It is hard to believe that BbWorld ‘09 is next week. Rhonda and I are both excited about what this year will have to offer. We have been attending these conferences for several years now and each year brings new ideas and possibilities. While I am always interested in learning about the direction of the Blackboard platforms, I personally enjoy making connections with other educators who are looking at creative and powerful ways of changing the face of learning and making teaching and learning more relevant.
This year, we have put together a new pre-conference session that is guaranteed to rock your pedagogical, instructional design world- Gaming and Narration: Fact or Fiction? We argue that a good online or blended course should be like a good book- you don’t want to put it down. This session will introduce you to two different ways of designing narrative driven courses for virtually any subject matter. You will explore a course that Rhonda designed while utilizing narrative devices and role play to frame the curricular material. In this example, all material and learning activities are linked through story and the roles that each student assumes.
You will also be introduced to the use of games for framing all learning activities- specifically, Alternate Reality Games or ARG’s. These are not video games but rather games that blend fantasy and reality while placing the student in roles that require them to solve ill-defined problems within the subject of study. This Alternate Reality is then developed using tools such as Blackboard Learn systems, web 2.0 tools and simple design tools to create artifacts supporting this new reality. I have developed a game that participants will play that teaches about learning through ARG’s as they experience their own learning through an ARG.
Finally, all participants will join in a collaborative effort to design a narrative driven instructional unit using principles from each of the models presented at the beginning of the session. We hope that you will consider joining us on this adventure and help write the future of learning. And now…