Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Turn Your Online Course into an MMORPG

Really interesting approach to teaching an online course. I've seen students addicted to Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, so why not structure and deliver an online course like an MMORPG. Although non-BYU students can't earn credit, Professor David Wiley is inviting anyone else to participate for free. I encourage you to read the article below and to explore Wiley's blog iterating toward openness. Wired Campus: Professor Turns His Online Course Into a Role-Playing Game
David Wiley says that teachers can learn a lot from online video games — the kind where players pretend to be orcs and wizards and work together in teams to slay dragons. So Mr. Wiley, an associate professor of instructional psychology and technology at Brigham Young University, has decided to turn an online course he’s teaching next semester into an online role-playing game.

That’s right, Mr. Wiley will invite students who sign up for his spring course (which is about online teaching methods) to be an artisan, a bard, a merchant, or a monk and go on learning “quests” together.

Although he’s using a game metaphor, Mr. Wiley says that dividing students up into teams and asking them to work on group projects are time-tested teaching techniques — ones that the best video games happen to make use of. “If you reverse-engineer a popular multiplayer game, they’ve somehow encoded all these things about what good learning ought to look like,” he argues. “Instead of just learning how to kill orcs, we can use these really effective techniques for honest-to-goodness educational content.”

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