Choosing example topics to visualise – Example 1c – “Improving Your Drawing” – THE BOARD GAME – Masters Degree – Feedback
Some Thoughts and Feedback – plus responses – User Test 2 – 18/01/13
The game was played by three students (volunteers) until one player completed their journey across the board, the game lasted approx 1hr 15mins.
A – Educational Theory/Usefulness
Definitely plenty of discussion about how much or how little the students actually draw now, getting the discussion out in the open seemed to free up any stigma that might have cowed a student from drawing in front of others. All students seemed happy to draw in the shared sketchbook. The fact that they, and only they commented on their drawing (no tutors comments) seemed also to alleviate any fears.
B – Game Play
The main point brought up was the initial confusion players had deciphering the main pathway. A couple of minutes looking around the game solved this however.
Following discussions with tutors and
Students where asked to voluntarily and anonymously fill in a feedback form if they wished to contribute to the development of the project. Feedback followed from all three players and a further player who had sat in on this session but had also participated in User Test 001.
Feedback was asked for dived into five questions:
- Please list your favourite features of the game.
- Please list any negative elements or areas you dislike.
- Please list any Ideas for improvement.
- Did this make you consider further the process of drawing and your own drawing skills?
- Please add any others comment or review of the experience.
Curiously one of the elements that seemed popular was the function of the winged pencil cards that actually made the student draw, regardless of inclination or engagement outside of the game. “Drawing things at random…”, “Randomised Forced (?) Drawing,” plus watching other players participating and “…seeing how they draw and think.” – See further notes on Empathy as an Evolutionary Learning Tool HERE:
The action of the Investigation card, to allow Free turns when enough “knowledge” was gathered. And the “realistic” drawbacks and pitfalls in commitment that occur when landing on some of the squares.
Negative elements focused on “Waiting”, primarily for others to finish one of the drawing tasks so the player could take their turn. The drawing element clearly slowing down the game. This may not be a s pronounced the more players are on the board, as the player will get longer before it is their turn again. But with a small number of players one student suggested the addition of a timer clock (as used in Pictionary and other games, a small clock or even a small sand-glass/egg-timer).
Also, as mentioned above, regarding the graphic treatment, more needs to be added to show the basic path of the players movement through the game, the side alleys and shortcuts adding some confusion at first.
One student questioned the relevance of Bloom (the delineations of the board are in keeping with Bloom’s taxonomy of Psycho-motor function), those could be explained to the students as the game begins, adding theoretical reasoning to the argument in favour of practice.
Predominantly the feedback to this question revolved around clarity and differentiation in this prototype board. Much of this feedback will go to enhance and augment version .2 of the game. As well as clarity, complexity to enhance the delivery of the underlying learning process was broached; splitting the squares on the board into further groups “perhaps matching Blooms bands?”, thereby splitting the pile of Task/Drawing cards into groups also (though the cards are already delineated into the three-fold hierarchy of the Atelier learning model – Apprentice, Journeyman and Master).
This question garnered an almost identical reflective response right across the group. Flagging up both positive and negative aspects of their own drawing practice. Highlighting its seems an occasional or new found awareness of “a lack” in their drawing, the “laziness” that often manifests in their approach/engagement, “bad habits” and “a need to practice more.
The response to the game was overall favourable – with feedback such as “very interesting experience”, “a great tool to get you thinking”, “informative/inspirational, the info cards do provide a boost”, “very enjoyable” and “would gladly play again”.
It’s difficult with a limited test group to decipher much at this stage, however, certain things are evident. This particular small group react better to the game/competition/visual info/holistic elements of the product, a much more positive reaction than is evidenced by the same group when asked to draw in their own sketchbooks in a formally taught session.
This definitely needs further, and wider testing, with larger groups, and in different Art School settings.
I will be continuing to test this version – next, hopefully at a Game Design Competition with students and participants from outside of the school cohort, and further with students in a different city on a similar course.