Student insight into collaborative learning

The Game Design Competition ran through Terms 1 & 2, 2016. Year 7-13 students around New Zealand designed computer and non-digital games about safe road use. During the middle of the competition, we asked Year 7-8 students of room 8 at Ridgway School, Wellington for advice on successful collaboration.

Building on prior experience

Ridgway School students.
Some of the young game designers at Ridgway School.

Room 8 have designed games before. These include board games that embed maths, and digital decision-making games on the theme of empathy.

Tiger Lily: ‘We had played games that other people made and our teacher thought why don’t we just make our own games.’

Danny: ‘Sometimes we do game designs on the computer. And usually on Thursday we have code club when you can do any gaming projects.’

Ari: ‘It’s quite creative – you can make anything you want, and it’s fun working in groups.’

Collaboration

Working in groups isn’t always easy. They have to negotiate roles and make collective decisions. But the students say it is fun to share ideas and work to their strengths.

Joy: ‘I like it how we get to work in groups. We talk about our different ideas and someone will have an idea that makes the game better.’

Tiger Lily: ‘I like how we can chat to each other. In your group, you talk about ideas you can put into your game.’

Will: ‘You can have one or two people who are really good at coding and other people who are full of ideas. A mixture of those two can lead to quite a good game.’

Testing your ideas

The class is big on testing their game ideas with other people at an early stage. People can frame their feedback by saying ‘I like…’ or ‘I wonder…’ or ‘what if…’

Hugo: ‘The people most likely to play your game can give us feedback about what they want the game to be like.’

Will: ‘You might like the game you’re creating but other people might not. So you need to get someone to test it and see if it’s good.’

Charlotte: ‘Other people might have good ideas that haven’t popped into your head – little extra ideas that might make the game so much better.’