One of the many buzz words in education right now, is constructivism: if you haven't heard it somehow, it's the idea that students can build their own knowledge through experience better than they could if it was just lectured to them... but what do they need to experience, and what knowledge are they building by doing so? Moreover, how does a teacher set-up a classroom for experience? What tools can they use, and what assignments result? How does one assess students in a constructionist classroom?
This course emphasizes students as builders of knowledge by having them build video games, as opposed to playing them. By doing so, we will also be able to address and explore the complexities of the pedagogy of using video games to teach K-12 students. Our lectures will focus on the psychological theory of constructivism, social constructivism, and constructionist frame works and their relevance to current learners and their different perspectives of technology use. Our labs will also be a "hands-on" lesson in constructivism as we allow students to participate in two constructionist style activities where they will learn how to use a video game building tool and then create their own video game from scratch. Finally our assignments will bring this all together by asking students to reflect on what they have learned from the experience, as well as how it relates to the psychological theories they have been exposed to. This course is also an option for the Video Game Certificate!
Find here a copy of a previous course syllabus. There is no final exam! Traditionally, this course is offered Fall, Winter and Spring.