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‘What was the best login experience for your students?’

First off, the login experience sucked.

It always took more than one class day (~54min) to get the students on-boarded and in-game. Some students didn’t have email addresses, some lost their password every day, and others needed guided instructions and missed the step-by-step walkthrough.

Even after successfully logging in there were issues: students logged in as other players and sabotaged their characters, or played on another student’s (who forgot to sign out) account without realizing they weren’t playing their own character.

I mentioned ‘login with facebook’ as the best experience since users didn’t need to remember their login information and would even get excited at the prospect of creating an account. However, I never used a facebook login game with my whole class, only with particular students who found a suitable game to play during our personalized computer time on Fridays. I actually had more whole class experience with the “login with google” option since that is what Khanacademy used at the time (Clever and Edmodo weren’t around). It was nice once the students were set up because we had a laptop cart and each student used a device that was assigned to them. However, there were students who took weeks to create an account. Oftentimes they needed to create an email account first. The school/district firewalls would prohibit students from accessing email clients, so we would have to share the smartphones in the class to get students making email accounts (~5 including mine). So actually, the “login with…” option created additional barriers that made it so that a few of my students had a grueling experience getting their login information. It was very quick for students who were already set up with facebook/google, so I can imagine Clever or Edmodo being options? As mentioned, smartphones were not very prevalent in my classes. …

I learned to work with a variety of experts with GlassLab in 2015. Part of my job was to teach them how learning works. While it is true that feedback on performance drives learning (part 1), there is something about learners making sense for themselves that is another driver. As Dan Meyer so eloquently stated in late July,

Make yourself more interested in the sense that your students are making rather than the sense they aren’t making. Celebrate and build on that sense.

One way to try to understand what sense players are making in the video game medium is to gradually lower the difficulty until they are successful. Dynamic difficulty can be accomplished in many ways. Dynamic hinting is when we provide hints that allow players to advance in the game. Rather than making a cut-scene that explains a concept or a new and easier challenge; a hint alters the game-state in such a way to shed some light on a common solution strategy. …

I am grateful for my experience of designing learning games with GlassLab in 2014–16. Ratio Rancher is a serious game (discontinued ‘19) that develops and assesses player’s proportional reasoning. I am proud of the feedback that reinforces the mathematical ideas. For more information on dynamic difficulty and hinting, see the second post of this 2-part series.

There are three core interactions in Ratio Rancher:

  1. Feeding Pen
  2. Shipping Order
  3. Mini Game

For each interaction, players receive feedback to reinforce their proportional reasoning.

Feeding Pen

The feeding pen allows students to manipulate an array model that lines up food items for each creature to eat, and provides a concrete experience to make sense of the symbolic notation of ratios (A:B). …


Evan Rushton

Embrace Mistakes | Live to Learn | Love to Teach

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