Following up; game-based learning

I’m finally following up on the use of the game Fair Play to help my students learn more about biases. The course deals with learning the skills and methods of research and embodying the role of researcher. Bias is one thing that researchers must remain aware of so that they do not let it get in the way of the research. Fair Play, I thought, would be a great chance for my students to face bias head-on; the ones the character faces, and their own as well.

It turns out that this was a tremendous success. Most of the students were surprised that they learned so much from a game. Every student had to do a 1-page write up on their experience and analysis of their own potential biases. I gave several prompts to the students to help them work through this analysis, and I think this was an important step in what was a brand new type of exercise for them.

Further, we discussed the game and bias in the following class. First, I had the students talk in small groups about their experiences playing the game. Then, I used the same prompts I gave the students previously to moderate an open discussion. The students were engaged the entire time for this exercise. There was not only good discussion, but I think some really good self-realization that went down.

All in all, this was a great exercise, but it had to be carefully crafted. I would definitely do it again in the future.