I went to meet up with an educational game designer this morning. She just created a role-based game – Journey of an hero. The game has four steps – who am I, where am I going, how I did it and the new me who returned.
By looking at these steps, I actually also see it as a philosophical course. Probably essentially it is one but taught in a fun way to very young kids. For example, for the first step – who am I, children are asked to create a role for him or herself, to observe the differences between yourself and that of others, and to learn to accept it. There are a lot of really nice concepts behind it and I wish children are able to understand. That is the ultimate educational purpose reaches the targeted audience.
I will still need to attend the real game activity in order to assess its learning outcome. However, it does shed a new light for me – can we do an online course in a gaming environment. Not many instructors have tried it, probably because we are very academic and serious. A role-based, gamified MOOC might sound like an odd idea, but maybe not a completely absurd one.