Ideas for Fishing Game Class Implementation

Tue, 2012-05-15 13:34 -- wprothero

Recently I got an email asking me the following questions:

I’m interested in incorporating the Fishing Game into a 1-hour community college course I will be teaching in the Fall. I was wondering how much time to dedicate to the following aspects of the game:
 
-          Game Set Up
-          Introduction of the Game
-          Game Play
-          Game Closure & Discussion
 
Also, would you recommend the game as an in-class activity (whether traditional face-to-face classroom, or as an online teaching environment), or is it best as a homework assignment?

My reply was:

I've put a lot of time and energy into it because I think it teaches important concepts. Re the time to do the various tasks, here are my comments:

I would ask students to view the tutorial video before class. Even better, ask them to play the game once on their own before class. An idea is to offer a "prize" for best score (a certificate you make up, some kind of treat, extra credit, you name it). The game shows scores of other players, so you could make the award based on these scores for each scenario. This might motivate students to prepare in advance.

Another option, re game preparation, is to use a bit of the lecture time, say 15 minutes to prepare students. I do this sometimes with software projects so students can gain confidence. One stumbling block might be the installation of the Shockwave plugin on their own computer. It's easy for the computer literate, but some may not be able to get it working. I've found that students help each other out with some of these tasks, so ...

Anyway, if you want to introduce it in a lecture, you could play through a game and get students familiar with the interface. All this could be done by students on their own, but you may get better participation if you introduce it in class. There are two tutorial videos and these should be very helpful.

FYI, the tutorials are at:
http://es.earthednet.org/fg-tutorials

I designed the game as a homework assignment. But, it will work as a lab assignment too. I make suggestions for this at:
http://es.earthednet.org/lesson-ideas
You could play the game in a classroom situation, then have students complete the game on their own.

I always have my software available at some college computer lab, so students who don't or can't get it on their own computer, can play it.

You can use the admin application to monitor student progress.
http://es.earthednet.org/sw/fg_v3.01/fgAdmin_v3.html

Re timing: Students who seriously tackle the game typically spend a minimum of an hour, but many spend two hours playing the game. It depends on whether they go in-depth or not. For wrap-up, that will be up to you, how engaged the students are in the subject, etc.

Please let me know how it goes. Teachers who use the game find that it's a great discussion focussing activity.