Interpersonal

Interact effectively with others as peers, subordinates and leaders to accomplish goals.

Context

Artifact

Class EDTEC 670, Exploratory Learning through Simulation and Games
Instructor Karl Richter
Project Design an e-Game
Artifact “Top Guns” e-Game design document

 

Snapshot of e-Game Main Menu

Gerry de Ocampo and I partnered to design an e-Game for people seeking their National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) personal fitness trainer certification. The game would prepare them for the NASM certification exam by teaching them how to set up and monitor personal fitness programs for clients.

Connection to the Standard

Because he lived in California and I lived in Arizona, we relied on Skype to discuss the project and share our ideas. We used Google Docs to flush out the design elements and a wiki to collaborate on the design document.

Our complementary preferences, strengths and skill sets enabled us to work effectively together to design the e-Game. Gerry preferred writing and designing while I preferred media development and conducting research to come up with ideas to enhance the learner experience. My creative and technical abilities were well suited to creating professional looking visuals and defining the technical elements of the game (e.g. game engine and software tools) while Gerry's subject matter expertise in NASM guidelines and his writing skills ensured the design document was clearly written and accurately reflected content details.

Gerry was pivotal to writing well-defined learning objectives and detailing the content into the design of the game play, worlds/rooms to explore, and the interface specifications (i.e. personal trainer dashboard). My Reallusion iClone and Adobe Photoshop skills were critical to developing sample screen shots for the game including the backgrounds, avatars, and personal trainer dashboard windows. To improve the learner experience, Gerry consulted with experts in the field for design suggestions and I researched Keller's ARCS model of motivation (Keller and Suzuki, 1988) and Malone and Leeper's intrinsic motivation theory (1987) for ways to improve learner engagement. Through my research and his interviews, we identified appropriate game play activities to simulate the decision-making learners would face as personal trainers in real life.

Challenges & Learning Lessons

Working with a subject matter expert to design the e-Game was the main challenge for me. Because only Gerry knew the topic intimately, I could not build the sample screen shots until he had transferred his knowledge into written form. Even then, I often had to discuss the content details with him to make sure I fully understood what he was trying to convey so we could collaborate. While developing the personal trainer dashboard windows, I needed to rely heavily on Gerry to make sure I clearly understood the interface specifications he had outlined, so I could develop highly realistic and intuitive dashboard windows aligned to the specifications.

What It Showcased About Me

This project demonstrated my ability to interact with a teammate and leverage one another’s preferences and skill sets to produce a great looking, instructionally well-designed game. It also demonstrated my media development skills and my ability to apply learning motivational theories to improve the learner experience.

Future Application

I anticpate that I will be collaborating with others from a distance often in my career and this project helped me see the value of using online collaboration tools to support the working relationsionship. Furthermore, this project highlighted how important it is for the project team to discuss preferences and skill sets at the beginning of a project to synergistically drive all interactions and contributions.

References

Keller, J. M., and Suzuki, K. (1988). Use of the ARCS Motivation Model in Courseware Design. In D. H. Jonasse (Ed.), Instructional Designs for Microcomputer Courseware (pp. 401–434). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Malone, T. W. and Lepper, M. R. (1987). Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic motivations for learning. In M. J. Farr and R. E. Snow, (Eds.), Aptitude, Learning and Instruction: Cognitive and Affective Process Analyses, Vol. 3, (pp. 223-253). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.