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Composition Quest: Constructing the Technical Writing Classroom as a Game
Meaningful Play 2012 (2012)
  • Carly Finseth, Boise State University

Initiatives like the innovative Quest to Learn program ( and Sheldon's (2012) concept of The Multiplayer Classroom have led educators around the world to explore the validity of incorporating games and gaming theory into a formalized learning environment. Many of these projects, however, focus on K-12 age groups, with the implied assumption that learning through 'play' ends once we become adults. Once in higher education, gaming frequently becomes serious; students are often only allowed to learn through play as part of a computer science or gaming theory curriculum. One area in particular that has yet to explore the immersive, collaborative, and participatory power of games is the humanities - and English in particular. Thus, this poster outlines a study that aims to explore how to use gaming theory, higher education pedagogy, writing assessment, and usability methodologies to design, implement, and test a higher education writing classroom as a game.

This poster will showcase my in-progress dissertation research relating to games and higher education. Specifically, I am designing a study to turn higher education technical writing curriculum into a game. This research combines theory from gaming culture (Holmevik, 2012; Bogost 2011; Nardi 2010; Taylor, 2009), gaming and learning (Gee, 2007; Squire, 2011; Steinkuehler, Squire, & Barab (Eds.), 2012), and pedagogy (Collins & Halverson, 2009; Cook, 2002; Thomas & Brown, 2011; Corneli & Danoff, 2012) with practice from areas such as game design (Schell, 2008; McGonigal 2011; Sheldon, 2012), assessment (Angelo & Cross, 1993; Light et al 2012; Palloff & Pratt, 2009), and usability and user interface design (Johnson, 1998; Lidwell et al 2003; Unger & Chandler, 2012) in order to construct a study for designing and testing a game-based technical writing curriculum. This poster presentation will outline the methodology and design plan for this research, with the ultimate goal of receiving feedback on my preliminary work before beginning a formalized research study.

Publication Date
October 18, 2012
Citation Information
Carly Finseth. "Composition Quest: Constructing the Technical Writing Classroom as a Game" Meaningful Play 2012 (2012)
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