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Posts Tagged ‘strategic

This reflection begins with a Pokémon Go gaming strategy and ends with a principle of game-based learning that often escapes teachers.

After I am done with a Level 5 (the highest) raid boss battle, I occasionally hear someone complain how few premier balls they received to catch the boss.

I suspect that these people persist with stubborn habits instead of learning how to do something different and better. Such behaviour is a good example of wilful ignorance.

Players want to receive as many premier balls as possible to increase their chances of catching the raid boss. At a recent raid, I heard someone complain how she only had six premiere balls. I received thirteen, so how did she get so few?

Maximising the number of premier balls after a boss battle.

Six balls are all but guaranteed because up to 20 people battle one boss and defeat it (A). There is nothing strategic about this.

To get more balls, one has to think and operate strategically. If you raid only at gyms controlled by your own team (Instinct, Mystic, or Valor), you assure yourself of two more balls (B).

Others from your team tend to gravitate to such gyms and you are more likely form a majority. This leads to a higher contribution (C) and you might be rewarded with more balls.

The final strategy should you choose to battle at a non-team gym or one where you are a minority is to maximise your damage to the boss. You must manually choose your six Pokémon to take advantage of the weakness of a boss. Do this and you might be rewarded with more balls (D).

The lesson here is not so much about playing Pokémon Go more effectively. It is about game-based learning using games (like Pokémon Go) that are not designed to teach content. Pokémon Go is not designed for lessons on strategic thinking, but it can be used to model and teach it. You just need to think creatively and critically, and transfer what is relevant from the game to your curriculum.

One of my pre-workshop habits is to survey teacher-participants with Google Forms. I do this with two latent intents.

The first is modelling for teachers how to use the forms to collect prior knowledge, questions, and expectations of learners.


The other is something I started doing only recently. I asked participants if they were familiar with two concepts and provided visual representations of them.

The purpose of doing this was not just to find out if my learners knew about the concepts. It was also to prime them for the workshop, and for the highly motivated, to spark self-directed learning.

While I show and discuss the results with my participants, I have not built in a “rise above” component in the workshops to make them aware of the design and purpose of such survey forms.

Such a component would be very useful in a series of design thinking workshops so that educators apply educational theory as they problem find and problem solve.

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