Earning credits in history… by playing video games!

Now, you can get a credit in history by saving America! Of course, it is a video game and not a real plot against the US.  But the credits you earn are for real!

That’s the new course that le Florida Virtual School put online recently.  This web-based public school has already offered more than 90 online courses.

American History – Conspiracy Code Game!

Eddie Flash and Libby Whitetree, two students in high-tech Coverton City, have to unravel a large plot against American History led by Conspiracy Inc., a corrupt corporation which is modifying the past archives in order to rule the future.

They collect clues, play mini-games to enhance what they have learned, they fight enemies and they reestablish the historical truth in the city archives…

By doing so, they “strengthen higher-order thinking, written communication, problem-solving, and collaborative skills through:

  1. Playing engaging concept practice games
  2. Responding to a variety of question types
  3. Writing assignments and essays
  4. Completing authentic game-based assessments
  5. Participating in discussion-based assessments

Students test their knowledge during in-game challenges, engage in student-to-student collaborations and discussions, exchange information with peers (similar to group projects), and eventually use their knowledge to complete culminating mission assessments, each step eliciting a higher-order analysis of the material.

Did the instructors role vanished ?

Not at all! They monitor, coach and advice student through a web-based friendly interface, through emails, online conferences, telephone calls and instant messaging.

They provide feedback, encourage peer collaboration, check logbooks, and so on.

The Research Base

The game is developed in collaboration with 360Ed, a well-known game development company and the University of Central Florida.  The  team focused on the balance between fun and academic requirements.

“The 12 principles of brain-based learning set forth by the Caine Institute were settled upon as Conspiracy Code’s educational design foundation, influencing both pedagogical and entertainment decisions. In developing the curriculum, findings from Le Tellier’s work on how to strengthen/build long-term memory were also incorporated. The curriculum design team applied rigorous guidelines to ensure the academic integrity of Conspiracy Code, as well as integrate and balance the educational and entertaining aspects of the game in order to ensure it remained both effective and engaging.”

Find more – including a demo – on the Florida Virtual School Website.

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