Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

The end (of the Learning Lab project) is near

So as you know we’ve been work­ing on a metagame for the Learn­ing Lab. This year’s Learn­ing Lab is com­ing to an end and so in order to have the metagame ready before the next one kicks off, it’s time to wrap up: writ­ing won­der­ful design docs, cre­at­ing wicked wire­frames, basi­cal­ly mak­ing a plug and play design to be passed on to a Word­Press developer.

But before we got to this point, this point of con­fi­dence and readi­ness, we had one last thing we had to do. We had to playtest. For real.

Seri­ous­ly though, we had test­ed and test­ed and test­ed, with­in Hub­bub, with Thieu, with who­ev­er we need­ed to see if it was work­ing. If what was work­ing? Game­play, inter­ac­tion, ter­mi­nol­o­gy, con­tent… you name it, we test­ed it, we made it work.

Then of course came the point of test­ing it with the stu­dents. But as time was run­ning out, and with our game being more com­pli­cat­ed than just giv­ing bananas or throw­ing feces, we knew test­ing online wasn’t gonna work out. And so we trans­lat­ed our con­cept into a paper pro­to­type one last time. Here’s what we did:

All the stu­dents were giv­en the assign­ment to cre­ate a poster regard­ing the Learn­ing Lab. These would be used as their blog­posts. At the actu­al test, we gave all the stu­dents one com­ment card, to be put on some­one else’s poster. These com­ment cards asked for, well, com­ments, but also asked the stu­dents to rate the poster they were com­ment­ing on: how did it score regard­ing the authen­tic­i­ty of the poster? Was the poster insightful?

After the first round, every­one was giv­en new com­ments based on the amount of com­ments that were put onto your own poster. Nobody post­ed on yours? Only one com­ment for you, sir! Twelve peo­ple post­ed on yours? That’s a whoopin’ 13 ready to be spent!

And so we did this for a total of three rounds, allow­ing the stu­dents to real­ly get into it and com­ment away. Did they? They did. In fact, near­ly all of the 126(!) com­ments were used, and near­ly all of them to their full extent.

The stu­dents liked it, and more impor­tant­ly, had no prob­lems what­so­ev­er adding mean­ing­ful and insight­ful con­tent to the whole. Which is, in the end, the goal.

So the playtest was a suc­cess, the final ver­sion of the game will have lots more func­tions to help the stu­dents look at their own progress, at their learn­ing and at that of oth­ers. I guess it’s like I said: we’re con­fi­dent. Con­fi­dent, con­tent, hap­py campers. In fact, doing inter­ac­tion design isn’t such a pain after all.

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