Game Critique | 4

Design for Educational Games
Instructor | Erik Harpstead
Spring 2021

Game Metadata

For my fourth Game Critique, I have decided to review “Coding for Carrots”, a mini Google Doodle browser game that is designed in association with Computer Science Education Week as a game that celebrates 50 years since kid programming languages were developed.

Coding for Carrots is:

In the interactive Doodle, you program and help a furry friend across 6 levels in a quest to gather its favorite food by snapping together coding blocks based on the Scratch programming language for kids” — From the Google Doodle Archive

The game was…


Game Critique | 3

Design for Educational Games
Instructor | Erik Harpstead
Spring 2021

Game Metadata

For my third Game Critique, I have decided to review “Kern Type”, a Method of Action design game that is designed to help individuals learn the typographic design practice of adjusting letter spacing through the application of kerning to a variety of different type sets. The game was developed by Mark MacKay and Maria Munera and is accessible for free on desktop browsers.

Learning Objectives

The primary learning objectives for “Kern Type” is to aid designers and design students in achieving optical and optimal space between the letters…


Game Critique 2

Design for Educational Games
Instructor | Erik Harpstead
Spring 2021

Game Metadata

For my second Game Critique, I have decided to review “Swimming Otters”, an Arcademics Math game that is designed for learners grades 3–6. Swimming Otters specifically focuses on players learning how to evaluate multiplication expressions and how to evaluate them quickly and fluently.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for “Swimming Otters” is fairly straight -forward. Ultimately, the game should assist players in grades 3–6 in becoming proficient and fluent at their multiplication expressions. …


Game Critique | 1

Design for Educational Games
Instructor | Erik Harpstead
Spring 2021

Game Metadata

For my first Game Critique, I have decided to review “Break It Down”, a PBS Kids, Plum Landing Game accessible on web browsers. Developed by GBH Kids “Break It Down’s” high-level instructional goal is to teach children about the science involved in the process of decomposition and how it affects a jungle's ecosystem.

Learning Objectives

In the review of this game, the learning objectives seem to be associated with players/children gaining an in-depth understanding of the different activities and natural processes that happen within our ecosystems. …


10.19.20–11.09.20

In these last few weeks, I have been busy finalizing my IRB protocol for my expert interviews and student survey and I have also begun developing a process for analyzing my artifact reviews.

Since October I have scheduled 5 total interviews — and conducted 2. From the two interviews that I conducted one with an academic advisor at CMU and one with a Job Developer at a Trade School two things that stood out to me were being the importance of having the ability to connect with someone as well as the power to foster and develop peer connections…


10.19.20

This week I submitted my IRB (still waiting on feedback) and took a stab at writing my first literature review revisiting Ambrose — “How Learning Works”- Chapter 2: How Does the Way Students Organize Knowledge Affect Their Learning?

In my reading, I was particularly influenced by the following two diagrams. The “Organization of Knowledge” and the “Examples of Knowledge Organizations”.

In my analysis of this chapter, I found that although it was framed within the relationship of instructors and student knowledge organization it could also be seen through the framing of experts as counselors or parents. With this in…


10. 11.20

As of tomorrow, I will officially be submitting my IRB for review and am hoping to complete the approval process for my Expert Interview protocol and Student Survey by the end of next week.

In addition to this week's finalization of my IRB materials, I have also been working towards developing a framework for working through my literature and artifact reviews. In last week's 1:1 session with Stacie, she recommended that I consider reviewing some of the readings from the Learner Experience Design course that I took last Spring to aid in grounding my thesis in specific theories…


10.04.20

This week has been primarily dedicated to pulling together all of the components of my IRB including a script for expert interviews with administrators and counselors at schools, and a survey for students pursuing post-secondary education. So pretty heads down this week.

Lastly, I found an interesting article from my futures class about time and self-perception that I have decided to do an artifact review on. It is the “Life in Weeks” framework.

Life in Weeks

I particularly enjoyed this aspect of the design where you are able to see your life broken into educational and vocational segments from the day of your birth to age 90. I found this framework quite interesting in developing self-perception and association with time — and am considering aspects of the design that could possibly be used in longterm planning or planning for the future.


09.27.20

After an unsuccessful recruitment attempt, I have decided to pivot once again. With the help of a brainstorming session with my advisor, I feel more grounded in my direction now and feel that the narrowing has helped me focus on my areas of interest and what I want to learn.

Updated Research Question

Through my research, I plan to address the underlying question of how the design of academic tools help students who are engaged in post-secondary education define their fit and purpose within their communities as a means of building their confidence in decision-making that aids their long term-planning and pursuit…


09.20.20

This week was quite challenging for me as I spend the majority of my time attempting to recruit high schools in the Pittsburgh area to work with me on my study. I ended up getting quite discouraged as I was only able to secure 2 of my 40 contacts for involvement.

However, after hearing back from approximately half of the people that I the counselors that I had contacted many of them mentioned reaching out upper administration for each school i.e. Principles and Superintendents.

On Wednesday, Sept. 16th I pulled together the contacts for Principles and Superintendents of all…

Anna Boyle

Carnegie Mellon University | School of Design | MDes 21'

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