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Learning Standards: Eurogames/Designer Games

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Eurogames Using games to teach science Pandemic Tesla Evolution
Common Core ELA Literacy


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy Skills
Evaluation Logical argument, assessment, prediction
Synthesis Arrangement, Collection, Manage, Planning
Analysis Appraising, calculating
Comprehension Classify, explaining, locating, recognizing, selecting
Knowledge Memorizing, defining, listing

From Mayer, Brian, and Christopher Harris. “TABLE 2.1.” Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning through Modern Board Games. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. 17. Print.

AASL (American Association of School Librarians) Standards Frameworks for Learners

Inquire/Share: exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes:

  1. Interacting with content presented by others.
  2. Providing constructive feedback.
  3. Acting on feedback to improve.

Board Games: A direct alignment of modern board games with the new AASL Standards for the 21st century learner
(School Library System of Genesee Valley BOCES)

1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.

Most games utilize some form of a theme, using it to develop a setting or back story that provides some context for the gaming experience. By students already having knowledge of elements utilized within the game they are able to bring information with them to the table. That information provides a starting point from which they can engage in the inquiry process; building and strengthening new knowledge along the way

1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format in order to make inferences and gather meaning.

Students actively participate in the gaming experience, taking in information that can manifest itself in a variety of formats within a game. Rather than evaluating these sources in isolation, games require students to construct meaning through obvious and inferred informational sources and then synthesize a strategy for action based on the combined effect of all learned factors.

1.1.9 Collaborate with others to broaden and deepen understanding

Games naturally elicit social interaction and so, can provide a comfortable platform for students to engage in collaboration. With individuals discussing and working in teams, students have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of not only the content and skills involved with the activity, but of each other as well.

1.2.5 Demonstrate adaptability by changing the inquiry focus, questions, resources or strategies when necessary to achieve success.

Because board and card games are an interactive activity, actions are not always predictable and the decisions needed are rarely the same with repeated plays. As a result, situations can and will change as a game progresses, requiring students to be flexible in the approaches and actions they take as they work towards achieving goals within the game.

1.26 Display emotional resilience by persisting in information searching despite challenges.

Games offer positive experiences which can teach persistence and help students to learn that it is alright to fail. They walk away knowing that they can learn from their mistakes and still grow as learners. This is a hard lesson to impart in an environment where so much matters, but games succeed by providing an opportunity where students can fail and still continue on to succeed within a single learning experience

1.3.4 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within the learning community.

Students can participate in the game experience by offering advice and leadership during cooperative play or giving feedback and suggestions after decisions are made while engaged in competitive activities. Student contributions can also take place away from the table as they discuss strategies as they relate to the game.

1.4.1 Monitor own information-seeking processes for effectiveness and progress, and adapt as necessary.

Games often have a learning curve that builds towards proficiency. Initial plays are explorations in the system, becoming familiar with the theme and mechanics of the game. However, students have the potential to excel within a game through a continual process of self-monitoring and adaptation of how they are utilizing information during their experience.

1.4.2 Use interaction with and feedback from teachers and peers to guide own inquiry process.

By participating within learning communities, students have the opportunity to develop their inquiry skills through feedback and interaction with their teachers and peers. With guided game play, teachers can utilize selected gaming resources to introduce new skills or reinforce specific ones that need attention. Students can also serve as peer mentors, initiating other students who are unfamiliar with a game and providing advice on how to interpret and interact with information throughout the gaming experience.

2..2.1 Demonstrate flexibility in the use of resources by adapting information strategies to each specific resource and by seeking additional resources when clear conclusions can not be drawn.

The game experience itself also demands flexibility in where information is gathered and how it is utilized. Potential sources of information include other players, the game itself, past play experiences, and suggested strategies for play. How much each source factors into the player’s decisions varies with each game. Additionally, factor in that many games offer a variety of paths to victory and you now have a very fluid learning environment.

2.3.1 Connect understanding to the real world.

Games can then be used as springboards for conversations surrounding important topics of the day. If the game is well designed, the students will not simply be learning about these topics but will experience and interact with them.

3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

Whether in the classroom or online, games facilitate the sharing of concepts and strategies through collaboration amongst players and an active reflection on personal performance. These moments of interaction and collaboration are not confined to sporadic moments of socialization, but instead transpire throughout the course of the game.

3.2.3 Demonstrate teamwork by working productively with others.

Cooperative games are a specific subset of gaming that uses teamwork as the primary driving factor for game play. Most cooperative games pit the students against the game, allowing little room for mistakes. Without communication and that unless they truly work together they will never be able to achieve success.

3.4.1 Assess the processes by which learning was achieved in order to revise strategies and learn more effectively in the future.

Effective games, inspire students to mentally revisit the events of their gaming experience, asking themselves key questions such as: “How did I do?” and “How can I be more effective the next time I play?” These questions provide guiding answers that help students grow as learners. Organizing the results for reflection, students are able to develop a direction for improvement in future games.

4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.

User driven resources like Board Game Geek (http://www.boardgamegeek.com), provide students an outlet to post and read information about the games they enjoy. Additionally, they have the ability to provide feedback and share their opinions through reviews, ratings and tags. These resources can serve as a research base for the student’s interests, allowing them the opportunity to begin the inquiry process before they sit down and start playing a game. Students can research the best strategies or look for clarification on a poorly translated rule set. The exchange of information can continue after game play as students discuss and share their experiences with their peers.


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