This class has taught me so many unique skills and provided me with very helpful knowledge for my interests and studies in education and training, as well as in Human and Organizational Development (HOD). Besides the very obvious skills of game design, blog writing, and media presentation, I also learned very important professional skills through my class experience.
I was always interested in creating educational materials or programs, but I had thought that I would write or do project management, and then let the graphic designers and programmers take care of all the hard stuff that I wasn’t good at. My parents (and my research) suggested that I still understand the basic principles of technology so I could understand what the technology was capable of. I did not have to be a “tech geek,” but I was selling myself short by thinking that I just wouldn’t be able to learn or wouldn’t enjoy learning about it. Reading “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle for another class showed me that any person can learn any skill. Playing LOTRO definitely put me out of my comfort zone. I spent hours trying to solve basic quests, and I felt very awkward with many of the controls. However, the experience helped me realize that I can learn to use new media and obtain some level of proficiency with them. It does take lots of hard work, but eventually, I can attain the skills. Hopefully, I can figure out the Neverwinter Nights toolset! And while I still find technology frustrating, I do not find it impossible.
In terms of knowledge pertaining to my industry interests, I gained invaluable experience by being a guinea pig in one of “Vanderbilt’s first flipped classrooms”. Yes, the use of a buzzword was intentional. There are lots of great buzzwords that I can use when discussing my class experiences with someone in the education technology field. I get weekly emails from EdSurge, an education technology news site (https://www.edsurge.com/), and I’ve been able to connect the advice I glean from the newsletter to the skills and experience I gain from class. The fact that I took part in a MOOC and analyzed it in class? Major buzzword brownie points. Our discussion of “gameification” in class linked to my casual reading about “Game-based learning.” It’s a really interesting concept, and I’m fascinated by all the industry has to offer. Check out this cool article: https://www.edsurge.com/guide/gaming#View-Product-Comparisons. I loved the opportunity to analyze an educational “video game,” and through class presentations, I noticed a clear difference in quality between the vast majority of educational games and mainstream video games. The industry has a lot of work to do! I hope to really use these experiences as marketing opportunities in my job search, as well as practical knowledge to use if I get the chance to create my own educational programs.