EDUC 766 - Instructional Strategies & Assessment
Do: Students will also be asked to plan their individual tasks given specfic production needs through both an individual task list and shared team goal/task tracking system like a physical Kanban board or digital trello board.
As described on the UW-Stout website: Development of instructional goals, objectives and assessment of outcomes. Methods for assessing learning performance and mapping appropriate assessment methods to instructional strategies and learning objectives. Performance-based assessment and evaluation tools to assess learner performance. Design of formative and summative evaluation methods.
Overview - GDD450 Senior Capstone in Game Design
The GDD450 – “Senior Capstone in Game Design” brings together university students from art and computer science disciplines applying their skills to create a 3D video game over one academic year. Because individual roles, skills, interests, and tools vary, it is my belief that developing foundational skills with planning, design, and communication will transcend all design careers, will result in improved short and long-term outcomes. Historically has been traditional in-person delivery, but due to recent health concerns, is currently scheduled for a Hybrid/blended delivery.
Below are alignment charts that contain two terminal objectives for "Design Planning" and "Prototyping," each listing enabling objectives.
From past experience, I've observed that planning processes tend to receive less importance, which have resulted in many early design decisions being assumed, not fully explored, or pushed to later in the production when change is more difficult. By bringing awareness to project planning and task management, I feel, will help improve the outcomes during the design process, and avoid these time-consuming mistakes. There is also an opportunity to improve critical design thinking, a sense of individual ownership in the project, and potentially improve autonomous or self-directed research.
The purpose for implementing an alignment chart is to ensure that the enabling objectives are being met through appropriate learning activities (Absorb, Do, Connect) as described in a framework by William Horton.
Absorb activities introduce subjects, terms, or training to students and students atively absorb invormation from the content provided. Common methods include reading, viewing, or lecture.
Do activities allow the learner to practice the skills to help orgaznie and synthesize the knowledge. Quizes, games, and other activities can reinforce these skills for future application.
Connect activites link prior knowlege to applied learning. Examples include refelection or problem solving.
Deliverables for this module will include a workbook which includes a journal of design decisions, brief playtest survey, a draft prototype of one game level and their thoughts/reflections about the process.
At most every step, students will confer with their team about design choices through group discussions and will receive feedback from both their team and instructor.
Do/Connect: To help understand roles & responsibilites and distribution of work, students will be given an outline of a standard games production pipeline and asked to complete the form - filling in all members of the team and their given responsibilities during production.
Assessment - Successful completion of the activities and participation in group discussions.
Questions or sceniaros for the group activity could include:
- During the 3D modeling process Jaime discovers extra details in a concept drawing and questions whether to intrerpret them as either "needing animation" or "needing texture."
Who are the team members who are best able to answer this question?
- You are a programmer who is implementing the 3D player controls and animations.
The next sprint deadline is in two days away and you have not yet recieved a 3D character mesh. What do you do?
- You are tasked with programming the User Interface for the menu screen. It looks blockly and pixelated during preview and with a build. Where do you start?
- The game engine you are using has announced is has released a new version. While still in open beta, the video describes a cool tool that you want to implement. What do you do?
- Someone has pushed to the repository without first pulling and overwrote your last weeks-worth of revisions. What is you next step?
Answers will vary per group, however this introduction through roleplay or written response will help prompt students to make those connections, when needed, without instructor oversight.
Another ongoing discussion regards defining qualitative terms: "In Progress, Finished, Done"
Reflection - Learning more about cognitive load has increased my mindfulness about delivery and highlighted potential for reducing the load in areas where I may have been providing too much content, requiring students to absorb and mentally organize, or assuming knowledge of terms or processes. One of those solutions is to provide a "pipeline" diagram as a job aid during a quiz or roleplay activity. Likley many of the terms will be familiar, but less familliar in application between the disciplines.
Learning more about UDL (Universal Design in Learning) I felt it appropriate to give multiple methods of assessment that range from individual focused such as a traditional quiz/matching as well as group discussion or activities. Also providing opportunities when appropriate for students to choose whether they want to organize and complete their planning process activity in an analog or digital format.
Prototype Planning: At module completion, create a physial or digital prototype for a game level
The focus of this prototyping module is to create while also being aware of design decisions. Throughout this process, students will be required to contribute their thoughts to a personal workbook - a mini design document for their unique level design.
One of the prototyping activities includes watching a video and relating the guidance priciples illustrated to decisions in their own work. This demonstrates an "absorb"-type activity followed by a "do/connect"-type activity.
I felt the that workbook creation activity listed above accomplished several of the principles we discussed during my ID classes. Breaking down the sections into digestible chunks and building upon a greater topic through analysis of details touched on topics of cognitive load, scaffolding, and the elaboration theory. The Workbook activity was specifically chosen because it would pair well with absorb activities to guide and align the student and reduce mental load.
Again, for the level prototype (guidance principles) activity, a conference talk video (absorb) paired with an activity (do/connect) aligned well with enabling objectives and seemed to have a greater opportunity to insert an expert opinion to validate student's decisions when applied to a unique creation.
There are many training materials on this topic, so only the most relavant and concise viewings will be included, as a common concern from students is lacking time needed to create the prototype.
Absorb, Do, Connect framework reference: Horton, W. (2011). E-learning by design. Pfeiffer.
Design Planning: by the end of the module, students will have created an individual project plan