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 Executive

Some bunker members are adept at organizing groups and collaborating with others. These are the leaders within the classroom.

Player Type Connection

In Marczewski’s Player Type Hexad he describes two collaboration based types – Socialisers and Philanthropists. Socialisers are motivated by “relatedness” or interacting with others. These players enjoy creating and engaging in social networks. In the classroom these are the students that may not care about grades but are more than willing to work in small groups. The trick with Socialisers is to build a system that keeps them focused on accomplishing the goal of the collaboration. The second type is the Philanthropist which is also interested in creating social connections but for the sake of “Purpose” or helping others. In many Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing games there will be players that are willing, sometimes eager, to play a support role. These players are often the “Healers” and help to fix the damage enemies inflict on the warrior class players. Many Philanthropist type players also spend many unpaid hours creating walk-through guides and Game play Guides. The fulfillment comes from the sense of helping others and a self determined sense of purpose.

Power Bonus

  • “Philanthropist” – after successful completion of all collaborative missions in a unit, collaborator can distribute up to 200XP among the guild members.

Special Skill

  • “TPS Report” – 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.

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. The Executives get a Herringbone sticker. The classic pattern exudes authority and leadership. Each student will get a herringbone 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.