the fact that we are building guilds for secondary groups, not primary, so the charter has to take into account the short attention span this charter will be viable

I think I might like to try with my anthropology classes this fall (cultural) to set them up as a guild and have them create a charter, I wonder if this would make them feel more of a sense of belonging in the class and increase the interaction and support on a student-to-student level.

[/b] Frankly, for me, a mission statement or charter is the hardest thing to write, I have had to do that for real world businesses and you would think a few paragraphs would be easy, but it is all the thought that needs to go into it.

When an outsider reads it, it needs to be clear and concise and most of all, understandable to others. I can rattle on for paragraphs, ;) but alas, compressing them into one sometimes eludes me.

For your charters in the MOOC Forum, you are the students and the instructional designer,

I am anxious to see what you all come up with for your charters, as I know they will be well-received by all of the moocers! Go for it!
#8012483 Jun 20, 2013 at 02:26 AM
13 Posts
I think if I would give students to form a guild for the purpose of forming a guild for learning.. the task of forming a charter should be left up to them.

I guess perhaps my own view is that teacher's role should be something like a facilitator, to provide the framework, give information if needed, etc. ... so perhaps bit like a GM (game master) in an MMORPG games ... even though the GM's roles have almost always been more a customer support person, than truely an old school kind of D&D facilitator, but still it will make the point clear.

So if the teacher is the GM, it is not the game master's task to start tell the students how to play the game. The GM is there to help if needed - in ways, such as clarify the rules, perhaps solve a dispute, overall to sort out any kind of "exception" type situation.

But it is the game players themselves who form up a guild, they do make the charter and rules (if any) for the guild.. they are the ones who play the game either solitary or in a very active community (a guild).

So in that sense I think the teacher should leave all the game playing up to the students, including everything regarding creating the charter for the guild and so on. It could be possible to give some guidelines, to help them out a bit.. but I think if going further than just giving ideas of a framework, there is a danger that the teacher is starting to play the game for the students, and the students are left out for a bystander role - anyone remember the image of dad playing with the miniature railway set on christmas day, that the son got as christmas present? :)

So, to truly allow the students to play the game, the teacher shouldn't be this dad at the railway set, but instead give the students full access to all the bits and pieces in the railway set and create their own rules and ideas how to play with it.
Game-based learning enthusiast, virtual learning environments creator, and an avid MMORPG player
#8012500 Jun 20, 2013 at 02:35 AM
13 Posts
I forgot one important idea from the previous post.

One should remember that people are different, and enjoy different kind of guilds in the games too.. Some prefer very fine detailed charter, while others prefer very loose governance.

Forcing people to do this kind of thing the way that doesn't fit their ideology, will eventually lead to conflicts... in the "real world" places like .. a workplace .. these conflicts might be toned down really much, yet still bubble under the surface for years, because the price to pay for having the conflict emerge could be one losing their job etc.

But in online communities, with anonymity of the internet, the conflicts can easily arise, if people cannot be in environment that makes them feel comfortable or happy.

So, why to arise this point? ... I think it could be dangerous idea, for example, to force everyone in one classroom "have to" join one big guild, and then let them decide the charter or rules etc. It will always make some people feel very included, because they will force their ideas out, and they probably are used to that in the classroom environment, and some will just quietly accept it, and some will be feeling very negative about the whole show.

So instead of that, I would perhaps leave it up to the students to form up as many guilds as needed - to create their ideal kind of charter and ideology for the guild how to work together, and then leave it up to them to organize the "recruitment" to these guilds. In this way allowing people who would feel comfortable to work with similar kind of ideas about how to achieve certain tasks, to be allowed to work with similar minded people, instead of having to feel like "I have to work this way, even when I didn't want to".

In a workplace you might not have the luxury of this kind of choice, but we are not talking about work or workplaces here, but talking about games and leisure time guilds - and what is the biggest differentiator to the usual kind of workplace hierarchies and teams and groups vs. guilds in games, is the luxury of choice.

The guild member really has the luxury to join exactly (or close to that) the kind of guild that would fit their own way of thinking and ideology, and there is no big price to pay - to leave a guild if it makes you unhappy and find your way to another guilds recruitment if it feels more like a home.
Game-based learning enthusiast, virtual learning environments creator, and an avid MMORPG player
#8068710 Jul 01, 2013 at 07:14 AM
20 Posts
I too would like the students to develop the charter.
It's important for all the reasons already stated, and it is easier for the teacher.
In an EFL setting just the discussions to develop a charter will be gold!
Getting the students to formalize a charter may take a session or two but the experience and the language used will be great. It might be necessary to allow some mother tongue in the second and/or third session.
Everything should be voted on too.
A caveat - if they don't embrace the idea the chairperson (native English teacher) should step in and make a charter similar to this:
-English as the goal of ELF is the primary language used at ELF
-No membership will be denied
-voting is important, all members must vote
-new activities that use English are the goal, try to be creative
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