WoW: Gaming and Instruction
Presentation by Ellen Clegg
World of Warcraft (a massive, multi-user, on-line, role playing game (MMORPG)) uses excellent teaching techniques to guide gamers through learning and playing the game. MMORPGs have been denigrated as addictive time wasters, however, the techniques used to draw paying players into the game, and keep them playing, has a lot of implications for how educators can better engage students in their classrooms. While not advocating using the game to teach, there is much that can be learned from WoW and other MMORPGs.
Teaching techniques used in WoW include sheltering the new player, supplying small steps for progression, making learning challenging, being visually interesting, providing lots of rewards and positive feedback, promoting collaboration, providing variety and new areas to discover, and providing input plus one step over what the learner knows. Since WoW appeals to many senses, it is an ideal example of recognizing that there are multiple intelligences and of using these multiple intelligences to teach.