Entries Tagged 'Education' ↓

New Resources for Teaching With Inform

We’ve just updated the teaching resource pages with several new entries, including:

Winning Fafnir’s Gold: Teaching with Digital Game-based Fiction, presented by Christopher Fee at Quinnipiac University. (Video, running time 1:16:02.) Professor Fee shares his experiences with game-based teaching using a multimedia, interactive fiction tool that he created and continues to develop. Fee’s teaching approach is applicable to a wide range of disciplines and involves the nexus between student reading and writing, instructor digital asset management, and the shared pedagogical goal of student engagement.

Student-designed text-based simulation games for learning history: A practical approach to using Inform 7 in the history classroom, by Jeremiah McCall. Discusses assignments and practices for teaching history with IF in the ninth-grade classroom.

Articles in Computer Assisted Language Learning and Educational Technology Research and Development on testing the effectiveness of IF for teaching language and literature concepts. (Warning: these are journal articles behind a paywall, so may require access from an academic library or else for pay.)

EGC Paper Chase

EGC Paper Chase is a new IF game about gaming and education, and Penn State’s program in particular:

This game was conceived of and built by the Penn State Educational Gaming Commons to illustrate the origins of modern computer games, and to introduce some of the hotter spring 2010 education technologies, such as cloud computing and gesture-aware devices.

Andy Brooks: Inform 7 in Introductory Games Programming

Andy Brooks uses Inform 7 as a game engine for an introductory games programming course at an Icelandic university.

Brooks writes:

I teach about the standard IF puzzle types (door puzzles, light source puzzles, vehicle puzzles, time puzzles, and puzzles involving NPCs) and then get the students to tackle a big assignment to create their own IF game. They then playtest each others´ games to learn about that side of game development.

(I guess roughly 60% of the module is on this.)

The relevant syllabus, complete with Inform examples, may be found here.

Jeff Nyman: Tutorial on Descriptions and Locales

Jeff Nyman has released a new tutorial on creating location descriptions in Inform. His explanation is based on his work with authors who may be interested in writing something other than the traditional game.

“Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinities’ as E-Learning”

Mario Donick writes:

Attached is a small (222 KB) research paper written by me, one of my co-workers at Rostock University and one of my students. Its title is:

“Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinities’ as E-Learning. Developing Exercises for German Classes in the Secondary School Level 2″

The system described in this paper is basically IF and currently in development, using Inform 7 with the German extension (which is developed by Christian Bluemke).

…The paper has been presented today at the e-Learning Baltics 2009 conference and it is published in the conference proceedings (pp. 17–26).

Jim Aikin’s Inform Handbook completed

Jim Aikin reports that version 1.00 of his The Inform 7 Handbook is now available.

Jim Aikin: Inform 7 Handbook for younger authors

Jim Aikin has announced a documentation project now in progress — a book-length guide to Inform written for readers in the 11-to-15 age group, and also for adults who are new to IF and programming. Though not yet complete, the project already contains quite a lot of information.

Jim has invited feedback and comments from readers.

Jim Aikin: Teaching Inform to ages 11-14

Jim Aikin has been working with homeschooled students aged 11-14 who were learning to write IF with Inform 7 — he writes up the experience here.

Nels Bergquist: Inform and Eighth-Grade English

Nels Bergquist’s eighth-grade English class uses Inform in a creative writing exercise: students work together to produce complete, winnable games.

Mr. Bergquist’s assignment includes detailed instructions on how to prepare a game design document, including both story and game elements. To develop story, students write paragraphs describing the setting and at least three characters to be incorporated in the narrative, as well as a synopsis of the major challenge the player character will face. To develop the game structure, students create detailed maps, listing the characters and objects to be found in each place. Each game must feature at least three game endings, of which at least one must be a victory condition.

Programming begins only after this preliminary work. Mr. Bergquist provides in-class guidance on coding development, introducing new code concepts at regular intervals. The sample code is collected into an example code sheet, available as a resource for everyone. Some students delve further into the manual, and contribute their own solutions to the example sheet.

Results of the assignment are evaluated in terms of their ideas and content, organization, and prose style.

Mr. Bergquist has kindly shared with us a video of his students at work.

Mark Engelberg: IF for home-schooled students

First, a bit about myself. I used to be a professional adventure game programmer and designer at Sierra On-line. Ten years ago, when my first child was born, I decided to stop working and become a stay-at-home dad. To keep busy, I signed up to teach classes about things I was passionate about (mainly games, puzzles, math, and programming) at a public school resource center for homeschoolers. I enjoyed working with homeschoolers so much, that several years later when my own kids turned school age, I decided to homeschool my own children.

One of the first classes I taught was an interactive fiction class using TADS 2. Really, the goal was to teach an introduction to object-oriented programming — the “interactive fiction” component was a secondary goal. I merely chose interactive fiction because I thought it would give the kids something fun to program, and excite kids who wouldn’t ordinarily be interested in programming.

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