Today's blog post comes from Tiana Landry and Jessica Eisele, core members of the Wowzers writing team. Their educating expertise and love for learning is evident in each and every Wowzers lesson. Today, they were kind enough to give us their "secret" recipe for developing engaging game-based learning lessons.
All recipes begin with a list of ingredients that are needed to create a delicious treat, and the same applies to the Wowzers writing process.
Start with your Vital Ingredients...
The first step to writing is aligning each lesson to the curriculum, and our curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics. The CCSS standards serve as the vital ingredients needed to create a Wowzers lesson that is rigorous and engaging for the students, while also providing the needed mathematics skills.
Next, Mix It All Up...
Once the writing team develops the basis of a lesson, we begin brainstorming and discussing teaching strategies we feel enhance and optimize learning via the Wowzers game engine. By combining these game-based learning strategies and the needed CCSS standards, we strive to present the lesson in a contextual scenario designed to create connections between the students learning and their eventual college and career readiness.
The Game-based interface of Wowzers also gives us the unique opportunity, as writers, to create digital manipulatives and lessons that would otherwise be time consuming and expensive to do with physical objects. The Wowzers game engine allows us to integrate vocabulary, graphic organizers, models, manipulatives, graphs, images and sound to teach the mathematics in a fun, sensory experience.
Don't Forget to Taste Test...
The next step in our process is to have a taste test. The Wowzers writers sample the programmed lessons by reviewing the rough draft of the digital product. We are always amazed at how the programmers take the lessons we write and create the robust and exciting digital lessons of Wowzers.
But, just like with any recipe, the results can be hit-or-miss. Thats why the next step of the writing process is to edit, edit and edit some more. During the editing process, we put the new lesson under rigorous review to ensure that the content is where it needs to be. If were not satisfied or things just dont seem quite right, we go back and redesign/rewrite different aspects. The production team continues this process of reviewing and editing until were pleased with the final outcome.
...And, Last but not least, Share with Friends!
Just like in cooking, the best part of writing is when we share our product with the students. All cooks love to hear reviews so they can improve their efforts. We too like to hear feedback on the new lessons from both teachers and students. As educators, we need to know what worked and what didnt work so we can constantly reflect and improve our lesson creation process.
We see ourselves as teachers that have the largest classroom imaginable, the internet. Through this opportunity, we strive to make Wowzers content accessible, applicable, and engaging to each and every student. Our driving force is to foster higher-order thought and to cultivate learning through Wowzers that is self-sustaining both in mathematics and in life.
Click here to read more about students and teachers' experience with Wowzers.
If you'd like to see Jess, Tiana, and the Development Team's hard work in action, check out our demo by clicking the button below!