Yesterday, I finally got to try out my Augmented Reality game, “Manifest Destiny“. I was excited to give this a try and see how this new type of learning environment might work with my students. In the past I have run some short trial games to see how the software worked and all of the those tests the students seemed to really enjoy. This was the first complete game with a specific learning target in mind that students had to completely discover on their own. Students had no prior knowledge of the topic of “Manifest Destiny”.
The learning target for this game was: Students will be able to describe and define Manifest Destiny?
Students were given four questions to answer as they progressed through the game.
- What is Manifest Destiny?
- What are the three political factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?
- What are the three social factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?
- What are the three economic factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?
Students were placed into groups of three and each student was a different character in the game. At each location each member of the team met a different historical figure. The historical figure presented each student with some information. After the students listened to their historical character the students must then discuss what they have heard in their groups to get a complete answer. Each member of the group received vital information that must be incorporated into the answer to each question. Once they have answered their question the group then moves on to the next location.
Students seemed to be very engaged in this type of learning environment. They quickly learned how to use the device and how to use the interface of the program. Both of these were concerns for me at the beginning of this exercise. Students really seemed to be enjoying themselves and all said that they would like to do this type of thing again. Some of the complaints were that the questions were to hard. They stated that they would like to just receive the answer and not have to try to figure it out at each location. Some said that they would like more interaction at each location. they did not just want to be presented information at each place but rather interact with the device.
In grading the assignment that went along with this activity all groups received a 70% or higher on the questions. I felt as though the main learning target had been met by a majority of the class. Something that might have worked out better was to not have the questions on the device but on a separate sheet of paper. I did find that student engagement and motivation was very high for this activity. However, the fact that this was a new activity with new technology might have a big part in the motivation. All in all I thought that this type of learning environment showed a lot of promise. I will be looking at doing another game shortly based off of what I learned from this game.
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