>Just spent an evening with colleagues and students on the last session of the online games course. I was really impressed with so much of this. It is a curious experience because it is, on the one hand, very matter of fact, but on the other it breaks so many boundaries. It is delivered from Chicago and other presenters join in from across the world – so geographically liberated. It takes place in the evenings and we are at home – so timetable free. Most of the presentations are done by games professionals or the students themselves – so teacher free or at least the teacher is not the expert but a fellow learner. Self evaluation of their work and their working practice is wired into the structure and the thinking – so assessment for learning is not an afterthought. Students are invited to critique the course, the teaching and the presenters – so they are involved in managing and improving their learning.
And do they respond – of course they do. They worked in teams and made a game but more than that they also learned about team building and working. They were able to talk clearly about their own work and working practice and in doing so demonstrated how much they had learned about gaming concepts, design, principles, constraints, brainstorming, marketing and the creative process. But for me the most important aspect of the experience was to remind me, once again, of how sensitive and perceptive learners children can be when they are given the responsibility and freedom to work with their teachers rather than for them. I am grateful for that.