Implementing a Multiplayer Classroom: Results from Designing a Class as a Game


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These slides are from an EdWeb webinar I did on May 21, 2014.

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  • Andy
    LTMS – Serious Games & Simulations Concentration
    Harrisburg University
    Work with faculty to integrate games & simulations into the curriculum and the undergrad and graduate experience. Working with various faculty to integrate multiplayer classroom techniques into classes.
    Work on game and simulation projects that are funded by partners, for-hire projects or grants.
  • Andy
    Our approach for the day
    What is a multiplayer classroom? Multiplayer Classroom is a concept from Lee Sheldon
    Why move to the a multiplayer classroom design?
    What does a multiplayer classroom look like?
    What are the results of the multiplayer classroom approach?
  • Move to a poll
    What is your experience with the multiplayer classroom concept?
    I had not heard of the multiplayer classroom concept prior to learning about this webinar
    I have heard about the multiplayer classroom concept but haven’t investigated it
    I have read The Multiplayer Classroom book by Lee Sheldon
    I have implementing elements of the multiplayer classroom concept into a course
    I have fully designed a course as a multiplayer classroom course
    In what environment are you primarily working?
    K-12 Elementary
    K-12 Middle School
    K-12 High School
    Higher Ed
  • The multiplayer classroom design is from The Multiplayer Classroom book, written by Lee Sheldon. So, everything that we’ll talk about today is based around Lee Sheldon’s work and the multiplayer classroom book.
  • The multiplayer classroom concept incorporates elements of game design into the class. By adding these game design elements to learning we can increase motivation, individualized learning, problem-based learning and collaboration.
    These are some of the elements of gameplay.
    Most games are composed of the following elements:
    Story (what happened before I started playing, what information do the players need to begin…) [except in abstractions; Flow, Tetris, Peggles, Bejewled, …]
    Character(s) / Role(s) (who are the cast of characters, what is my role in the world, …)
    Goal (like movies games follow a structure where the goes on a journey with the purpose of achieving a goal. In some instances the goal is unknown but is revealed to the player during the journey)
    Obstacle(s) (these are things that players must overcome; a level boss, mastery of a skill, proficiency in a subject area, …)
    Status / Feedback (reward systems) (what happens when the player overcomes an obstacle, how is advancement expressed [fireworks, gold stars, achievements, pay increase,] most often this feedback is related to what motivates the player
    Levels: are used to validate performance or break content into smaller chunks.
    Successful games and experiences are interwoven with these elements. It’s when story, challenges, rewards, and achievements are in balance that we perceive the experience as fun.
    Why would you want to move from problem-based learning to game-based learning?
    Create more emotion in the experience
    Increase motivation and engagement
    Create competition
    Extend the replayability of the learning experience
    Decontextualize topics (to remove the emotion and fear)
    Click to reveal mechanics
    Now, it’s not as easy as just slapping a score on to the interface. There are a lot of considerations to make a game that is balanced and has the right mix of game mechanics to meet the learning goals and still be a fun experience for the player.
  • More specifically, the multiplayer classroom concept is based off of elements we see in MMORPGs or MMOGs where there is individual character play as well as group collaboration and play.
  • World of Warcraft has more than 12 million subscribers as of November 2011
    How many of you know what World of Warcraft is?
    How many of you have played World of Warcraft?
    Can World of Warcraft make you smarter” -
    Why World of Warcraft is good for you -
    Are there benefits to playing World of Warcraft -
    The Value of playing World of Warcraft -
  • Gamification is the concept of applying game techniques to non-game environments. It emerged from customer loyalty programs based primarily on number of purchases.
    In the past few years, marketers have expanded upon early customer loyalty programs and applied techniques from games (story, levels, competition, leaderboards, challenges, etc.) to increase customer engagement, loyalty and, ultimately, purchases & satisfaction.
    Unlike basic marketing techniques that depended on purchase frequency or amount to trigger rewards, gamification is often a more frequent reward system with ongoing rewards coming in the form of what is traditionally gameplay feedback.
    Beyond marketing, gamification is being used to motivate learners in education and impact behavior change in healthcare.
  • The multiplayer classroom concept is part of a larger movement called Gamification. Essentialy gamification is the art of applying game design mechanics to non-game environments.
