What are your ideas about guilds for your courses? Could you do a writing guild? What about math? Any ideas for science? Would you put these in a MMORPG or would you design the course as multi-player using a guild?
I’ve been lurking rather than participating because I don’t seem to be able to get to the discussions when they’re happening. The links take me somewhere, but I don’t know how to go from there. Anyway, I’ve been watching what I can later.
That’s just to say I know a little, if very little. My first thought was about online forums I have used in college courses. They’re pretty ineffective; students don’t criticize each other’s work. They tell me that they want to be thought of as nice––even if they’re in an online course with people they will probably never meet. So I designed a forum in which they post anonymously––not even screen names by which they can build a reputation. It turned into an MPOG, with power reflecting how well their (anonymous) posts are rated (anonymously) by others. They say the anonymity allows them to take risks that they otherwise wouldn’t take.
So if I were forming a guild, its members would be online rather than in class. Screen names might work, especially if players from outside my class were participating, but there would have to be anonymity.
At this point in the MOOC I’m beginning to envision an MPORG (no telling if there’d be a first M!) in which players gain power and expand their (or their avatars’)domains by resolving problems at the borders. (They would have to develop skills to do that or involve guilds.) The problems would be particular to an academic area. What, if any, existing MPORGs allow for that? In the few the MMPORGs I’ve seen the goals have not been academic.
Maybe tonight’s session answered this question, but again I couldn’t find it.
Most MMORPGs or MMO are commercial off-the-shelf games (COTS). Educators like Lucas Gilliespie, Peggy Sheehy and Craig Larson have been developing curriculum to use World of Warcraft and games like it for the classroom. For office hours last week, Chris Luchs and Jim Vernon talked about using the virtual economy and auction house in WoW to teach economics and business. So where you've landed is the academic borderlands, you are now with a group educators who are working on using MMORPG in the classroom. We chose the guild as a way that you could layer that academic learning on top of a MMORPG.
Here's a link to a rubric we developed in evaluating games for engagement.
Here's what we looked at when evaluating a game or COTS for the educational value.
Educational Value (How Applicable is the game to the learning objectives?)
Ice Breaker Only
Some value, but more of a one time showing
Nothing to write home about
The concepts are there, but buried in storyline
Concepts are front and center, really shows student application in real life
Thanks, Kae. Wish I had been able to figure out how to be part of these discussions.
The rubric seems fine. And I can see that the finance part of these games would be useful for teaching economics. But if I want to teach math, for example, what particular games can I layer on top of, and how? I'm searching for ideas.
I'm sure they're coming up somewhere in these conversations I can't get to. (I just found a video from last year telling me how to do Tweetchat. But I hear that's not working, and the alternative wouldn't let me sign up without a "new beta request" or something like that.
I am currently the guild master for a World of Warcraft Guild for students in my Intro to Business class. I am using World of Warcraft as a business simulation for my students to create businesses and then buy, sell, conduct business, and then document all their activity. They will be able to form either corporations, partnerships or Sole Proprietorships.
I'm using the guild to allow them to share / pool resources and to allow a secure channel of communications with their instructor and each other.
I have been thinking on this, and I think the challenge for using a guild in class-rooms is still what I mentioned in my response to the "Guilds and Impact" reading. I don't see how to make guild involvement voluntary in a classroom setting. I think once you make guild participation mandatory (you can't shop around for another guild), you lose a lot of the power. Why would I care about advancing in a system I didn't want to be a part of in the first place? This is just as likely to make a person quit entirely as to motivate them.
For an afterschool or other "non formal" learning environment I think it would work great. But, these are largely voluntary activities, so advancement within the guild and support from the guild are much more meaningful.
When used more as a communication tool (not so much a social tool), like what Abacus talks about, I think they might work out quite well.
Unfortunately not in a position to setup a clan (I'm backend content development rather than teaching) but have been in a few guild, but more clans.
I know that I didn't really engage fully with the guild concept but this was probably because I was so used to working with clans where you could setup a good internal communication and anticipation of what was going to be achieved outside of the environment (at one point there was around 2 hours of discussion outside of the game before we headed in for a 30 minute battle), so the concept of small unit structure within a guild will always play a part (group dynamics, strongest vs weakest players - I was always offered the chance to power level with regular players, it kinda killed the game for me).
What is an interesting learning tool would be the way that clans develop within a guild, so a group of 30 may naturally find themselves gravitating into smaller units based on social interaction outside of the environment which may or may not link to comparative skill levels, but how do you control the guild and stop it pulling in multiple directions in order to maintain focus?
Until there are some real challenges, or Guild against Guild missions, it's hard to see how the weaker members will learn rather than be taken along by the higher engagers/higher skilled players - unless peer learning and support is the aim. Bring your past experience to play, but everyone starts at the base level and works their way up would give individuals the freedom to self regulate progress and engagement, would define clearer ways of assessing engagement (6 players at level 14, 10 at level 7, and 3 at level 2 two weeks into the learning would be an easy indicator of progress) and benchmarking to focus efforts (achieve what you like, as long as you reach the benchmark first...)
We work with a lot of International students so there may be an opportunity to see whether or not they maintain guild allegiance when they reach the UK - I've been looking at Age of Washu which seems to have massive adoption, so whether the guild membership translates into Higher Education as a means of contact with back home may be interesting to investigate.
If I was to use WoW for a class it would make lots of sense to create a guild and get everyone in the class to join. That way they could find each other when online and playing from home. Having said that I do think for the type of students I work with that the on screen graphics and text in WoW is very poor quality. Older gamers (50+) often do not have great eyesight! The WoW guild chat area has super small unfriendly-to-the-eyes text and could easily be missed. (This shivtr page also has accessibility issues with the white on black text for reading, though it allows black text on pale grey for inputing text.) If anyone is interested in such visual accessibility issues (you don't necessarily have to be over 50 to have eyesight problems!) visit the American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA web sight for information that addresses aging eyesight and typographic design at: http://www.aiga.org/typography-and-the-aging-eye/ There may be a screen option area on Wow that I have not located that will increase font size at the very least? (Second Life browsers do provide the option to increase font size and my students often set large text size as a default setting.)
This makes me realize that a guild has the potential to aid group communications but there is more to it than simply linking up a group of people!
Great points being raised here. I can tell you, as Emily Forand mentioned in Office Hours, you can't just run class as usual and call teams guilds and assignments quests and expect kids to get excited and play school like a game. My first attempt at gamifying my Science classes didn't work. Even offering badges and XP didn't get kids excited.
I'd love to bring WoW or GW2 into the school but I'll try it as after school club kind of activity first. I really want to use those types of MMORPGs in school with my students.
What about 3D Gamelab? It is worth $145/year? I don't want to pay all that and be right where I was this school year. But I need to do something different in Science even if it isn't gamification.
"I can tell you, as Emily Forand mentioned in Office Hours, you can't just run class as usual and call teams guilds and assignments quests and expect kids to get excited and play school like a game."
One of my big issues with the whole "gamification" idea is that it's somehow easy to just throw some things from games into whatever you want and have instant success. That totally doesn't work. Even if it seems to in the beginning, it'll fail quickly once the novelty wears off.
I think the best idea I've heard for translating game mechanics into education is the idea of multiple paths to success. You can call these "quests" if you want, but the point is that students pick which "quests" they want to do, and no matter which path they choose, they will successfully reach the end of the course.
I can't really say anything about GameLab3D, as I've never tried it. I believe there are free programs that do similar things, although they probably aren't as pretty and may take more setup to use with a classroom. For example Chore Wars (http://www.chorewars.com/), which is really more about doing household chores.