#openspokes on Failure, Video Games, and Course Structure

As always, our Fellowship of the Open Spokes inspires me to reflect on improving the learning and teaching in my classroom. This week’s topic is failure, and that has far-reaching implications for both students and teachers. Please look at all the videos.

Joe, @onewheeljoe, discussed failure in video games.

As a person who has never experienced success in a video game, I only feel frustration at even thinking about them. And I cannot see using my time with them. I do understand how others enjoy them.

But I do know that we learn in spite of failure when we know it is possible to succeed, when someone is a cheerleader for us encouraging us to try again, and when the results are important to us. Importance might be fun, or belonging, or helping to improve to make our life better, or to feel in control of our life, or just having choices. Video games often meet those needs.

How do we create a learning community that meets these needs in this test/accountability culture?

How do we show that failure is part of learning?

Perhaps our courses need to be explained as a choose-your-own-adventure story, a series of episodes where participation leads to the next level, and that the choice of episodes is made by the learner, encouraged by peers and teacher, with both individual and collaborative components, all leading through successful demonstrations in each level until the “expert” becomes the mentor to others in a final demonstration of solving, living, and learning the goals of a chosen journey. And the episodes feel possible, and supported, as in games.

Thanks Joe. You’ve given me some things to think about. Has anyone already created a template, a design structure, for this type of course structure?


Reflect curiosity and wonder —
Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness…


on “#openspokes on Failure, Video Games, and Course Structure
2 Comments on “#openspokes on Failure, Video Games, and Course Structure
  1. Hi Karen, I really don’t want education to become a “game.” I do want it, and believe it will turn this way, to become more personalized with learners in charge. Games may be part of it, but “Choose Your Own Adventure” is about designing a learning path with objectives that fit each student. I don’t know how I will “post my objective” each day though…. PS. I’m sending you a longer response, or maybe it will be a blog post. Thanks for stopping by…

  2. I think the next thing I am going to be studying Sherri is gamification. I think the choose your own adventure would do very well for science for example.
    I was watching a presentation on universal design yesterday where he mentioned that the teaching of math had be ruined by the invention of the book (math became a fixed and immutable subject) and I sometimes wonder what the new inventions of today will do to the teaching of knowledge and what it might ‘ruin’.

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