Gaming and Motivation Lesson Plan

Learning Objective: The purpose of my action research project is to increase student engagement using technology and peer cooperation. By using the principles of Newton’s Laws of Motion students will solve problems to try to rescue Sir Isaac Newton from being captured. 

  1. Pacing:  What is the pace of your lesson or game?  Who will go first? Isaac Newton in his attempt to perfect time travel sent himself to 2113, 100 years into our future. The students in playing the game must complete 10 levels of the game in an attempt to rescue Newton and take him back to his time period. Each level moves the students 10 years into the future. The students work in pairs and must complete each decade or level in 12 minutes. 
  2. Instructions:  How will your learners learn how to play your game? At the beginning of the game students will receive instructions from their “Uncle Isaac” that he has sent himself to the future and needs their help to return to his time period. During each decade he left them an iPhone with guidance and instructions for the next decade. They must find this iPhone before they can move on to the next decade. This will be where the students receive all instructions for missions, problems, and where to go next.
  3. Controls:  What will the learners manipulate in your game? Students will be able to choose and modify their characters. They will move their characters with key board controls such as left, right, up, and down arrows, spacebar to jump, enter key to pick things up, and the number or letter keys to answer questions. 
  4. Knowledge:  What do you expect your learners to know when they enter the game? What do you want them to learn from this game based lesson? What do you expect them to know when they leave? Students will start with no equipment. As they progress they have the opportunity to pick things up by solving problems related to and utilizing Newton’s Laws of Motion. Students will come in with at least a basic knowledge of what these laws are. As they are playing the game students will learn how to utilize these laws in real-life situations and apply the content to problems in the game. At the end of the game students will have a solid grasp on examples of Newton’s Laws of Motion and how they apply to daily routines and activities. 
  5. Achievements:  What are the short term and long term victories for the learner?  How do you incorporate operant conditioning in your lesson? As students progress through the game they gain various tools and equipment such as a vehicle, money, food/energy, etc to help them on their journey to rescuing their Uncle Isaac from the future. At the end of every level they must find the iPhone with instructions for the next level. At the end of the game the students must get Isaac Newton back to his time period so he can finish his great accomplishments contributing to the world we know today. Every time students answer a question wrong they lose an important aspect of technology. It can be as simple as the wheel, color, or fire and as complex as electricity. When students answer three questions wrong they must start the level over again.
  6. Story:  What is the immersive story or background information that brings the learner deep into your world? The students begin as Isaac Newton’s Great, Great, Great……Nephew/Niece. They soon learn that their Uncle has accidentally sent himself into the future trying to perfect time travel and cannot find his way back. As they are learning of this they notice subtle changes to their world such as lack of space exploration. They learn that their world will change quickly if they cannot get their uncle back to his time period in order to publish his great work and return the world back to the way it was. As they travel from decade to decade to the year 2113 where their uncle is imprisoned they begin noticing the changing of their world and must hurry before technology and scientific knowledge as they know it ceases to exist. They learn just how much their uncle contributed to the world and their future. 
  7. Endgame:  Who is the evil boss character they have to fight at the end?  What is the final outcome?  Is there an ending to your game? The game ends when the students get to the year 2113. The students find their uncle and must help him fix his time machine before all the scientific advances and technology disappear and they are stuck in a world where motion, forces, color, optics, and the telescope simply do not exist! As students are fixing the time machine they must solve various problems relating to Newton’s Laws of Motion and apply what they know of these laws to find the parts needed for the machine. 
  8. Assessment:  What are the built in assessments to your game? After every level is passed students’ statistics are saved in game. They can see how many problems they got right and wrong and what types of questions they solved as well as how long it took them to answer each question or complete each level. 
  9. Timing:  What is the overall time you have to play this game and how do you adjust to make the game go faster or slower? It can take a maximum of 120 minutes to complete the entire game if students complete every level in exactly 12 minutes. It can take longer if students must start levels over because of answering questions wrong. Students have two tries to complete each level in the allotted time frame. If they do not meet the time requirements after the second time the world reverts back to prehistoric times and they must start over again. 
  10. Fun and Motivation: Why is this game fun and why would your learners like this game? What motivation theory does your lesson address?  What operant conditions are in place? The students would be interested in seeing what the future looks like in this game. I believe they would also like to see what a world would be like without various accomplishments of Isaac Newton. The student’s curiosity will be the students’ driving force behind wanting to play the game. Keeping everything novel and eccentric will help increase the curiosity. I believe this game appeals to the Self-Efficacy and Achievement Motivational Theories because it gives them the opportunity to earn in game rewards for solving problems. Students will learn that they need to answer questions carefully, but quickly in order to gain materials to complete each level.

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