We’ve had an idea so far on how we wanted to do this, originally wanting to create an app that was designed for teachers which would show the different types of games to use for different subjects in school and in this list-like app it would also have guides on how to use these games in school. But after we redefined our problem statement we are gonna have to take a different approach to our task.
For our brainstorming session we sat down together and wanted to find three good solutions to our defined problem statement, being;
Students needs games integrated in learning because it allows for a more creative and engaging way for students to interact with topics in school.
We need to preferably make something physical for our ideate phase. Apps, websites or digital solutions seems to be a big no-no according to our teachers, so we’ll be trying to think outside the (sand) box. To start our little brainstorming session we needed to define what we thought about the topic for our problem statement. First of all we discussed the main characteristics of sandbox games and came up with keywords for them, this being:
- Predefined rules
- Developers control
- Create your own goals
- Intrinsic motivation
After we had our little list of what we think the sandbox genre is characterized by, we wanted to use one of the methods provided in class to help us find out what we could create that had such a set of characteristics. The «how might we» method of asking questions related to our topic is a good way to get a better view of what we actually want to achieve with our solutions to our problem statement. Our HMW questions are written here:
- How might we promote creativity among students?
- How might we improve the subjects with games?
- How might we make students less distracted in class?
- How might we focus attention on the educational part of the game?
- How might we increase the likelihood of game usage in class?
- How might we improve, or optimize, games for learning?
- How might we gamify the lectures?
- How might we make classroom exercises like a game?
- How might we create interest or motivation in a subject through games?
- How might we improve teaching quality with games?
- How might we use games to improve the learning environment?
As we’ve mentioned earlier our ideas needs to be based on our finds, and needs to give a solution to our problem statement. With the methods we’ve used so far, by writing down key characteristics and using the HMW-questions we can use this train of thought to get us going in our brainstorming of ideas. We wanted all our members to come up with at least two ideas each and from there try to make a selection through a point based ranking system. Each member would vote for which ideas they thought were the best, having a total of three points they could give (max two points for one idea). Ranking will be completed below our ideas.
Grouped similar ideas together.
Made topic and subtopics for our two columns.
Wrote scores on the notes. More information of the rankings below.
In order to create ideas for our problem statement, we need to keep the sandbox characteristics and the HMW questions in mind for our notation of the ideas. Down below are the ideas we came up with, slightly more in detail than on our notes above:
- The usage of Micro:Bit for sandbox learning. Micro:Bit is a relatively easy way to learn programming, very simplified. Often with pre-made step-by-step guides that lets you know what to do and when. It’s a smaller surface to play around with than the open world of Minecraft, as it’s limitations are far greater.
- A console that is meant for educational games. This will have a set of pre-installed games, such as Minecraft or Garry’s Mod. It will run on Steam OS.
- Rubik’s Cube, pattern learning.
- Straight up a sand box, generally meant for younger students.
- A game we could develop, with set rules depending on the subject.
- A website with small games for each step in the design thinking process, used for classroom exercises in design methods
- A virtual environment where students could experiment with testing out design concepts. Players would be able to set their own parameters for how users interact with their system. (Think of a game like Tabletop Simulator where the user may customize the rule-set that other players play with.)
- A Lego set for students to experiment with different solutions to a problem given by the teacher.
- A board game with creative tasks for them to complete underway. Let’s say it’s set up like Monopoly, they roll the dice; instead of buying properties they get to select a card and on it they get a task in which they need to do set task (e.g. build a little LEGO house or make a paper airplane). This is done with, let’s say, a 60 second timer (similar to the game called Alias).
- Game that students learning new subjects can use to learn creative thinking. Give a set of rules and a box of tools they can play around with it and use their imagination to work with the tasks given in the game / find solutions to its problems.
RANKINGS OF OUR IDEAS
When we had our ten ideas we read through them and then had people give their points to the one they liked. Three points total per person, where two points is the highest they can give a single idea, so a total of 10 points is the absolute max. We ended up with idea number 6 as our highest scorer, with idea 5 as the second highest and idea 9 as the third highest. Four of the ideas ended up going in the trash pile, while we had three ideas getting one point each (being idea 2, 7 and 10).
After we did our ranking we thought about what made us choose the given ideas. Most of us had a realistic approach to the task, we put limits on what we could do with our given time and technology. Although the task said we shouldn’t set limits to our imagination and the possibility of our solutions, all of them had some «hidden» limits although we did not really go into the task with set limits beforehand.
The three chosen solutions for our ideate phase are either a physical or digital solution. Idea 6 and idea 5 being digital solutions in the form of games or websites, whilst idea 9 being physical in the form of a board game. Going forward solution 6 is the one we will be focusing on for our future work with personas, scenarios and storyboard.