Friday, April 5, 2013

Creating A Decision Making Game

Creating A Decision Making Game

Growing up in the 1980's I loved reading Choose your Own Adventure Books.  Being in control of the story was such a cool thing for a young kid growing up. Trying out the various scenarios, going back and trying different approaches to see how the outcome of the story would change always seem to make the story come to life.

A few weeks ago I watched a staff development video on saving Keynotes as an HTML file that could be embedded into Blackboard.  I got to thinking, what a great way to use Keynote as a way to create  some type of game that students could play online  to enhance student's learning experience. In about a month my student's and I will be studying the Cold War. One of our major topics we look at is the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the past we watched a few video segments of the movie Thirteen Days and we would discuss Kennedy's decision to embargo Cuba and how that all played out. I love the movie, but I never felt that my students connected very well to this lesson.

So I went ahead and started to create a Non-Linear Presentation in Keynote to make a Cuban Missile Crisis game. In this game my students will be President Kennedy and they will have to research the crisis and make a decision what should the US course of action be to resolve this situation. **2017 I took my presentation and created a Google Presentation this year and it worked great for students to interact through the simulation. 
 The Game begins.

Students would have to research the possible choices. 

If students pick a "wrong" choice they would have to go back and try again. 

If students pick Embargo, they get to see how the crisis ended. 

*New 2016* Clouds Over Cuba ( )is a great resource from the JFK Library with lots of resources. I like my students to skip to the What If Chapter to see a Fake Documentary of what could have been.

I still have some "tweaks" to make on the game, but I am excited to see how student's respond. I am hoping for students to discuss which actions they picked and why, and possibly talk about "What If...." scenarios. With recent current events coming out of North Korea, this type of scenario seems to be playing out again.

 If you have never made a non-linear presentation in Keynote or PowerPoint;  they are actually quite easy to make. They require basic understanding of hyperlinks. A quick search in YouTube will get you back several tutorial videos. Here is one video that I found that does a pretty decent job of explaining the process.

Here is a slideshare presentation that also does a good job explaining Nonlinear PowerPoints.

There are other resources out there if you are interested in having students create Decision Making Type Activities.

Two books I have used for inspiration that have good activities, questions, and background readings have been:

Key Decisions in U.S. History Volume I (1450-1860)

Key Decisions in U.S. History Volume II (1861-1994)

I am also thinking about creating a few other Decision Making Games before our year ends, perhaps for our Civil Rights Movement  that incorporates some Primary Sources.

I would be interested in your ideas on what topics might make for a fun decision making game in the comments section below.

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