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Jonah's game lab

3D Game Lab

The 3D Game Lab is “gamified content creation and a student tracking platform where teachers can design and share quests and badges to create personalized learning for their students” (Rezzly, Inc., 2015, para 1). With this lab, students can make choices about what they learn and feel engaged in the learning experience (Haskell, 2012). Students can tailor their educational experiences while choosing from different themes, quests or learning missions, and topic areas (Haskell, 2012). They can also win awards or badges for participation, which includes recognition of their achievements and progress made in the games (Haskell, 2012). Awards, badges and quests can make learning fun, challenging, and inspirational.  

Gamification tools, such as the 3D Game Lab can be very appropriate for the 21st century learner because these games are not structured for traditional and linear styles of learning. Instead, this kind of tool allows learners to choose activities “based on skill, knowledge, interest, and time” (Kingsley & Grabner-Hagen, 2015, p. 55). Hence, rather than prescribe content expectations and requirements for participants, this gaming tool reaches the unique needs of 21st century learners and provides opportunities for participants to manage significant aspects of their own learning experiences. 

For Human Service workers, the tool can be integrated in an optimal learning setting by having organized content areas for participants.  Communities of gaming can also be formed, and participants can view how others are participating.  The designer should be very intentional about what content choices are available to participants, so that while each individual will have a wide range of choices regarding what and how they learn, overall competencies will be mastered. The badges can be used to reward Human Service professionals for completing their training and education within certain periods of time.

To get started, designers and instructors should develop the competencies and outcomes that drive the design and decision making of the game lab. Once these primary objectives have been identified, designers and instructors can make decisions about content and topic areas.  Since the 3D Game Lab is relatively easy to use, no sophisticated hardware, plugins or other adaptive material should be necessary.

Note: I inserted a picture of my son in front of a massive art illustration of our city. When I look at the picture, it is difficult for me to tell which parts of it are animated and which parts are real. To my mind, when games are well done, the real and animated experiences become intertwined and blended together seamlessly. Thoughtful and well-designed game labs can achieve this goal. When you think of a game lab, what pictures, stories, or tools come to mind?

Additional Sources:

Dawley, L. (2011). 3D GameLab: Turn class into a game! Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyaX7rpX6Z4

Common Sense Education. (2014).  3D Game Lab. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/website/3d-game-lab

References:

Kingley, T. L. & Grabner-Hagen, M. M. (2015). Gamification questing to integrate content, knowledge, literacy, and 21st century learning. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 59-1, 51-61.

Haskell, C. (2012). 3D GameLab from student perspective. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsen5rg7Lb0

Rezzly, Inc. (2015). 3D GameLab. Edu AppCenter. Retrieved from https://www.eduappcenter.com/apps/362#.WIutWVMrKUk

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