As part of my Marvel Power Grid System students will be able to “test” in order to earn upgrades to there “Super Powers”. An overview can be found Here but essentially this is like a voluntary badging system modeled on a karate belt system. Students voluntarily choose to participate and are then expected to complete a 2 part assessment – 1 for content understanding and 1 for skill mastery. This system is based on the 2020 South Carolina US History and Constitution standards which has arranged the content into 5 general standards with 6 substandards each. Each of the substandards has a “deconstructed skill” theme (like comparison or context). There are 6 powers on the Marvel Power Grid and 6 deconstructed skills that are used for each standard. Each of the powers will represent one of the deconstructed skills which means that as students grow in their power each level is really a badge that indicates their skill in that area. Since the skills are common in each standard but the content is unique the badge also shows that the student can demonstrate the skill in new contexts thus reaffirming and/or reinforcing their ability.
The theory is sound enough and the results in my classroom will be displayed both physically with wall stickers and digitally through their personal dashboards. The remaining question was how to get the students into the test. I would prefer this to be treated as a “side quest” – something that students can do on their own with little initiation on my part. I could post something on Google Classroom but that is, well, boring and will eventually become out of sight, out of mind for these kids. So, what to do? My current plan is to have “Upgrade Stations”!
Next year I will have a large fantasy world map that will act as our main thematic entrypoint. The overall aspects of the game and map are really fodder for another post, but every class will begin with a destination choice. It will be a daily interaction. Next to the map I intend on creating a smaller poster with an image of a Tent.
The tent is the “Upgrade Station” and the poster will have a bit.ly address and a QR code that will take them to a Google Site containing all of the Upgrading information. You can check out the site on your own or check out the screenshots.
After selecting which Unit they want to test in they will be sent to the Upgrade Tent which is a Google Slide deck embedded on the Website.
I’ve tried to make the Upgrade tent a bit more fun. It has big twist and a few easter eggs.
Enter the Tent by clicking on the door. There is a transparent block that is linked to slide #3 and will automatically transport you into the tent.
Click anywhere but the door I have a transparency covering everything below the door transparency square that linked to slide #2 that has a picture of the landscape with a reprimand to get in the tent.
Once in the tent there is a surprise!
The inside of the tent is a high tech lab encased in a little interdimensional bubble! More transparent square tricks here too. The monitor will take the student to the Upgrade Tests. The Fish Tank on the right is an easter egg. Everything else is covered in a transparency that links back to this page which effectively means they can’t go to the next page. The text block in the top left is from Earthbound Text Generator and is gif that scrolls text like an RPG. The image in the center of Beast is a transparency created on remove.bg and then stuck onto the background slide. The image was then formatted to be hued blue and with a slight transparency to make it look like a hologram projection. On the fish slide I used the same trick on a gif downloaded from giphy.com. I layered the gif over a picture of an empty Star Wars Bacta tank then made it slightly transparent to make it look like it was behind glass.
Once the student gets to the upgrade station they can select which power they would like to try to upgrade.
Each word is linked back to the Google Site. Lets use Strength as an example. Again, check out the link above to navigate to the actual website.
The Content Challenge is a 10 question vocabulary check for the content in that indicator and is accomplished by creating a 10 Google Form “Locks”. Students will have to enter the correct word to “unlock” that question. To submit the form they will need to enter all 10 words correctly. Once submitted I can see their submission in the responses section on my creator end. The 2nd part of the test is the Skills Challenge which is tailored to each content indicator. In this case we are looking at Indicator 1.CE – Causes of the American Revolution which I have paired with some information on Historiography. The Skills submission is submitted as they complete the effort. If it doesn’t demonstrate the skill to my satisfaction the student will receive some feedback and then resubmit. This process continues until they have passed the test.