Justin Bathon over at EdJurist sent a note the other day discussing McLarin’s Adventures. This is an interesting educational video game developed under the leadership of Scott Wilson, director of educational gaming initiatives at OU’s K20 Center. It follows sound 3D learning doctrine in order to achieve pedagogical objectives, placing students in a quest-based MMORPG to map an uncharted island. Teamwork is key as students work together on goals in the game.
Funding came through a US Dept. of Ed. STAR Schools Grant. The game is STEM-based, focused primarily on physics and the other sciences, with feedback for teachers to pinpoint needs for individual students. Here’s the introductory video:
For more technical details on how the game works in a school environment, take a look at the McLarin’s Adventures Task Manager below (no sound in this video). Note the objectives window and task manager window, and details for network managers:
It’s evident the team at OU has done a great job. An article in Oklahoma City’s The Journal Record reports student workers in various majors were contracted for programming, graphics, and voice dubbing. Sounds like a monumental coordinated effort that paid off with a premium product.
Finally, the project offers a teacher portal for stakeholder discussion and information dissemination, including calendars, shared docs, and a place to report bugs. All in all, the folks over at the K20 Center at OU have done an outstanding job in developing a functional, and by all accounts fun to play, pedagogical game.
Brus, B. (2009, May 5). A gamer’s paradise found in Oklahoma’s classrooms. The Journal Record. [Online.] Retrieved January 13, 2010 from: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4182/is_20090505/ai_n31627592/