Game Design Portfolio for Scott Nicholson > Game Design Courses and Workshops
I've taught a full-semester split-level online course focused on the concepts of Meaningful Gamification in 2012 and 2013. The course starts with a focus on reward-based gamification, and students create their own syllabus for the class using points, levels, badges, and achievements. The class votes on which syllabus to use.
After living under this syllabus, the class learns about the problems with rewards and the alternatives of play-based gamification through my work on Meaningful Gamification. The class then re-develops their own syllbus, and the rest of the class runs under this more meaningful syllabus.
During the semester where I first ran this class, I explored reward-based gamification in several classes to see what impact it had with students who aren't in a gaming program. Some elements, like leaderboards and optional activities, created a situation where the weaker students struggled in the class. I wrote a paper that talked through these experiences called Exploring Gamification Techniques for Classroom Management.
I will be running this course as an undergraduate Honors course in the Spring of 2014.
I've taught a face-to-face course on the design of transformative games in 2013 and will teach it again in 2014. During this class, the students select an organization and a learning outcome, and create a game throughout the semester focused on bringing about this outcome.
I use a play-based approach to the class, basing it out of the game design course presented by Stone Librande at GDC. During each session, players play and re-design mini-games that are focused on a specific game design aspect. As the semester goes on, players add these aspects to their own games, until they have a refined game by the end of the class.
Since starting the Library Game Lab of Syracuse in 2007 (which later became Because Play Matters), I have run many workshops on using games and creating games for librarians. I did a tour across the state of New York running workshops on how libraries could use games; this workshop series led into my book, Everyone Plays at the Library.
I have also run workshops on creating face-to-face simulations for training or teaching. For the U.S. Embassy Library system, I took the participants through the creation process of developing a game to go along with an information packet, and then we worked on how to localize these games for the needs and values of a different culture.
I'm moving into game design workshops for librarians. As libraries add makerspaces, this creates an opportunity for librarians to become hubs of game design. My plan is to roll together the idea of local Game Designers' Guilds with libraries interested in developing game design programs through a series of workshops at regional and national library conferences.