Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Catching up with posting virtually connecting sessions I've appeared in :-)

In this one I joined Helen, Maha B., Maha A., David, Martin, Mary, and Claire.  This was at the OpenEd15 conference (Vancouver) after David and Mary's keynote "Supporting Open Textbook Adoption in British Columbia". This took place last week.

Monday, November 23, 2015

OpenEd15 virtually connecting Thuesday session?)

Catching up with posting virtually connecting sessions I've appeared in :-)

In this one I joined Helen, Maha, Patrice, Rebecca, Autumm, Mike, Phil, and Alan. The session was at OpenEd15 (Vancouver), which took place last week.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

BIT2015 virtually connecting session

Catching up with posting virtually connecting sessions I've appeared in :-)

In this one I joined Helen, Sylvia, Patricia, Camille, Peter, and Sarah.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

On simulations

One of the presentations this week in EDDE 803 was from a fellow classmate that talked a bit about simulations.  In the ensuing discussion I was reminded of a course I took as part of my MBA which used simulations.  I thought that this would be a worthwhile post for here (as well as class) - at the very least it's one chronicle of my learning journey prior to the EdD.

Queue flashback visuals and music
When I was doing my MBA, one of my courses was a supply chain management course (fun with math and probability). One of the course activities was for us to break up into groups of 4 (so we had 4-5 groups in the course) and we were manager of a widget making factory. We needed to pick production size, route to retail, and predict demand (given certain finite factors) in different stores. The goals was (of course) to maximize profit. The game sort of looked like SimCity - sort of-, so for some of us it was also a bit of nostalgia (having grown up with that game). The game is pictured to the right and can be found here.

I think at the heart of things this was a really interesting, and potentially potent, activity, and it had potential to be awesome except for the stipulation that the most profitable team would get an A, the second most profitable a B+, the third most profitable a B, and so on. This was actually quite demotivational and it lead to errors made due to panic and fear that we would be last in the class. This means that some calculations may have been sloppy - leading to choosing the least optimal path, and it lead to some team-members hijacking the game settings instead of reaching consensus - the "I know better approach".

In retrospect, thinking about game-based principles - specifically the ability to allow players to fail and restart without penalty, and keeping in mind that not everyone likes competition, I think this activity would have been better if designed differently. Having such high stakes doesn't allow for creative solutions to be conceived. Raising the stress level might simulate 'reality' but I also think it makes for a poor learning environment when you are a novice.

In the end, the instructor didn't give grades lower than a B on the assignment (if I recall correctly), but I still think it was a missed opportunity for something more extraordinary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gamifying Learning - EDDE 803 edition

It feels like it's been a long time since I've written here.  Well, still here, still alive, still cracking away at those books, and articles, and assignments for 803.  Initially, before this course started,I thought it would be a walk in the park given my background in instructional design.  Maybe that was my error.  While, content-wise, it is a walk in the park (given my background) I think I swung the pnedulum a little too hard in the other direction looking to make this course more challenging for me.

So for one of my big assigments I picked gamification as a topic - a topic I knew a little something about thanks to two xMOOCs I completed.  However, instead of resting on my laurels and using what I had learned in those MOOCs, I decided to try and read at least 5 of my (unread) books on gamification and games in the classroom (self-imposed goal) to gain some greater understanding on the topic before I wrote about it.

In the end, a lot of what I picked up was left on the cutting-board since the paper was 5,000 words max, and the presentation that accompanied it was only meant to be 30 minutes.  I feel like I've made great progress in my personal reading list, but maybe I increased the stress for 803 to 11 for no reason ;-) I ended up sleeping for 3 out of 7 days (not consecutively) a couple of weeks ago to catch up on sleep (and to get over whatever cold  I had caught).

I am kind of wondering if cosmic powers are pushing me to the limits of my ZPD with this course since I thought it would be a walk in the park, or if it's my own failure of self-regulation ;-) I need to go back to "this is good enough" mode lol.

Here is the presentation I came up with for class (it hinges on audience participation, but you get the gist). 24 days until the end of class.