The students used Minecraft to develop their design skills. Initially, the students became familiar with the Minecraft world. This involved a lot of peer mentoring as Deb Koh encouraged more experienced 'Minecrafters' to teach her and each other about the game. Throughout this process the student kept a Minecraft diary in their notebooks where they reflected on their experiences of learning in the game.
The first design phase required the students to work in a team to create a version of the St Aidan's Junior School in Minecraft. The students measured the physical spaces of the Junior school and then worked out how to create a scale version in either Lego or Minecraft. The designs were then presented to the wider community at an open day.
For the second design phase, the students were able choose a building or structure to replicate in Minecraft. Some students chose to recreate the Eiffel Tower, others a Cruise Ship and so on.
What is the time frame of the project?
Terms 3 and 4, 2013
What are the outcomes and achievements for this project?
Peer mentoring was used successfully as students taught each other (and the teacher) how to complete various tasks in the game. Some students who did not usually achieve academic success in the class became the class experts. Students were fully engaged in the activities and learnt specific design skills.
Testimonials about the benefits of this project.
"On Minecraft, we are building a cruise ship. I feel excited because I want to do something hard."Year 3 student"The students were saying, well hang on, why the shift here? Why aren't you being the teacher? Why aren't you showing us what to do and telling us what to do? It took a lot for me to sort of step back and say, well I don't know.... They thought that was quite good, that I was hopeless at it I wasn't the expert that they're used to seeing. So that was a good thing."
What is next for this project?
Deb Koh will continue to use Minecraft in her classes when the opportunity arises. More generally, she believes she will always use one game or another at some stage during most units of work.