Monday, August 6, 2012

GameMOOC Weeks 3 & 4

We have now entered week 5 (of 6) of GameMOOC, and I completely forgot to add a quick synopsis of take-aways for the past couple of weeks (time flies!)  So here is a quick synopsis of notable things in these two weeks.

Week 3: Gamification
Week 3 was all about gamification. There were a number of interesting discussion thread this week, and one of them (which also produced an interesting blog post) on the risks of rewards!  This reminded me a lot of the literature review that I did while researching intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for an Academic Checkins article that I have now submitted to the international journal of instructional technology & distance learning (fingers crossed that it will get accepted!).  While doing my lit review, I looked at motivation in educational journals, psychology journals, and...even economics journals! What I found out is that external rewards aren't always bad.  It's not the external reward that is detrimental to internal motivation, but rather how that external reward is used, and what the conjunction is with the task at hand (how much does the learner like or not like the task he is asked to do?)

This week brought this issue back at the forefront, and I think that there is enough material there for a MOOC just on learner motivation. A  big thanks to Scott for bringing this up :-)

Week 4: Epistemic Games
Week 4 was all about games for learning in certain disciplines.  While I don't think we saw a lot of games (someone please correct me in the comments if I am wrong) there was an interesting discussion that brought in Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation.  I, as a matter of fact, started reading this book this past weekend (independent of the MOOC), and this MOOC discussion piqued my interest (and motivated me) to complete this rather dense book.  It's small and interesting, but dense (IMHO). Another interesting subject that was brought up was Ludic Falacy, which the discussion on Baudrillard wove pretty nicely with.  While I didn't get an opportunity to play with new games these two weeks, I manage to download Star Trek Online on a PC and I plan on giving that a try soon. Hopefully it won't be a time sink ;-)

Looking forward to weeks 5 and 6 of GameMOOC!
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