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Blog: Gameful Learning Conference 2018

I'll be at the Gameful Learning conference this summer between July 23 and July 25. I will be also hosting a session on Twine and ways we can effectively use it in the classroom for learning at the conference. The abstract of my workshop is copied below.

Hopefully see you there!


“Constructing Twine in the ESL Classroom”

How can English as a Second Language (ESL) pedagogy help with implementing gameful learning materials? To provide some perspective, current ESL pedagogy can be summarized into three guiding principles: 1) learning should be defined using concept questions, 2) learning should be seen in context, and 3) learning should include follow-up activities that practice the learned material. A concept question is a teaching device used for foreign language learning; for instance, if a learner were learning the vocabulary ‘bedsit’ some concept questions might include ‘is it a room?’ and ‘are there any other rooms in the house?’. The idea is to check for the comprehension of ‘bedsit’ without using the word itself. Many classrooms already use gameful learning for follow-up activities, but how do we use it for concept questions and context? Additionally, current teaching theory trends towards constructivism, i.e. humans construct knowledge from experiences. We see this constructivist approach in popular culture with the recent rise of maker spaces, Nintendo Labo, FIRST robotics, and others. So how can we use gameful learning to construct knowledge for our learners while also providing concept questions and context in order to enhance comprehension? One answer that combines the theoretical and the practical exists in procedural rhetoric. Procedural rhetoric allows a new method for teaching that can combine ESL pedagogy and constructivist theory into engaging gameful learning materials. Some examples of procedural rhetoric in popular culture include visual novels, A.I. chatbots, videogames, and interactive quizzes. The workshop “Constructing Twine in the ESL classroom” will explore the procedural rhetoric software known as Twine and its various uses in teaching vocabulary and grammar for English language learners. We’ll see example materials and discuss design considerations for an engaging Twine experience that also follows current ESL and constructivist pedagogy. By the end, we’ll learn ways to engage learners that capitalize on popular culture, follow theoretical frameworks, and employ learning materials that are accessible on any device with a web browser (phones included).


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