Collabination was born out of a need to redesign the 101 curriculum as the game design program gained popularity at the university. As there was more interest, there needed to be a structure that systematized the process of learning game development vocabulary and applying that to original game designs. Three hour lecture classes were not the system to do this effectively and have the content 'stick' at the end of the year.
The core of the class is based on a pedagogical model from Georgia Tech called Learning by Design. Some of the vocabulary from the official model has been changed to reflect the college environment, but essentially the foundational principle is that if students are to learn complex design concepts, then they must be active and engaged in their own projects instead of passively sitting in a lecture hall. The most important aspect of Learning by Design that the course employs is the iterative design cycle, where students revise year-long projects according to peer and instructor feedback, honing their ideas over a long period of time. This process allows students to deeply engage with the material, but it also allows the students to take ownership of their projects because they post them in a public space and must defend their decisions in an open forum.
I actually convinced some of the preschoolers that I worked with long ago that I lived in the teacher’s cabinet, that I didn’t ever go home, but just waited for them every day in what I could only imagine, to them, looked like a Hobbit dwelling where I was snuggled up next to the yarn. If you believe Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that he espouses in his book Outliers, that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, then I have over that in actual classroom time — but instead of mastery — all I’ve learned is that “good” teaching requires constant introspection.
Ten years of experience, from preschool, to summer camps, to high school, to college courses, and while my college students are slightly more skeptical that I don’t live in a cabinet, the one thing they deserve in the same way as the preschoolers is a commitment from me to constantly revise what I do in the classroom.
When my reflexes were better, I was really good at competitive online games. I love to talk about strategy, meta, and the ever-changing face of e-Sports. You can chart the last twenty years of my competitive gaming life like this: