“Here is a map for your journey. This map will guide you to scenarios where you will gain experience points by conquering a newer field of gamifying leadership concepts. At the end of your journey, you will find a treasure beyond any physical reward– an inspired group of undergraduate students that go forth into the world to further develop their understanding of their personal leadership style,” the mighty wizard with a magical curriculum map said.
Truth be told, there was no magical wizard that visited JS and I in our shared office. As a matter of fact, we were never gifted a magical map either. However, we did have a shared vision of inspiring undergraduate students through gamifying leadership topics and inspiring personal growth and development.
Our curriculum started at the end: We started with our goal and worked backwards to the details. What did we want to accomplish? (See our above stated vision.) What topics did we need to cover in order to reach that goal? What games show these topics? What activities or dialogues can we have that accompany these topics? And, when we got to these smaller levels, we always had to stop ourselves and ask, “what is the why?”. If this didn’t match up to the larger goal, it was back to the drawing board.
What did this look like? Well, like I said in a previous post: post-it notes are my favorite thing in the whole wide world. We went from our spider web chart to two, side-by-side, large post it notes separated into columns and rows. The rows were the 14 weeks of the semester and columns included the what (leadership topic), why (how this enhances leadership), and how (specific games).
[JS to insert picture here]
From these charts, we moved to something a tad more condense that my teacher friends might be able to identify as lesson plans. (JS prefers to call them “session outlines“.) We created these outlines to serve as a helpful guide to those who may teach the course without us down the road, as well as an opportunity for us to share through writing what we were hoping to achieve through each class lesson. Each of these outlines included a brief description of what was happening that class session, learning goals, materials needed, reminder to take attendance, a topic introduction, brief game(s) overview, possible debrief suggestions, and homework reminders (learning how to play the next session’s game) for the next class. You can view a sample of our lesson plan here.
Rather than being gifted a magical map of curriculum development, we crafted one. How did we know we weren’t just creating some random collection of games that we wanted to play but also had intentional teaching moments? By using educational pedagogies and models, of course! However, we will save that for another adventure…