Quest2Teach (handout) is a series of game-infused 3D virtual learning curricula designed for teacher education that is unified by a social-professional network. These immersive experiences provide authentic and individualized practice for future teachers that bridges theory and practice. Quest2Teach is the first of its kind in teacher education and was created at ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College through a unique collaboration between our Center for Games & Impact and partner game-design studio, E-Line Media.
In Quest2Teach, future educators create an avatar and evolve their professional identity over multiple semesters in a variety of 3D role-playing storylines within instructor-guided courses in the Teachers College. Quest2Teach provides safe immersive experiences where learners cantackle authentic problems, fail safely, see the impact of their decisions, and gain fluency in these practices. Students’ endeavors in the game then appear on their network homepage to evolve their real-world identity across semesters and student teaching. The Quest2Teach network also provides a place to share and reflect with digital colleagues, locally and internationally. Our research with hundreds of Quest2Teach students has shown significant learning and engagement gains and students report increased confidence in their teaching, higher fluency in the language of teaching and related theories, and learning how ‘to actively do’ (rather than ‘know about’) these theories in practice, which means teachers are able to demonstrate and apply their knowledge confidently beyond the classroom walls.
Quest2Teach was recently awarded ASU’s President’s Award for Innovation, and was also selected and filmed by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center (Sesame Workshop) to be featured in their upcoming documentary of innovative teaching practices.
GAME-INFUSED LEARNING FOR TEACHERS
The Quest2Teach program draws from a situated cognition and community of practice perspective, including classic theorists such as John Dewey and Lev Vygotsky, as well as modern learning and games scholars such as James Paul Gee and Sasha Barab.
Transformational Play is an experiential state that involves projection into the role of a character who is recruited into a partly fantastical problematic context, and must apply conceptual understandings to transform the context, and, ultimately, oneself. It involves positioning persons with intentionality, content with legitimacy, and contexts with consequentiality.
Small "g" Games
Small ‘g’ games are bounded, self-contained, and completeable. These games are pre-optimized to introduce, cover or re-enforce lessons in safe, simulated and structured environments.
Key genres include:
Big "G" Infrastructure
Big ‘g’ infrastructure is open-ended, integrating small g games into a larger infrastructure with affinity spaces that foster student driven extensions.
Key components include:
Digitally bridging theory to practice
Project Based Approaches: At the Core
Creating and implementing project-based unit plans to actively engage students
Immersion provided language and practice for difficult situations:
When students were asked what they learned in this unit that will stay with them, many responded they felt better equipped to handle difficult interactions in the real world.
Identity as a professional
Game role supported Identity shift from Student to Teacher:
Several students felt that this game was the first time they felt like they saw themselves as a teacher, rather than a student.
One student shared:
“This was a significant shift out of not being a student anymore, you know? We are in the professional world now, and we need to see ourselves as teachers. This game was like a shift into ‘the real life’, and other people can relate to that struggle.”
The real world and the classroom
Students participating in their last semester of student teaching pointed out that they had already experienced conflicts very similar to these, and that the virtual experience reflected the real world.
“I just want to say that I definitely give a lot of points for relevance, because a lot of these situations were like things that I’ve already experienced. I was immediately able relate to some of these situations.”
“I don’t think if we played this last semester or last year, any one of us would have taken it as seriously, but now we know, this is for real.”
BRIGHT BEGINNINGS AT QUEST2TEACH
IN THE NEWS
Game-based Approach to Teacher Education at ASU Builds Essential Skills
Quest2Teach project featured by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center on gamesandlearning.org
"One of the major trends within education is the idea of developing personalized learning tools that allow a student to develop skills at their own pace. But teaching a teacher how best to use newly created game-based tools takes a different kind of professional development..."
University innovators lauded for disaster relief, virtual learning tools
Quest2Teach wins ASU President's Award for Innovation
"The President's Award for Innovation provides formal recognition to ASU teams that have made significant contributions to ASU and higher education through the creation, development and implementation of innovative projects, programs, initiatives, services and techniques..."
First-of-its-kind video game prepares future educators
ASU News features Q2T game: Persuit of Perfessionalism
"Much is being made over the explosion of video games in the classroom to teach a future generation of K-12 students. But what about the future teachers who will be teaching them?"
Video game simulates classroom, other scenarios for ASU students
Q2T innovative teacher training games features on AzCentral.com.
"Arizona State University has made it tougher to become certified to be a teacher in recent years.
But university officials say that doesn’t mean teacher training can’t be fun. The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Center for Games and Impact has developed a series of educational computer games for education students that are said to be the first of their kind in the nation..."
TEACHING VIDEO GAME
Quest2Teach's “Pursuit of Professionalism” is the first in a series of interactive, three-dimensional video games designed by the Sanford Inspire Program and ASU’s Center for Games & Impact. The game is a way for education students to prepare for real-life school scenarios. Focused on professional success, the video game was played by 277 teaching students in 396 field experience courses at ASU during the Spring 2013 semester.
Center for Games & Impact
Arizona State University
1050 S. Forest Mall, Farmer 140
Tempe, AZ 85287