Secrets: The Game Is On

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Excelsior College's Pioneering new online Class Designed as a Game

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Secrets: The Game Is On

  1. 1. Secrets The Game Is On Excelsior College The Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning Washington, D.C. 16 May 2014 Lee Sheldon Associate Professor Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Photograph courtesy of the CareHart Foundation
  2. 2. Secrets The Game Is On Excelsior College The Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning Washington, D.C. 28 January 2014 Lee Sheldon Associate Professor Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Photograph courtesy of the Chromogen Corporation
  3. 3. Secrets The Game Is On Lee Sheldon Associate Professor Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Excelsior College The Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning Washington, D.C. 28 January 2014 Photograph courtesy of the CareHart Foundation line
  4. 4. This is not about a MOOC! Here's some background…
  5. 5. Collateral learning occurs at the convergence of two distinct, undeniable forces: and the human attributes of that hunger for both. storytellinggameplay curiosity imagination Introducing Collateral Learning
  6. 6. Gameplay
  7. 7. Tradition
  8. 8. “Good morning, you all have an F.”
  9. 9. “However you can all level up.”
  10. 10. We brought it. To the classroom. Higher grades, better participation, better retention, almost perfect attendance.
  11. 11. Story
  12. 12. The Skeleton Chase Skeleton Chase 2: The Psychic Skeleton Chase 3: Warp Speed Indiana University 2008-2009
  13. 13. The Lost Manuscript Rensselaer Polytechnic University 2011
  14. 14. Final exam: a police interrogation
  15. 15. Lost Manuscript 2: The Summer Palace Cipher Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Emergent Reality Lab 2013
  16. 16. Well you can bet tonight it's raining in Dublin In the morning or the evening about the same And thousands of miles away I miss you more and more each day But the strangest thing is how I miss the rain... -Kevin McKrell
  17. 17. A New Land These Far Hills
  18. 18. A New Land
  19. 19. Online
  20. 20. Gameplay + Story + Online Secrets Excelsior College Fall 2014
  21. 21. “Greetings from the future! I tried for quite awhile to figure out how to open this video. I wanted to be impressive and welcoming. But when I finally said it on camera it sounded kind of silly. Oh well, hopefully you’re still watching! My name is Audra Casey. And I am speaking to you from…get ready for it…the year 2084! I kid you not!” The Collective Video Script Believe
  22. 22. Primal Empathy “Primal Empathy or PE is a kind of psychic harmony that allows us to connect with one another, not really telepathic, but an ability to form a tight, instinctual empathetic bond that transcends national, cultural and racial differences. If all humankind can learn to strongly identify with one another then hatred and war will be evils of the past.” Video Script
  23. 23. “Hey there. So yeah, I expect you’ve seen The Collective’s peace and harmony speech. We heard they were going to try something radical. I guess that means we’re succeeding. They can’t defeat us in 2084, so they’ve reached back into the past to try and change the rules.” Fortress 9 Video Script Resist
  24. 24. “They probably painted a pretty rosy picture about how PE helps us to understand each other better, to walk in the next guy’s shoes, yeah? That’s actually kind of how it works with somebody else who’s also had their DNA “supplemented.” But what this has done is turn our world into the haves and have nots. Want all that good feeling directed at you? You better have had your DNA upgraded. Otherwise you might just get ignored.” Video Script Choose
  25. 25. Secrets: Gameplay, Story and Learning • Videos from the future? • Primal Empathy? • Research that was begun in our time? • Are these really the questions that must be answered? • There are secrets within secrets. • Students must question what they are being told; learn about the nature of identity on the Internet; investigate web sites both real and fictional. • Their investigations (research, solving puzzles) are tightly integrated with the curriculum of the class. • Students will share their knowledge of the Internet with one another as they learn more, and as long as they trust each other… • There are even secrets about their classmates… Trust no one
  26. 26. Secrets Online Tom Wetherall is a likable, intelligent member of the class who says he works for an Organic Health Food Company. He doesn’t. He is in fact one half of the hint system, and a character in the story (bad guy), controlled by the instructor and a teaching assistant. Ann Bennett is another likable, intelligent student in the class. She is the other half of the hint system, a character in the story (FBI cybercop on the virtual trail of a dangerous conspiracy). Ann is also controlled by the instructor and a teaching assistant. Together they drive discussion and the story.
  27. 27. Secrets
  28. 28. Collateral learning occurs at the convergence of two distinct, undeniable forces: and the human attributes of that hunger for both. storytellinggameplay curiosity imagination
  29. 29. Secrets An online class that is also a narrative- driven game, deeply integrated with all aspects of curriculum and normal class interactions. Students want to learn. So they can discover the truth behind Gameplay + Story + Online
  30. 30. Secrets
  31. 31. Secrets a new kind of online class
  32. 32. Thank you! Excelsior College Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning Washington, D.C. 16 May 2014 Chromogen for a Better Tomorrow

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