  • The multiplayer classroom is not about using WoW in your classroom or designing something like WoW in your classroom. It’s about using elements that make WoW engaging, challenging and educational into your classroom.
    MMORPG Elements in the multiplayer classroom
  • Why might you consider designing your class as a multiplayer classroom?
    Has anyone tried to move to a more student-centered classroom? How have you done that? What have been the results?
    The multiplayer classroom concept is a recipe for achieving the learning environment on the left side of the table.
  • Should be at 183 minutes to start this screen
    5 minutes for screens 39 -41
  • I’ve redesigned a course as a Multiplayer Classroom course. Why did I want to design a multiplayer classroom? I’ve always received good feedback on the course, but also always felt like it could be done in a better way.
    Teacher-centered | Student-centered
    As much as I had demos, discussions and a variety of activities in class, I was still primarily the sage on the stage. I was leading discussion, but not every student was engaged at all times
    Whole Group | Individualized
    The diversity of students’ experience continues to grow. I wanted to go from whole group instruction to more individualized learning to allow learners to pursue their own areas of interest, based on their previous experience
    Focus on Topics | Focus on exploration
    List of learning technologies topics continues to grow. Finding it difficult to expose students to all topics. Instead of exposing all students to all topics, I am hoping to expose some students to some topics (but learn about all topics from each other).
    Step-by-Step / Linear | Connected Topics
    I would guide students through what I thought were the most basic topics to the most advanced topics. When doing so, I didn’t see students connecting topics and concepts as much as I would like. The MPC design will allow students to explore topics in the order they wish. Instead of exploring one topic at a time, the class may be individually exploring 20 different topics at the same time. I see opportunities to talk about similarities and differences between the topics with that approach.
    Reading/Discuss/Activity | Explore/Activity/Discuss
    There was a focus on reading, then we would discuss the readings and then we would do activities. I’m hoping moving discussion to the end will result in a more robust discussions and more probing questions by students.
  • The Lands in the World of Learning Technologies
  • The Land of Management Systems 1
  • The Land of Management Systems 2
  • Craft Items
  • Blog post
  • Quests
  • Answer/Ask Question
  • Challenge a Guild
  • Leaderboard 1
  • Leaderboard 2
  • Gradebook
  • Excel spreadsheet
  • What was good, what I’d do differently
    Critical Thinking
    Peer Analysis
    Motivation & fun
  • What was good, what I’d do differently
    Overall observation
    - XP PowerUp
    - Tournament of Champions
  • What was good, what I’d do differently
    Overall feedback
    Liked working in guilds
    - Blog Scavenger Hunt
    - Digital Curriculum Teacher Training
    - Virtual Classroom Evaluation
  • What was good, what I’d do differently
    Grade Results
    - Revision of the Levels and XP system
    - XP PowerUp
    - Tournament of Champions
  • Did we achieve the objectives?
    What is a multiplayer classroom? Multiplayer Classroom is a concept from Lee Sheldon
    Why move to the a multiplayer classroom design?
    What does a multiplayer classroom look like?
    What are the results of the multiplayer classroom approach?
  • Andy/Charles
  • Can World of Warcraft Make You Smarter?
    Can World of Warcraft make you smarter” -
    The Multiplayer Classroom Book
    The Multiplayer Classroom Facebook Page
    The LTMS 510 Multiplayer Classroom Syllabus
  • Implementing a Multiplayer Classroom: Results from Designing a Class as a Game

    1. 1. Everyone in this class is going to receive an . . . unless you level up!F Implementing a Multiplayer Classroom: Results from Designing a Class as a Game Andy Petroski Director and Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies Harrisburg University of Science & Technology @apetroski
    2. 2. Andy Petroski Director of Learning Technologies Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies Harrisburg University @apetroski Harrisburg University LTMS CAE&LT
    3. 3. What is? Why do it? What does it look like? What are the results?
    4. 4. who are you?
    5. 5. story character goal obstacles feedback levels       mechanics 
    6. 6. MMORPG Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game MMOG Massively Multiplayer Online Game
    7. 7. MMORPG 7.5 million+ Top business executives, high performers and entrepreneurs have all praised WoW for its ability to teach skills that can be easily and effortless transferred into the business market and any career or managerial and team role.
