Measuring effectiveness of my diffi-tools

Maze Challenge 

A maze that serves as a challenge to complete when students misbehave during the game.  When students violate the Community Agreement, teachers will have the option of sending students to the maze and when they make it out (it should take them about 2-4 minutes to complete), then they are able to return to the game.  The challenge won’t be difficult as much as it will be time consuming; instead of discipling students by making them “sit in timeout”, use this tool to have them work or earn their way back to their zone.  There are two teleport blocks in this maze – an entrance and an exit.  Teachers will drop off the student at the entrance and there is a teleport block at the exit for the student to return to their zone.

Since teachers will be deciding whether or not to use the Maze Challenge, I will post a topic thread in the Google Group to collect comments, feedback, and issues related to using the maze.  I will also be observing teachers using Teacher Tools to manage students in the game which will allow me to see how students react to the Maze Challenge in the chat or by their behaviors.

Secret & Abandoned Communities

Underground (or underwater) community or dwelling that wayward Explorers might discover when they dig or wander too far from their zone.  For the first scenario, an underground or underwater dwelling with clues about the person who lived there that students can write about in their reflections.  For the second scenario, it will be another community that they stumble upon.  There will be signs in this abandoned community prompting students to build memories on sites that have been devastated to help restore it so that community members might return.

Jon and I have finished building our secret underground community and will be putting clues about the former inhabitants.  We have also created signs that ask visitors to help restore our community so that we may return.  We will be able to check to see if students helped us replant our crops, forge new weapons, or make tools.  If the students post a screenshot of them helping our community, we will award them a badge!  The secret community is also very difficult to find so if students are able to find it, that will also be an indicator that they were persistent in their exploration of the world.

We also decided that we would create a single abandoned community that students could find if they decipher clues in the chat and the wiki.  The clues will be identical for each community (class), leading them to a teleport block that brings them to the abandoned community.  This abandoned community is above ground but has been quarantined by border blocks because there was a major disaster the devastated the structures and the inhabitants.  Clues found in this community (and on the wiki) will also prompt the students to build and document their work through screenshots.  We will keep track of the physical community but also the Wikispaces for students how they helped the abandoned community.  Screenshots and comments will be awarded with badges.

We will create a Wikispaces page for each community that students may post their screenshots to; this will help us keep track of how has helped either community and can be awarded a badge. I will also post a topic thread in the Google Group to collect teacher comments, feedback, and issues related to using the secret communities.

Skirmish at the Border 

If there are too many Killer gamer types griefing and trolling in their zones, Mia and Lee will stage a random attack by creepers, animals, and monsters at the border of their community.  If they successfully beat back the invaders, she will expand their community borders.  If they do not beat the attackers, she will take a small part of their community – build another border to make their community slightly smaller.  There will most likely have something valuable in this new territory that could be of use to students (food, herds, precious metals, etc).  Students will earn a badge for posting a screenshot of the conflict and the new territory gained.

Since I will be directly involved in using this tool to engage students in the game, I will be able to observe its effectiveness in keeping “killer” gamer types busy protecting their community rather than vandalizing, trolling, or griefing.  I will also post a topic thread in the Google Group to collect teacher comments, feedback, and issues related to using the skirmishes.

Student Resources Wikispaces Page (trying saying that five times fast!)

Student Resources page will host announcements about upcoming changes such as transitions between scenarios, what abilities will be changed for students, rules or expectations (community agreement).  We will also create subpages for guides and tutorials (or challenges) for those still learning to play the game.  Another page will have reflection prompts that will earn them badges if they respond on their wiki pages.  We can also include tips or suggestions about each scenario that will help them understand the game and their daily tasks (based on the rubric).

We will also use this page to share the clues about the secret and abandoned communities.  If students ask for help taking screenshots or need to find the clue list, teachers (or Lee and I) can direct them to the resource page.  I will also post a topic thread in the Google Group to collect teacher comments, feedback, and issues related to using the Student Resource Page.

4 thoughts on “Measuring effectiveness of my diffi-tools

  1. That is a great way to get feedback from the teachers on if they are using the maze. I am curious if they will use it and how it will go. I love the idea of the abandoned community with clues. That is also a great idea for the student resource page. I think that would be helpful for the students who want to learn more. Lots of great ideas!


  2. I absolutely love this maze idea. It is a wonderful way to get the kids back on track. Then to have them reflect afterwards, it is a great way to help them process and be able to tell you that they truly know what it is they are suppose to be doing. The abandoned community is such a fabulous idea. I would be that student who would be exploring that community for more!


    1. I had Thomas try the maze and he said it took 11 minutes! I’m a little worried that it’s too long but he said to keep it for now and see how teachers and students react! If they stop misbehaving because they are so miserable in my maze then I guess my job is done! 🙂 haha!


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