Key Questions to Consider in Development: Clark Aldrich

In my effort to process everything over the last few weeks, I continue to highlight some useful articles and discussions over the past month. Clark Aldrich's Style Guide is an excellent collection of ideas, terms, and concepts. Aldrich brought up four key considerations for those studying, creating, and applying educational games and simulations.

  1. Situational awareness: what do experts see when they come to a scene that others don’t?
  2. Understanding of actions: what do experts see as viable options, and trade-offs of each? How and when should one calibrate responses?
  3. Awareness of patterns: how and why do things play out? What are small steps now that can have a big impact?
  4. Conceptual dead reckoning: understanding the opportunities, committing to a vision, and then navigating towards it.
The questions not only address what should be considered when designing a game, they also work for designing information literacy sessions. In creating lesson plans and research sessions, we should not only consider these questions but find answers for them as well.

1. Situational awareness: Our learners enter the "game" with all ranges of experiences, what do experienced researches see and apply that "newbies" don't. What do we want our students to "see" and understand about a given situation?

2. Understanding actions: Why do our students make the choices in research and sources that they do? What choices should they make? How can we help them understand why certain decisions make sense - and why others do not.

3. Awareness of patterns: Students fall into both patterns of success and patterns of failure. We want to help create productive patterns that will increase their success and efficiency for the future.

4. Conceptual dead reckoning: Create the goal / thesis and develop the path to reach it. If we can help our students create those goals and give them the tools to reach then.

These are good questions that we as educators should consider, not only for our individual lessons but for information literacy programs as a whole.