    8. 8. Gamification the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging
    9. 9. Gamification The use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences.Typically gamification applies to non-game applications and processes. *Wikipedia (
    10. 10. World of Warcraft Non-Educational Educational Fantasy Story Planning Battles Teamwork Marketplace Strategy Use of Resources Feedback
    11. 11. Multiplayer Classroom
    12. 12. Why Change? (General) Classroom Multiplayer Classroom Teacher-centered Student-centered Engaging Immersive (Fun) Conversational Collaborative Failure is damaging Lots of opportunities Limited Feedback Ongoing Feedback
    13. 13. Marked Tree High School (Biology) • Before - December 2009, 62% of sophomores taking Biology were passing with a D or higher, 10% of whom had an A or B. • After – December 2010, 98% of sophomores taking Biology were passing with a D or higher, 36% of whom had an A or B. • End of quarter test 1 (9 weeks of questing) o 2009 – students were 29% proficient or higher on the exam o 2010 – 68% were proficient or advanced • End of quarter test 2 o 2009 – 31% proficient or advanced o 2010 – 81% proficient or advanced • Advanced o 2009 – 3% of students scoring advanced o 2010 – 55% of students scoring advanced
    14. 14. Velencia College: United States History to 1877 • Increased engagement, but grades were only slightly stronger • Students were more prepared for class • Level chart gave students their status in the class. Previously, he believes most students didn’t know how they were performing in the class – even some who were passing choosing to withdrawal. • 81% did a “B” or better in preparation. Historically, that’s 50%
    15. 15. Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School: General Math • Increased engagement in all activities • Less focus on the grade • After multiplayer classroom, 30% of students who had a grade letter of C or below, had increased their grade to a B or higher
    16. 16. Why Change? (Specific) LTMS 510 LTMS 510 MPC Teacher-centered Student-centered Whole group Individualized Focus on topics Focus on exploration Step-by-step / linear Connected topics Reading / Discuss / Activity Explore / Activity / Discuss
    17. 17. MPC vs. Classroom What’s it look like?
    18. 18. General Benefits Student-centered Individualized Immersive (Fun) Focus on exploration Collaborative Connected topics Lots of opportunities Ongoing Feedback Anything to do with the game format?
    19. 19. Overall Observation On Track Need to Rethink XP, levels and badges XP and levels Guilds No due dates Collection of resources Crafting & questing maximums Student-focused class sessions (variety of methods) Guild challenges Pre-assessment of topics Leaderboard No due dates Post-assessment of topics Game twists / mechanics
    20. 20. Overall Student Feedback Positive Constructive Different type of class; Fun; Different kind of motivation; Format was motivating beyond the grade Great! (12%); OK (25%); Confusing, but I got the hang of it (38%); I would prefer a traditional format (25%) Liked working in guilds So many resources was overwhelming Peer interaction Provide a checklist of activities and suggested strategies / pacing guide (more guidance) Many different formats and ways to interact / lots of opportunities to contribute Fewer game elements Lots of resources Less competitive Doing one of each required each student to do something new; Questing allowed personalized learning Gave me a chance to think about how effective games can be
    21. 21. Grades & Results Achievement Number of Students Level 16 (A) 2 Level 15 (A-) 1 Level 14 (B+) 2 Level 13 (B) 2 Level 12 (B-) 1 Badges 11 Conquered Lands 2
    22. 22. What is? Why do it? What does it look like? What are the results?
    23. 23. Questions / Comments
    24. 24. Resources • Can World of Warcraft MakeYou Smarter? • The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game • The Multiplayer Classroom on Facebook • The LTMS 510 Multiplayer Classroom Syllabus • LTMS 510 Multiplayer Classroom Format Course Images • •
    25. 25. Educators’ Technology Clinics 3 days, 3 days and 1 day Graduate Credits Classes begin in July. Harrisburg, Lancaster & Southern Maryland locations •Educational Games & Gamification •Teaching Common Core with Web-Based Technology •iPads and Mobile Learning •Creating Graphics and Media for Education
    26. 26. Everyone in this class is going to receive an . . . unless you level up!F Implementing a Multiplayer Classroom: Results from Designing a Class as a Game Andy Petroski Director and Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies Harrisburg University of Science & Technology @apetroski