In my previous post (My 6 Avatar Types) I began outlining the 6 Avatar Types for my History Underground classroom. My class revolves around a central narrative in which the students become “Collectors” for an underground group of Historians in a dystopian future. The Collector’s job is to access, watch, and summarize “hidden archives” of recorded lectures. The archives are hidden by an evil totalitarian government called APOC or The Armed Protectors of the Constitution. This group has withered and starved historic teaching until it is all but dead so that the people are left without the skills to determine the corrupted history used by APOC to manipulate them. In the non-game understanding of the class, this how I “flip” my class and all students are required to complete the “collection missions” in order to gain the basic content knowledge required by the state standards.
The Curator is an enhanced version of the basic collector. These advanced collectors take on additional work and assist fellow students for additional bonuses.
Player Type Connection
In Marczewski’s Player Type Hexad, he describes 6 different player types. Somewhat confusingly, one of the types is called the “Player”. This type is motivated by rewards and are typically self interested. The Curator type attempts to play directly into the goals and desires of the “Player” player type. The collections must be done individually as is the extra work. The student that will likely select this avatar type is a student that is concerned about earning XP and “gaming” the system. A colleague refers to these students as “grade-grubbers” – always looking for a little extra credit. My goal with this type is to harness that self motivated behavior into extra content knowledge and hopefully redirecting it toward other students. The power and skill associated with this type are intended to give the student a feeling that they are doing “easier” work for extra points – that they are “gaming” my XP system.
- Extra Duty“Extra Duty” – After completing 100% of required collection missions, Curators earn access to Curator Missions, extra collection missions that can double the XP for the collection missions.
- “50-50” – with 100% Collection completion of unit collection missions, earn a test card that will allow elimination of 2 incorrect answer choices for 2 Questions.
One challenge that occurs with the avatar types is keeping track of which students have which powers and skills. My solution to this is based on my “Tie Based Ranking System” (similar to a karate belt system-future post upcoming). Each of the types has a different tie pattern. The Curators will be stripes (see picture above) and each student will get a striped sticker to put either on their laptops (we are a 1:1 school) or their AVID Binders. They will also get power bonus and special skill stickers. I also have a a Google Sheets grade book that keep track of all of these items for quick reference.