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Help Viola: using an alternate reality game for student induction. Jones, Glass & Shields

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Presented at LILAC 2009

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Help Viola: using an alternate reality game for student induction. Jones, Glass & Shields

  1. 1. Help Viola: using an ARG for student induction Rosie Jones Bob Glass Emily Shields Manchester Metropolitan University
  2. 2. Session overview Introduction  The ARGOSI project  What are ARGs? ViolaQuest narrative Activity: ViolaQuest The potential of ARGs for learning Questions
  3. 3. The ARGOSI project ARG to support student induction – one year JISC funded project  Integrated gaming environment  Meet InfoSkills learning outcomes  Create social networks  Improve student orientation confidence  Engage in, and enjoy induction Induction  Lack of context  Information overload  ‘Pub’ focussed  Little orientation to the city
  4. 4. What are ARGs? Emerging game form - 2001 Viral marketing tool Real world and online - variety of media Narrative unfolds over time Built by the players - user-created artifacts Collaborative challenges ‘This is not a game’ Typically niche but with high engagement
  5. 5. Viola Quest
  6. 6. Viola and Percy
  7. 7. A secret society
  8. 8. The Challenges Challenge 1 : A strange letter Challenge 2 : Who am I? Challenge 3 : A history mystery Challenge 4 : X marks the spot Challenge 5 : Percy’s A-Z Challenge 6 : Finding the flaxobulator
  9. 9. Narrative structure Overarching storyline  Regular plot points when challenges released Customisable sub-plots  Related to learning outcome sets
  10. 10. Exploring challenges Go to www.violaquest.org Log in: Username : Password : In your teams, you have 25 minutes to complete as many of the 16 lower challenge grid squares as possible (you will not be able to do no.6)
  11. 11. Challenges Linked to learning goals Online and offline Individual and group Increasing levels of difficulty Range of ways to provide evidence
  12. 12. Getting the right mix for learning Completing Competition Storyline Puzzle-solving Community Creativity
  13. 13. The ARGOSI framework Software  The ARG engine Set of reusable ARG components  Narrative  Graphics  Challenges Guidelines for use
  14. 14. The ARG engine Free open-source software  Developed in Ruby on Rails (need to have some expertise in Ruby, MySQL)  Can be deployed to any compatible server  Can be freely modified and customised Delivers ARG elements  Challenge management  User management and leader board  Discussion forums and messaging User and admin functionality
  15. 15. ViolaQuest  www.violaquest.org
  16. 16. Customisable narrative Overarching storyline  Change characters, location, plot  Keep structure Sub-plots  Entirely customisable  Players will make the links with the main plot
  17. 17. Graphical elements Customisable elements  Letter  Typewritten instructions  Diary pages  Newspaper articles  Map  Blueprints
  18. 18. Good practice guide Ongoing as we learn more Handbook for implementation  Using the ARGOSI framework  Marketing guidance  Guidance on use of external sites Research findings from ARGOSI
  19. 19. Some things we’ve learned from ARGOSI Timing is important Don’t expect autonomy for all  Many students need an external motivation Difficult to make learning outcomes fun Getting the challenges right is hard  Easier is more accessible  Students not keen to work offline Underestimated time taken to support
  20. 20. Any questions?

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