Looking back its been just over three months since I last posted; the best laid plans of mice and men eh? And the Literacy Project? Well…
Trials, Tribulations… (or Skip to ‘and Other Stuff’)
A work plan designed for funding A started… oh we now have funding B; half A. Still 80% of the work plan to complete though.
Suppliers agreements signed… oh wait we might not pay that invoice… it should have been this contract too.
Weeks pass, timelines change, content delayed, deadlines missed.
… and Other Stuff
I do wonder sometimes why I try to do this for a living. Seeing the first levels of the Literacy Project complete reminds me. There’s so much to deal with freelancing in the educational environment; bureaucracies, politics, egos, funding agencies, etc., etc. But it’s also where the students are and if my work is to make a difference, and I’m passionate about it doing so, that’s where I need to be too. In my view this project will make a difference. So it’s been got on with *smiles.
The whole project has been stripped down considerably from the original intentions, which isn’t such a bad thing in my view. In part this is to manage the build within a tighter budget, but it is also about giving a stronger focus to individual game-play. There are some aspects of multi-user still incorporated, as can be seen in the accompanying video, but task wise I have concentrated the play around the individual at this stage in the research. Too many aspects added to the play will, in my view, make it more difficult to analyse where the project may or may not be succeeding in terms of its learning objectives. If it is thought that group activities will add to the learning then this aspect can be added at a later date and compared against individual play.
I have also deliberately left out incorporating a designed community aspect because it interests me to see if a game community will develop of its own accord. This version of the build may provide some leads out to establishing community but, at this stage, community will be student driven rather than project driven. Again, this is another aspect that may be added at a later date and used as a comparative tool for learning analysis.
As seeing it in action will tell you far more than any words will, without more ado, on with the walk-through video. I suggest you access HD for best viewing.
A way to go in the development yet but the main programming functionality is complete. Now its more about building each of the remaining levels, designing the accompanying tasks and then adjusting the existing code functions to accommodate the new material.
Each level will scaffold more of the educational content using different tasks to present it, but functionally the student will basically go through the same process as shown for Level 1. The level designs however, and the purpose of the tasks, will be sufficient to make each level feel different and keep the game-play engaging.
So back to the workshop for me. Comments and/or critiques appreciated as always.
Next in the Series: Changes to the Rewards System