“Mazing” – The Process of Authoring a Maze

The following concept map shows roles of learners in a maze production team:

mazing

Students at most ages (grade 5 through adults) can be trained for each of the roles and share in this “learning by design” process of any curricular content.

The management of a Mazing production process is a complex task. The attached documents shows the project management table that will help producers in the synchronization of all tasks and roles.

Specializations:

mazingroles3

Tasks:

Task Responsibilities Comments
General Definitions    
Pick a Topic Teacher, Designer There are two “pick a” tasks that might be confusing: Pick a “Topic” and pick a “Story”. The “Topic” is related to the curriculum, while the Story deals with how this content is going to be designed – how the scenes are tied to form one flow – one adventure. We are using a similar process for both: brainstorming ideas and prioritizing the most suitable three from which we will be picking our winner. The topic is defined by our content goals. What are we trying to get people (and mostly ourselves) to learn. Here is where the curriculum kicks in. The topic is assumed to offer an initial framework. Most likely, the more we design, to more directions we identify, the wider we go. One of the teacher’s role is to refocus and make sure curricular goals are met within the proposed time frame before new horizons are explored. Use brainstorming techniques (like concept mapping) to suggest possible topic for the project. Pick the most compelling three, build a “topic picking decision task”, using the author, assign criteria like:    

  • Engaging
  • Easy to find resources
  • Easy to design scenes (including holodeck sets)
  • Easy to embed themes

and use the clickers to evaluate the story asking everyone to participate.

For admin use:

Additional resources needed:

Brainstorming
Prioritizing
Themes (CFT)

Define Scope Teacher, Designer  
Identify Issues and Themes Teacher, Everyone  In this task, the teachers need to ask themselves – what are the more generic issues we are trying to get across? What are the most important concepts we want the learners to take with them? The process of identifying themes and embedding the themes into the scenes is developed in light of Cognitive Flexibility Theory (Spiro and others, 1988). Each theme is embedded in different scenes and expected to be discovered by the learner “player”. A map of themes Vs. scenes is made available in the knowledge base. See “Themes and Scenes” in https://slmaze.wordpress.com/themes-and-scenes

Admin: Cmapping in Inquiry

Boston Public PD

Suggest Initial Curricular Ties Teacher  
Assign Initial Roles Designer If the story is going to include role-playing tasks, these roles should be defined. The roles will determine each player’s interests in the team so when it can cover many points of view addressing the issue highlighted by the scene.
Brainstorm Story Ideas Designer, Copywriter, Everyone Use brainstorming techniques (like concept mapping) to suggest possible story lines that will serve as the spine connecting all scenes. Pick the most compelling three, build a “story picking decision task”, using the author, assign criteria like:      

  • Engaging
  • Easy to find resources
  • Easy to design scenes (including holodeck sets)
  • Easy to embed themes

and use the clickers to evaluate the story asking everyone to participate.

For admin use:

Additional resources needed:

Brainstorming
Prioritizing
Themes (CFT)

Brainstorm “Players” Roles Designer Not to be confused with the production team members’ roles, here we are referring to “Players” Roles. These roles have two major objectives: 1. Immerse learners in a simulated role-playing game, letting them identify with the character they are representing 2. Provide opportunities for the players to explore the main issues behind the scene from different points of view, thus expanding the dept and width of covering the topic. The same learning opportunities apply to the designers as they apply to the players.
Research Roles Researcher “Roles” can be people, animals, body parts, blood corpuscles, water molecules… depending on the story and the designers’ and copywriters’ imagination. Who are the roles, what do they do, with whom, when, where… All these are questions the researchers will have to address while building a role profile.
Build Roles ID’s into Knowledge Base Researcher  The Knowledge Base is a collection of knowledge resources needed for “playing” the maze. It holds web pages with all kinds of media (no video yet – the Second Life internal web browser doesn’t support video yet) that is made available to the player when needed to understand how to play or to perform better, make educated decisions, solve problems and represents his/her role’s interests. The knowledge base can be built with any web creating tool. Here is a list of features that a good knowledge base will need to have:    

  • Easy to add and format text and pictures resources
  • Easy to build a menu Easy to tag resources
  • Search function
  • Tag Cloud

Here are some recommended free solutions: wordpress.com

pbwiki.com (basic edition).

The need to limit access from specific pages to other parts of the knowledge base (thanks Brent) is not yet trivial in the above tools, but is handled by the knowledge base engine we have been developing (no release date yet).

MA (Maze Author) will have a “web-page” editor that will enable the creation of single pages as resources, but this too is “under construction”.

The problem, though is much more than technical:

How do we avoid Salomon’s “Butterfly Defect” (Salomon and Almog 1998) talking about the tendency to bring in a whole bunch of links without reading deeply into any one of them?

So – please, not just links to pages that can overload the learners with overwhelming amounts of information that they can never process. Please make sure that every resource is relevant and presented in the most efficient form and the most suitable medium. Remember, the skill of processing knowledge into the knowledge base is a very significant learning skill – and the construction of the knowledge base will have and extensive chapter in my next “Mazing” book (under construction).

Brainstorm Holodeck sets Designer, Copywriter, Director Simulate realities, times…   

The most exciting part of the KnoWorld is a “holodeck ” – based system that allows the designers to switch space and time based on the learner’s progression and actions in the adventure. Holodeck sets are very much like theater or movie stage sets. Holodecks are based on scenes so brainstorming holodeck sets will need to become more specific when we design each of the scenes, but holodeck sets construction requires time, so if some generic structures can come to mind, this is the time to discuss them and point the 3D model builders towards some initial direction. An example is the KnoWorld Public High-school simulator. If we are planning a learning environment that deals with educational and social issues, we can use a school setting to present most of our scenes – so the model building team was asked to build the most common sets in any school: Classroom, Science Lab, Gym, Washrooms… etc. 

https://slmaze.wordpress.com/knoworld-holodeck-sets/

Design Initial Story Scenes, Revisit Issues and Themes. Designer, Copywriter Just the titles around the main issues
Introduction    
Brainstorm Designer, Copywriter Define the needed information the player should know before entering the first scene.
Research and Produce Knowledge Base Researcher  
Design and Produce 2D Art 2D Art Specialist  
Design and Produce 3D Objects 3D Modeling Specialist  
Design and Produce Video Clips Video Specialist, Director, Producer  
Design  and Produce Audio Effects Audio Specialist, Director, Producer  
Design and Produce Talking Heads Video Sp., 2D Art Sp., Director, Producer  
Design and Produce Object Behaviors Designer, SL Scripter  
Design and Produce Storyboard Designer, Director, 2D, 3D  
Write Scripts for Talking Heads Designer, Writer  
Write Text Bubbles Designer, Writer  
Write Web-pages Designer, Writer  
Author Intro Author  
Synch all Production Producer  
First Scene    
Brainstorm    
Research and Produce Knowledge Base    
Design and Produce 2D Art    
Design and Produce 3D Objects    
Design and Produce Video Clips    
Design  and Produce Audio Effects    
Design and Produce Talking Heads    
Design and Produce Object Behaviors    
Design and Produce Storyboard    
Write Scripts for Talking Heads    
Write Text Bubbles    
Write Webpages    
Design and Produce Decision Task    
Recheck Knowledge Availability    
Design Feedback Talking Heads    
Design Links to Next Scene    
     

~ by hyaniv on November 5, 2008.

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