In my previous post (My 6 Avatar Types) I began outlining the 6 Avatar Types for my History Underground classroom. This is the second of my six avatar types. 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 Artisan

The Artisan type allows creative members of the History Underground team to display their skills.

Player Type Connection

Most gamification player type models (I like Marczewski’s Player Type Hexad) acknowledge that there are some players who are less interested in collecting points and rewards and would rather just freely explore the game world. In the Hexad model these players are referred to as “Free Spirits”. Another Player type is referred to as the “Achiever” and this type usually plays a game in order to achieve mastery. The Artisan type touches on both of these motivations. I have written about engaging free spirits (Engage your Free Spirit types) through art projects and most of my artistic students want to engage with the content in their own unique ways. Most are also seeking to master some artistic skill (paints, sketching, sculpting) and allowing this mastery seeking behavior through content based projects fulfills a strong motivator need.

Power Bonus

  • “Starving Artist” – Double any Mission XP Value by creating an artistic representation of the content to be displayed in the Bunker. (must be of high quality)

Special Skill

  • “SketchNotes” – with 100% completion of unit collection missions, student earns a 3×5 index card that can be used as a cheat sheet for that unit’s exam. No text allowed.

Organization Aids

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). Each of the types has a different tie pattern. I feel like Paisley, with its fractal like natural artistic beauty displays a certain free spirit mentality (see picture above). Each student will get a paisley 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.