The Value of a Game

Joey Lee, Ph.D.

I attended an amazing day-long workshop (2nd NJEDGE Gamification/Games in Education Symposium)  on March 10, held at Rutgers University.  The highlight was Dr. Dr. Joey Lee, Ph.D. Teachers College, Columbia University.  His review of his keynote can be found here.  I also attended his workshop later in the morning which reminded me, nostalgically, of the excitement of my Teachers College days.  Wow, how I miss it.

In looking at games, I always think of digital games first however he talked about card games, of which he created the cardgametoolkit as a prototype software application.  I was very impress by the actual game he was involved with called  EcoChains: Arctic Crisis.

Later in the workshop, each table worked together to create their own card game.  I was reminded how difficult it is for a group to make a decision!

The students in my capstone class (EDST 6306) are always thinking “digital” for their artifacts however, I was reminded how a simple card game, if designed right, can be so engaging and enhance the learning experience.

I walked away with so many resources and ideas, it will take some time to go back and review.

Let’s Discuss

Students Discussion in a Circle

Today at lunch, I attended an excellent workshop on “Improving Classroom Discussion”, given by Mary Balkun, Professor of English and Debra Zinicola, Professor of Educational Studies here at Seton Hall.  This workshop caught my eye immediately when the advertisement came out because I use face-2-face discussion as one of forms of activities in EDST 6306 – Capstone and online discussion in EDST 6347 – Adult Learning Theory and Coaching.  Face-2-face discussion is easier for me however they gave many tips and tricks for promoting deeper discussion that I am definitely going to implement.

Tips that resonated with me  …

  1.  Don’t stand in the front of the room during a discussion, stand in the back of the room to shift discussion responsibility to the students visually.
  2. Pose questions you are struggling with yourself to come up with more open-ended questions
  3. Resist the temptation to comment on every or any response  – they could be responding to each other, don’t add to it.  Tell students you are just going to smile and nod.
  4. If a student is dominating, tell them you are going to “mute” them.
  5. Close the loop at the end of a discussion by having students write down the top 3 things they learned in the discussion/conversation.  Go around the room and have everyone give their top three.
  6. Have activities that promote discussion (i.e. have pre-answered questions for class discussion).  For example, use a case study with priming questions, have student find a youtube video related to the course content and answer a question, read two articles out of 5 articles from a selection and respond to a question using evidence from the articles, fill out a chart to compare models/theories).  Other activity was consensus grouping for a topic that has multiple points of view.  The class is divided into smaller groups whose job it is to reach a consensus.  They have to make a choice.
  7. Use a participation game where they get points for adding to a discussion (i.e. one point for bringing up a new point, one point for giving evidence, one point for building upon the discussion).  This is something I am going to try in my online Adult Learning Theory course.

After the workshop, I spoke to Deb about our struggles with getting students to add to an online discussion (i.e. “the reply”). It is my doubt that student even go back and read what someone has posted in regards to their original post.  She suggested having the student make a second post, instead of a reply.  That second post could be something like ..

  1. Use 4 people’s comments to summarize points made in the discussion or Voice Thread.  Why did you pull these out in particular?
  2. Write about 3 things other people are staying and what you think about those points.

I am definitely going to try  to use the above in my online course where replies usually do not add anything to promote the conversation.

Such a worthwhile presentation!  So many ideas, insights and tips.


Adding Fonts to a PC

This week I received some .eps files for a side job.  Because I didn’t have the font,when I opened them up in Illustrator, the characters were jumbled together.  We fixed the issue by having the graphic designer convert the text to outlines.  However, I did look for the missing font for possible purchase and I was reminded how I can never remember how to install a new font on my PC.  I came across this video, in the Articulate Community.

Here is a SCREENR, on how to do so …

Screenr - How to Add PC Fonts



It always happens.  I see an imtineyeage I want to use, pop it into my PowerPoint, forgetting to cite where I got the image.  Later, when using the presentation in a more formal setting, I go back to see if I can find where the image originally came from, all in vain.  Today, Tom Kuhlman, in his blog, The Rapid E-Learning Blog talked about TINEYE, a reverse image site that searches the Internet for the image and lists sites where it’s found.  I tried it with a couple of images – works like a charm.  Perfect!



Bringing Online Courses to the Next Level

I attBanner ELI Humanizingended a terrific ELI webinar called “Humanizing Your Online Course” given by Michelle Pacansky-Brock in June.  She provided a number of great ideas to bringing an online course to the “next level” by providing visual interest using a number of tools. As I explore them myself by adding them to the Instructional Design capstone course I teach.  I’m just so excited …

Here are the resource links:
Behaviors and Strategies for Improving Instructor Presence Online:

Course Design Tutorial


Online Courses for Faculty

The Humanizing Tool Buffet


Peer Learning Resources

student lecturing  with eyes watchingI saw this tweet by Harold Reingold today, providing a link to “Peeragogy” resources found here.

I feel my students this semester did not learn as much as they could have from fellow classmates so the opportunity for more peer learning is something I would like to enhance the next time I teach #edst6306.

Image Credit:  6735929719_fa64ccda8f_o.jpg

Interactive Online Characters

A challenge in co-teaching ORLD 5055 – Staff Development and Training has been to have students explore other possibilities than Powerpoint for training.  This year I decided to infuse the course with examples of other choices, especially with content where students had questions or did not do well. This week I created a little movie on FAQ’s students had regarding their Organizational paper assignment.  Below is my attempt using a free online tool called xtranormal found at .  Even though this tool is very simplistic, it can still be effective.  I love animated characters and the research has shown that people identify with them.  I would love to have the opportunity to try something more sophisticated such as Code Baby.

(for some reason it is not embedding into my blog post correctly)     🙁

Prezi for Education

I’m working on gathering resources for our TLTC Summer Series day Stand Out in a Crowd – Effective Presentations to be held on June 30 and I came across this example of a Prezi created by Paul Hill. It is the best example of a Prezi I have seen that demonstrates how Prezi can be used for elearning or the face-2-face classroom.