Games have been part of my teaching repertoire since I attended a professional development course, Games in Learning at Sippy Downs in 2009. In my online lesson I use games to practice the learning. I choose games that allow the students to use the concepts and each student actively participates in the game. The skills involved vary according to the content. I do play RuneScape from time to time especially when I want to encourage some of my more reluctant ASD students to be ‘more social’.
Wikipedia gives a succinct outline of the game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RuneScape
RuneScape is a fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Players begin in a secluded area, where they are taken through a tutorial, a set path where they learn the most basic skills in RuneScape. After the tutorial, players have access to tutors and advisors located in the towns they explore, who can give players appropriate information about their respective skills.
Players set their own goals and objectives as they play the game. They can train their in-game skills, engage non-player character (NPC) monsters and other players in combat and complete quests at their discretion. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting or by participating in mini-games.
Wikipedia defines 25 skills in RuneScape that players utilise to play the game. These skills are such things as fishing, mining, woodcutting and so on.
The skills that I focus on are the skills outside of the game that a students needs to participate in the game:
- Comprehending written instructions
- Mathematical knowledge
- Following sequences
- Strategic thinking
- Eye-hand co-ordination
It is a complex game which appeals to upper primary and lower secondary students. It assists them to interact with others and also builds their vocabulary. It is password protected and the content is appropriate for students in this age group. It does show advertising but it is not of any interest to the students. We play outside of school time.