Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Just Press Play !

Just Press Play is a program in Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to wrap gameful and ludic experiences around the traditional pedagogical processes of a modern university. Starting in October of 2011, 750 students at RIT’s school of Interactive Games and Media received some cryptic instructions to log onto a website, create a profile, talk to a professor, and pick up a keychain.

gamification of education, game-based learningThe project began with the idea for a student achievement system in the fall of 2010, and seed funding from Microsoft Research Connections enabled them to develop that idea into a proposal for a full-fledged “gaming layer” for undergraduate education. In the summer of 2011, they received another generous gift from Microsoft Research Connections to fund the development and pilot the project, as well as to work with partners at New York Law School, University of Wisconsin, and Teachers College at Columbia to explore ways to extend the system to other educational environments. Their goal is to bring the Just Press Play experience to a larger audience, both at RIT and at other institutions. Towards that end, the infrastructure will be made available as an open source project.

To encourage participants to instrument their digital and analog lives in a way similar to how Foursquare encourages players to keep track of the places they visit, a “frame game”  that wraps around the most common activities inherent to student life at RIT was created – an alternate reality game (ARG). An ARG is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story. Physical exploration and real-world activities are a big part of the game. A story of RIT constructs the background of learners’ quests. As the players complete quests, they are awarded achievements. These achievements show up on a player profile and a map that displays how the achievements are spread out on the graph. (more on student achievement system) Higher-level challenges will require the creation of teams that are composed of different classes.

The immediate goal of Just Press Play is to explore the design, legal, and privacy challenges related to creating an ARG for education. The name “Just Press Play” speaks itself the intention to prevent the the major pitfall of gamification – offering extrinsic rewards for things that have intrinsic motivating value. The ultimate goal is to create a unified game layer for education: the plumbing through which educational data can flow between institutions and follow the student from pre-kindergarten through high school and college—providing them with insights and motivation as they embark on an epic quest of lifelong learning.

All the information is from Microsoft Research website : Just Press Play – Intrinsic motivation via gameful education, visit the site to learn details.



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2 Responses »


  1. Game-Based Learning in Higher Education | Classroom Aid
  2. Developing A Strategy for Game-Based Learning | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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