Understanding abstract concepts can be a bit tricky if they are not relatable. Personalising narratives around a topic or a subject contextualised the relevance and the applicability of the topic. Identifying with the potential of visual learning to help foster a more creative approach to interpreting abstract topics and concepts, we recently explored the use of images to provide cues and act as muses based on the concept of Experience Design – mapping three key elements: People, Context and Activities. Please see the infographic.
As described in my previous post: “Personal interpretation of a concept or a topic is key to our knowledge development. By looking at a topic in different perspectives, collectively we can build this knowledge base- a base of personalised context and understanding. Story-telling and narratives have been key in our history from the oral accounts of events, written scrolls to printed books to highly animated and interactive medias.” Arnab S (2016)
Aiming to explore the power of creativity and personal experiences, we designed and developed a physical card-based game to facilitate this process. It is aptly named “What is your story?” – and it was developed under the Game Changers programme. This card-based approach allows you to create your own rules but the fundamental mechanics are:
- Choose the theme of your game
- All players draw one card from each element deck (People/Context/Activities)
- Using your cards as prompts, create a story or narrative concept based on the three key elements.
- May the best story wins!
To test the cards, we recently ran a workshop at the DMLL Expo (see storify here) using the cards and we added additional rules:
- We provided poker chips/tokens to each player
- To encourage peer-review and rating, each player passed a token to the one they feel has the best story in that round
- The one with the most tokens was the winner of that round.
- The game was continued with different themes.
The main aim was to introduce a playful way to get learners to look at complex concepts in a more relax way. This approach can be used as part of an induction into a course to encourage learners to build narratives around their understanding. More rules can be added to the game-play. For instance based onExperience Design, you can add more layers to the three elements, meaning you can explore the narratives around multiple cards from the different element decks.
Based on the feedback and requests for cards to be used in the existing practices of the participants (n=36), there is a great potential for the approach and we have ordered more card decks for use at the university.
We will also run a similar workshop at the Revolutionary Learning Conference in NYC in August 2016. Released under CC By-NC 4.0, the cards can be reused, repurposed and remixed to suit the different learning outcomes. The next step is to provide a downloadable templates. We are also looking into using this to help students to create narratives around the cross-connection between the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics.
Some of the twitter feeds on the workshop at the DMLL Expo: