How does one design opportunities for failure in a classroom? I use the verb design quite deliberately because facing the challenge of a GNE ED course in which few people have a strong desire to take it because of perceived course content, setting students up for failure will cause me to fail, an experience few faculty are keen to embrace. Seriously, designing for failure on the student’s part is going to require them to be built up with proper scaffolding to get them ready to face the challenge.
What would such a challenge be in a GEN ED course that is not usually considered a “weed out” course? Normally I would be ecstatic with the acquisition of concepts and tools that are relevant to my field, even if it is only a bit above rote memorization in some ways.
That is the issue…what type of game can I create that will address the digital humanities skills I want to incorporate into the discussion sections of my Human Geography course? Choropleth mapping of data? Interpretation of population pyramids? The selling of places via websites and the construction of place? At this moment I have clear answer as I am not seeing a way to connect all the concepts (ah, the joy of 1000-level GEN ED…too much to cover, too little time). Mini-games for two or three weeks at a time? That may be the solution but you still want them to connect in some way.