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3DGL: Quest Design: Attraction

What makes attractive quest design?

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Given the list  that was outlined in Dr. Chris Haskell’s research on quest design, I have done some of my own reflections.  I have found that if within the quest chain there are embedded flash games that apply to the content students will work harder to work towards getting to that task and will complete more quests within that chain.  I have also found that for most students quest based homework is much more attractive that paper and pen homework.  Having used this platform with students in grades 4-12, I have found that students in younger grades want more embedded media in their quests.  They are less likely to read any text on the screen the younger they are.  Given this fact I have shown  the more reluctant learners how to add the Speak It extention to Google Chrome to aid them in getting the instructions but reducing the amount of reading they actually need to do.

 

I have also found that using video tutorials within quest assignments that are introducing students to new features in Google Docs works well.  Students like that they can play and pause the video and go at their own rate of speed.  Many students find this less stressful than having to keep up with whole class instruction.  This makes quest based learning an effective way to differentiate instruction for students.

Quest Ranking System using the following titles for each rank: Paleolithic Hunter Gather, Neolithic Villager, Slave, Farmer, Artisan, Scribe, Priest, Pharaoh, Mummy, Demi-God, and Diety

Students will also click on a badge and work hard to unlock quests that will get them a badge or achievement requirement.  I find that students love to level up.  So if you can make a hierarchy of 10 levels as opposed to only 4 or 5 it will keep students motivated to continue progressions.  See rank image for 6th grade Ancient Civilizations course.

 

I like the idea of reflecting throughout the learning process.  I would like to begin to incorporate this piece into their Google Sites digital portfolio or explore a tool such as blogger to use for a similar purpose. The place I am at at this point with my quest design and content is how do I get parents and students on board with questing outside of school.  This provides a cultural shift in how ICT is seen within the school and community at the elementary level.

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Quest Attractiveness

The attractiveness of a quest depends upon several factors.  The first thing to consider is the age of the user completing the quest.  A quest is designed for a 6th grade student would differ than that for an adult learner.  For a younger learner, I would make sure that there are visual graphics with clear concise directions.  If this were are multi-step assignment I would break it into several shorter quests so that younger students get more feed back with each step.  Rather than having them complete a larger assignment that may require longer sustained attention.  In designing quests I have found if I keep the average activity length for a 6th grader to 15-20 min. not only do students have greater success but they are more apt to complete quests assignments within this length range.  Depending upon the nature of the task, once the length of completion time gets longer than this then they are less apt to select this assignment   The exception to this rule has been when students are recreating structures in Minecraft to demonstrate or model Ancient architecture.

Another factor in quest chain design involves having the physical layout of the assignment being visually pleasing to the user without being overwhelming.  It is important to make directions organized, clear, and concise.  In addition, to be aware of using the appropriate amount of white space on the page to make it visually appealing.  For example, if a middle school student is a struggling reader and the first thing they see when opening a quest are multiple paragraphs of directions they won’t do it.  If those same directions were in a list bulleted list or were given using Voki then this particular student would find this quest less intimidating and more attractive.

Well chose visual and multimedia graphics support “Quest Attractiveness” to the end user.  These can enhance learning and make the user feel more engaged in the content verse learning primarily through just text.  One thing that games do particular well is present information to the gamer in a multifaceted approach.  Great quest do this as well.