Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaching Evaluation

My GATE group (gifted and talented education) have been working on gaming and coding for the past 4 sessions. Today was our big 'testing' day - the day when they set about to evaluate each others' work and how well they have created.


First, we looked at what evaluation means. They decided that it is best described as looking at something, criticising it - saying what is wrong - saying good things about it - what we like - and then looking at how to improve it.

The group took to the wiki with gusto. There were all sorts of approving (and disapproving) noises as they tested, retested, discussed with their partners, debated with nearby students and so on. There was a lot of talking, a lot of groaning (as the games baffled them here and there!) a bit of laughter, a lot of commenting to neighbours and then eventually, we came back together to discuss our findings.

Overall the feedback and feedforward was outstanding. They were critical without being personal which was something that we had talked about when we first began designing. They had taken into account WHO the games were designed for, so that the girls looked at the boys' games as a game FOR boys to play i.e. it may not appeal to them. Equally, some of the boys needed to consider whether girls would want to play their game, so target audience was a huge factor in design. When evaluating, they were all asked to consider whether the game suited the age/stage of the target audience.

The students were able to consider what could improve each game yet there were clear favourites based on personal likes/dislikes, which provided us with a great discussion about whether we should always try to design for one target group or attempt to cover everyone. It was a highly charged discussion but the consencus seemed to be that we can really only ever aim for ONE large, generic group with game design.

At the end of the session, they decided that next week they would like to do a full online (recorded) evaluation of 3 games each and then compare their opinions for common threads and trends. Then, they are going to vote on favourites!  Watch this space!

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