Title

"How do I learn from you all?" Students Negotiating the Risk to Learn Via an In-Class Gaming Community

Submission Type

Event

Abstract

In this presentation, Prof. Alice Lesnick and her student collaborators will share what they learned about growth, teaching, and learning through immersion in the popular online game Minecraft as part of a Fall 2013 course on Education, Technology and Society. Minecraft is an open-ended adventure game, which does not require players to follow a set script but rewards them for achievements in figuring out how to gather and use resources. If played in "survival" mode, night-time attacks by hostile creatures provide both the impetus for learning and a means of measuring success, in other modes, players can focus on the creative aspects of building or on solving particular challenges. In multiplayer instances of the game, such as the one set up for this course, players can interact with one another as well as with their environment. Educators have noted that open-ended, exploratory learning in Minecraft and other games mirrors the way humans naturally learn and could provide a model for pedagogical reform. For this course, students learned to play the game with support from an expert player (one of the presenters) and played as a class community as well as solo, reflecting critically on their experience and pedagogical literature touching on Minecraft in writing and classroom discussions.

Session

Session 4: Expanding the Horizons of Blended Learning

Location

Thomas 110

Start Date

5-21-2014 2:30 PM

End Date

5-21-2014 3:50 PM

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May 21st, 2:30 PM May 21st, 3:50 PM

"How do I learn from you all?" Students Negotiating the Risk to Learn Via an In-Class Gaming Community

Thomas 110

In this presentation, Prof. Alice Lesnick and her student collaborators will share what they learned about growth, teaching, and learning through immersion in the popular online game Minecraft as part of a Fall 2013 course on Education, Technology and Society. Minecraft is an open-ended adventure game, which does not require players to follow a set script but rewards them for achievements in figuring out how to gather and use resources. If played in "survival" mode, night-time attacks by hostile creatures provide both the impetus for learning and a means of measuring success, in other modes, players can focus on the creative aspects of building or on solving particular challenges. In multiplayer instances of the game, such as the one set up for this course, players can interact with one another as well as with their environment. Educators have noted that open-ended, exploratory learning in Minecraft and other games mirrors the way humans naturally learn and could provide a model for pedagogical reform. For this course, students learned to play the game with support from an expert player (one of the presenters) and played as a class community as well as solo, reflecting critically on their experience and pedagogical literature touching on Minecraft in writing and classroom discussions.