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Chalk House NECC 2009 BYOL


Chalk House NECC 2009 Workshop

Chalk House NECC 2009 Workshop

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  • Audio over: Explain why these goals were chosen


  • 1. Chalk HouseA demonstration of a game designed to improve literacy skills
    Greg Jones, PhD
    Scott Warren, PhD
    Download Client (Mac or PC) if needed
    Install the DEMO Software, if needed
    Enter Information to create a DEMO account
    Write down your demo name and password
  • 3. Logging in
    Launch DEMO software
    You will get a Screen Window – Press Okay
    If you don’t get screen window, the software is probably telling you to install java
    You will then get the Login Lobby, enter your
    If you don’t get the lobby – then 3D graphics drive issue most likely (need drivers)
  • 4. Basic navigation
    Keyboard ASDW Keys
    Once you can move around…wait!
  • 5. Chalk House Demo
    Welcome to the Chalk House Demonstration
    This is not the actual Chalk House game; instead, it is a different, related prequel story
    It is intended to provide you with an understanding of how the game works
    It is about 20 minutes long (depending on you)
    It places you in the role of a police officer investigating the disappearance of a local reporter
  • 6. Literacy skill goals of Chalk House
    The learner will:
    Show measured improvement in vocabulary knowledge
    Show measured improvement in vocabulary use
    Show measured improvement reading comprehension
    Apply improved writing skills including correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar over time
    Revise writing based on expert feedback
    Read and take useful notes supporting play and writing tasks
  • 7. Learning methods
    The mystery unit supplement immerses students in an authentic reading and writing role: The Investigative Newspaper Reporter
    Students interact with new vocabulary in text-based scenarios interacting in a mystery story
    The game gradually increase in reading comprehension difficulty throughout the game
    Testing occurs within the game through student interaction with characters and the environment
    Writing activities stem from the environment and in response to role-played characters controlled by the teacher
  • 8. Readability and grade level
    The reading challenge increases throughout the approximately 20 hours of content
    Reading grade level starts at about 5.9 grade level and gradually increases at about .1 of a grade level per major reading quest.
    Game context information quests average 6.2 grade level, providing linkages and directions between major reading and writing quests to ensure clarity of expected game activity
  • 9. Readability and grade level scores
  • 10. Game play and research
    Evidence from recent research suggests that:
    Using a games to support learning can:
    Reduce teacher time doing direct instruction
    Increase the time a teacher has to provide increased feedback and guidance on learning tasks
    Increase student writing scores
    From Warren, Barab, and Dondlinger (2008)
    Other research indicates that
    Game contexts are more motivating for learning
    From Tuzun (2004, 2007); Barab et al (2007)
  • 11. Time spent on direct instruction comparison: Game vs. classroom
  • 12. Contextual immersion in a reading genre
    Narrative context stems from ghost story and mystery genre
    Literary elements of Poe, R.L. Stine are present
    The context prompts learning activity
    In order to succeed in the game context, completing reading and writing activities are required
    Provides a coherent context and authentic reading and writing roles
  • 13. Chalk House
  • 14. Role play
    Student in an authentic reading and writing role: The reporter
    Teacher acts as editor and guide
    System is a guide and direction giver
    Uses non-player character scaffolds and guides
  • 15. Chalk House characters
  • 16. Assessment and feedback
    Natural assessment emerges from game play
    Writing occurs as a natural consequence of role play; revision for an audience is contextualized and rubric-based
    Reading is an integrated piece of the game
    Reading comprehension is assessed as students correctly solve puzzles using what they read
    Instructor can measure student progress and intervene with either reading or writing activities
  • 17. Chalk House student management
  • 18. Getting started with Chalk House
  • 19. The Newsroom Door
    This first quest orients students to one of the basic rules of Chalk House
    You have to earn your way through by completing quests
    Some quests are intended to teach them how to play and do not count towards the reading and writing components
  • 20. Learning in the first quest
    Quest 1: Officer X Begins the Investigation
    Starts with Penny: The first part of the quest is intended to encourage students to explore their surroundings and discover the layout of the space
    Provides spatial cognitive context for game play and learning activity
    Provides first set of reading text to set expectations of initial difficulty level
    Allows students to become familiar with items, inventory system, and game world rules
  • 21. Learning in the first quest cont’d
    Second half of the quest
    Ends with Tyrone: Starts to engender a relationship of direction-giving between student and game system as represented by non-player characters Penny and Tyrone
    Provides game play and learning activity directions as well as narrative context for learning activity
    Establishes mystery theme at onset of reading and game tasks motivated by the disappearance of Benny
  • 22. Testing vocabulary
    Vocabulary use is tested in two ways:
    Writing tasks that ask students to properly use vocabulary words they have encountered in the game tasks
    Through question interactions similar to those for reading comprehension with NPCs, but targeted towards their understanding of vocabulary terms that they must understand to solve game puzzles and tasks
  • 23. Writing practice
    You can upload a Word document for Tyrone’s writing quest to see what the process is like.
    It will automatically grade itself to allow you to continue.
    In CH, you are the gate keeper on news stories and they cannot continue the game until they have adequately written the news story to match the rubric and your expectations
  • 24. Grading writing, giving feedback
    The system allows you to role play the editors of the newspaper and provide authentic feedback based on the student’s reporter role
    The system provides you with control:
    You decide how much improvement you expect from one story to the next
    You decide the level of vocabulary use, grammar excellence, spelling, and construction necessary for a student to pass a writing quest
  • 25. Play the Chalk House Demo on your own
    From here, we’ll let you play through the rest of the Demo on your own
    Raise your hand if you have technical questions about getting it to run on your machine
    Please, keep content and pedagogy questions until the Q & A session the last 15 minutes
  • 26. Questions?
  • 27. Availability of Chalk House
    CRG is starting further research trials this summer
    Schools interested should visit the CRG site and submit a research query
    Schools interested in using Chalk House should visit us in the Games and Sims Playground
    Contact CRG at crg@created-realities.com
  • 28. Visit
    for more details
    Thanks !