This session will be spent outlining and storyboarding out game ideas. During this planning phase, we will focus on the scope and scale of each game and develop what experiences we want players to encounter. The following video is a great introduction to many of the ideas we will explore as we start building games:

Game Element Ideas

A game can reinforce principles students may have learned during a lecture or video. Below are some ideas for educational games from eduTwine. Use the examples below to help you generate ideas that are applicable to your own class.

Evaluation of Information

Ask students to evaluate resources and create outcomes based on their choices. Using a game for this means it can be fun and silly but still informative and eye opening.

  • e.g. Choose to use Web MD for a self-diagnosis, you end up in the hospital.
  • e.g. Choose a DIY law advice website, you end up in court.
Plagiarism Wizard

Ask students to make decisions about academic honesty and create outcomes based on their choices.

  • e.g. choose to use a source and not cite it, you get a zero
  • e.g. choose to submit an essay you found online and it’s your third offense, you get kicked out of school

Create a story that takes students through an authentic situation. Show them how their decisions can have a positive or negative impact.

  • Works great for professional programs like health, business, law, and more
  • Topics could include: clinical procedures, ethical decision making, health and safety, selling and customer service, digital citizenship
  • E.g. Dealing with Difficult Patients, Insider Trading, The Sales Interview
Solving a Mystery/Scavenger Hunt

Students become the detective in a problem solving story.

  • Encourages critical thinking because they must solve a mystery based on clues.
  • Topics could include: political science, research, environmental studies, law, orientation/scavenger hunts
Decision-Making Wizards

Twine works great if you have users who need to work through a series of decisions to get a final answer.

  • Works great for complicated information, such as copyright, or citation
Resource Picker

We have a ton of resources in our libraries, but our websites can be difficult to navigate. A resource picker might help your students better understand the variety of sources and their uses.

  • Develop a series of questions that will guide a user through various resources – are you looking for a primary or secondary source? Are you looking for newspaper or magazine or books? Are you looking for print or electronic?

Discussion – Digital Storytelling

Stories can engage students in learning, especially when multiple mediums (games, video, text, etc.) are combined as part of digital storytelling.

  • What kinds of simulations/games/quizzes do you use in your class already to help students explore your subject?
  • How could you adapt a discussion activity you already have in class or a quiz into an interactive fiction game?
  • What narrative devices have you most enjoyed in the books that you’ve read and games that you’ve played?
  • What narrative/game devices could you use to help your students deepen their understanding of a concept or develop empathy for the people they’re studying?
  • How would you storyboard your favorite movie?
  • How can you use branching narratives or recursion to provide students with choices as they move through a story?