Pardon, may I ask for some suggestions of resources (articles, short essays) about Interactive Fiction in classrooms? Thank you very much.
And then when I asked whether they were looking for IF taught as the subject or as a means to learning other things:
Surely I’m interested in IF used as a pedagogical tool, as broad as possible (in terms of grades, subjects, case history). An introductory (and inspiring!) blog post would be very useful. Thank you!
Interactive fiction has a long history of classroom use at most levels (a little bit of elementary-level use, but then more in middle school, high school, and university teaching). Several researchers have built syllabus materials that make extensive use of IF; have published about IF-related pedagogy; or have given talks and workshops about how to teach using interactive fiction. At NarraScope, for instance, there were some workshops on this topic as well as a panel on IF and education.
I haven’t done much hands-on work with this myself, but here are some links that may be useful in this area:
Broad and general-purpose resources:
- IFTF includes an education committee that helps support classroom uses of interactive fiction in general.
- The education category on this blog links back to some past articles here about IF and education.
- IFDB has an “educational” tag for games that are thought to have some educational content.
- For a while I tried to keep up a list of courses that listed IF in the syllabus; it’s rather out of date now, but there are still dozens of links there.
- Interactive Fiction: “New literacy” learning opportunities for children is an academic article about IF in classrooms generally (2006, so not the very latest thing)
- Workshop on IF for teachers, David English. This is intended to introduce teachers to IF in order to prepare them to use it for different subjects.
Using IF to teach English, language arts, and literature:
- Middle school:
- Brendan Desilets has worked with IF in middle school classrooms for years, and has an entire website of articles on how to approach this, which he has also made available as a Kindle ebook.
- Secondary/high school:
- Tenth-grade English at the French American International School, Jason Sellers.
Using IF to teach history:
- Secondary/high school:
- Jeremiah McCall‘s book Gaming the Past is about the general topic of teaching history with games; he’s done significant work specifically with IF. In this open letter, he gives some starting-point advice for US history teachers.
- Christopher Fee has used Inform games in history and language classes. His project The Secret of Otter’s Ransom combines traditional IF features with interactive video imagery to make sites feel accessible.
- All levels:
Using IF to teach foreign languages:
- The IF Only site contains resources and reports from using interactive fiction to teach English as a foreign language.
- IFDB has a tag category for “computer-assisted language learning” which captures specifically games written for the purpose of teaching language.
Specific IF works that were designed to teach some topic, though they may or may not ever have been used in a classroom. (You can find more using the IFDB search tags mentioned above.)
- German: Ausflug am Wochenende nach München
- Mathematics: Junior Arithmancer, A Beauty Cold and Austere, L: A Mathemagical Adventure
- Philosophy: The Chinese Room, Castle, Forest, Island, Sea
- Medical Diagnosis: Cheiron
- Programming: Inform School, Lists and Lists
- IF Design: Taxonomy of Narrative Choices
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