Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Free Resources to Support “Quest to Learn” Model

What if school engaged students in ways that are exciting, empowering and culturally relevant? What if it became just one part of a community of learning that extends far beyond the classroom walls? What if it equipped students to view the world as a single uninterrupted opportunity to learn?

This is the goal beyond “Quest to Learn” schools designed by Institute of Play, the non-profit pushing the boundary of game-based learning(#GBL). Yesterday it just released free toolkits of “Q Design Pack” – A design resource based on the Quest Schools model of game-like learning.

Q Design Packs enable learning practitioners to adapt and implement the game-like connected learning model used at Quest Schools in a variety of learning contexts.

Based on the tools and methods used daily by teachers, administrators, curriculum designers and game designers at Quest to Learn and CICS Chicago Quest, the packs provide detailed infographics, worksheets and rich media resources to support school design, curriculum design, and professional development. Designed with suggested pathways for a range of learning goals, the packs can serve either as a roadmap to implementation or an opportunity to learn more about and experiment with game-like learning.

What’s in Q design school pack?

10 components of Quest schools make up the School Design Pack. They are categorized into three groups: Core Frameworks, Supporting Structures, and Key Experiences.

Core Frameworks – To support all students in learning, three research-based core frameworks, game-like learning, systems thinking, and connected learning, guide the design of Quest schools.

Key structure – Three key structures, domains, assessment, and teacher dimensions.

Major support – Four major supports at Quest schools – Mission Lab, Missions and Quests, Boss Level, and Technology Integration – create unique learning spaces and experiences for students and teachers.

game-based learning

The other free downloadable resource released is “Short Circuit Guides” – A set of seven activities and associated tools to kickstart your own Short Circuit Studio.

Short Circuit is an after-school experience with a fresh approach to electronics and physical computing for young people. The Short Circuit Curriculum Guide includes seven informal learning activity modules that encourage students to express their creativity and develop DIY digital media skills by exploring innovative uses for physical and digital materials, like circuits, conductive inks, LEDs and the latest programming languages.

Short Circuit Curriculum Guide modules include lesson plans and individualized assessment tools based on programs piloted at Quest to Learn, as well as by the Digital Youth Network and YouMedia programs in Chicago.

If you are new to electronics or physical computing, the Short Circuit Professional Development Guide provides exercises and resources linked to curriculum modules to help you get up to speed quickly.

game-based learning

Use these resources to start your journey of a game-based learning designer!


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  1. Free Resources to Support “Quest to Learn” Model | Games and education |

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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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