An IF Textbook for IT

Brett Shelton, who is now officially my partner-in-crime, recently had a great idea. I was standing in his door, and he was sitting down in his cozy chair, which is how we conduct most of our converastions.

He’s currently teaching this rockin class on games and learning, and the class is looking specifically at interactive fiction (think the genre of Zork). The way I understand it, they’re developing an IF game around the great Spoon River Anthoogy (via Gutenberg or Amazon) targeted at middle school age kids. His new idea is to build an IF game for instructional technology, perhaps as a textbook for a Foundations course.

I think this is a brilliant idea. Being a partner-in-crime, of course, I’m obliged to go along anyway. đŸ˜‰ I’ve been trying to brainstorm possible settings for the game… At first I thought of a sort of MUD virtual conference where you and other students could wander around, meet NPCs of Anderson, Bloom, Gagne, etc., hear them give presentations, talk to them afterwards, etc.

Then I thought something more along the lines of my personal favorite from my childhood, Bedlam, might be interesting. Imagine what being locked in an asylum with IT faculty would be like…

(Whatever environment we choose, I’m hoping that PKing is enabled and the Merrill and Jonassen NPCs wander into the same room.)

The goal, of course, is to familiarize students with the major authors of the field and their contributions to the same. How would you structure it?

1 thought on “An IF Textbook for IT”

  1. I think the students should have to navigate an AECT conference. Wander into rooms, ask questions at sessions, mingle at the whatchamacallits, etc.

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