A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning
Chapter 6. Learning in Cooperative Mode
Each year my 7th-grade students collaborate to create a “Virtual Student Constitution” on a wiki (a wiki is an online document that more than one person can edit). The idea for the project came from an article in the Guardian titled “Mob Rule: Iceland Crowdsources Its Next Constitution,” which described how Iceland, in the process of recovering from a collapse of its banks and government, decided to use social media to get citizens to share their ideas for a new constitution.
My students are each given a laptop or an iPad and “meet” online (rather than face-to-face) in cooperative groups. Their task of is to rewrite the school’s student handbook—their “constitution.” The Edmodo social network was the virtual meeting place. Although it has the look and feel of Facebook, it’s private and secure. Edmodo has a feature called “Small Groups” in which side chats can occur. Students can have fun personalizing their pages with avatars; teachers can award digital badges on profile pages.
The classes are given five student handbooks from middle schools around the state. Each group edits a portion of the wiki, which includes both text and talking avatars made using Voki. There is one wiki for each of my four 7th-grade class sections. There can be several hundred edits over a 5-day period. The “game” began as students competed to control editing the wiki ← 105 | 106 → page—only one person can edit at a time. The mechanics of play are: arguing, collaborating,...
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