Five Best Practices Teachers Can Learn from Dungeon Masters -

Being a great Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master has a lot of parallels to being a great teacher. That's why the role-playing game can be an effective teaching tool in the classroom.

2/17/2020

Like teachers, Dungeon Masters aim to guide, challenge and engage. Here are 5 DM practices compatible with teaching: 🃏 Design for experience 🃏 Wrap it in a story 🃏 Offer choice 🃏 Reward risk and normalize failure 🃏 Provoke emotions

Being a great Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master has a lot of parallels to being a great teacher. That's why the role-playing game can be an effective teaching tool in the classroom.

leverage the power of story , but can also recruit students in the storytelling process. Famed Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer explains, the DM’s job is not just to tell a good story, but to lead a collaborative storytelling experience. “A Dungeon Master creates and directs a story for your friends to live and play in, and working with their ideas, collaborates with them in real time to write the next chapter together,” said Mercer, the star of , which streams celebrity D&D campaigns. “Consider narratives that emphasize relationship and enable them to put their skills and teamwork together to surmount a challenge and really appreciate each other.” But where do these stories come from? What if the creative well is dry? “Steal relentlessly,” advises Kotaku’s Tim Colwill. “Steal from TV and movies. Steal from books and comics. Steal from another D&D game you watched on Twitch. I am deadly serious and it will make you a better Dungeon Master [and teacher] if you do this.” 3. OFFER CHOICE Like classrooms, games operate with rules and constraints but, within those boundaries, they afford players interactivity and choice. In fact, The Guardian argues that choice may be the single biggest factor producing enjoyment in video games. We like to feel like masters of our destiny, and meaningful choices produce a sense of control that increases the likelihood of becoming invested in an experience. The absence of choice, however, can lead to the opposite. “When a DM is the only one who makes decisions, we call it railroading and it’s no fun for anyone but the DM. Games are about meaningful choices,” said Scott Price at the Connected Learning Summit in 2018 when he was the director of product at BrainPOP. He said it's important to include agency when designing a compelling experience. “Good role-playing game experiences are player-driven, individualized, adaptive, meaningful and contextualized,” he said and stressed that the qualities that make a successful game also make a great class. It’s not a revelation that students are engaged by choice, as it’s the magic ingredient in approaches like inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, passion projects, genius hours and learning pathways. However, to offer choice, educators must be willing to give up some control. “When I finally started and let go of control and many of the anticipated outcomes, I quickly realized how the students can really drive the learning in a powerful and fun way," said Steve Isaacs, who offers his middle-school game design students branching quests that allow them to choose personal learning paths ."Giving choice allowed me to step back and support students rather than ‘teach’.” When choices and options are built into the curriculum, whether in homework, assignments, classroom roles, or even assessment, students can enjoy a more personalized and meaningful learning experience. 4. REWARD RISK AND NORMALIZE FAILURE For a while now, the edusphere has been buzzing about the importance of inviting risks and embracing failure. In reality, many schools are competitive systems that rewards success and, especially when grades and standardized tests are involved, leave little allowance for meaningful failure. Many games let players safely fail and try again, and encourage progression through risk-taking and iterative cycles of trial and error. Gamers naturally apply and practice a growth mindset because they must constantly adjust their play tactics in response to mistakes and setbacks. Using games and making classes more game-like can help educators genuinely embrace risk and failure. Michael Matera, for example, found that using RPG elements cultivates a forgiving classroom culture that embraces risk-taking. “I am constantly amazed at how they thrive in my risk-rich classroom environment. As these are not graded in the traditional sense students can take a risk, tackle new challenges and grow as a learners,” said Matera.“When we are empowered as learners, as gamers, we win. Maybe not the game, but the war over wisdom. We learn from our failures, and when we are empowered, are able to pick ourselves up to learn even more.” It’s also important to remember that game designers don’t build risk and failure into their games to edify and educate - they just know that overcoming adversity can be a lot of fun. A prize is all the more valuable for the obstacles surpassed to attain it, so a good DM aims for the Goldilocks sweet spot between too hard and too easy, where advancement is possible but challenging. This design principle coincides with Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development , thus synthesizing best practices for entertainment and learning. But it’s not just the students who should take risks. Using a game in a class or, even more daunting, turning a class into a game also involves risk for the instructor. What if it’s boring? What if it doesn’t work? What if they hate it? It takes moxie, but educators can grow from silencing the voices of doubt and model risk taking for their students. “Just know that the students often love you and are very willing to try new things,” said Roman. “Sometimes it won’t work or you’ll have days where it seems difficult due to timing and preparedness. They’ll see that you’re putting in effort into something new and they appreciate that regardless of the outcome.” 5. PROVOKE EMOTIONS Read more: NPR

Sorry have to channel Mr. T here. 'I pity the fool who doesn't try dnd with an open mind!' Dam right and good DND campaigns. ZyrtecBadminton Teachers sure. How about “leaders” in general? I was going to say politicians but that is a whole other skill set. SundayThoughts My favorite DM was a friend’s dad that taught high school English. Lesson planning and setting up an adventure have a lot in common!

I am a credentialed teacher and these practices have consistently prevented my being hired in real districts and real schools. I'm frustrated. When I was in school, D&D only relegated me deeper into the 'ostracized nerds' club. Or it was blamed for occultist on-boarding. Or Tom Hanks made it seem like a gateway into insanity. I'm happy to finally see D&D accepted for what it is: a fun game of creativity.

“You rolled a 4 and fail Algebra for the semester” How far we’ve come from the 80s DND hysteria Never played D&D but those 5 practices are perfect As a DM I approve

Thinking of a ‘green’ burial? This is what it’s really likeThe jarring reality of my friend's green burial and why others should consider it -- it's eco-friendly and at $3,000, cheaper than a traditional funeral. I ponder this often... You are still dead what’s the difference 🤡🤡🤡 This I can agree to. Pumping a corpse full of chemicals then placing it in a metal box buried in the ground is not a well thought out plan.

And the Award for Best Canned Chickpeas Goes to...Yes, we tried a lot of canned chickpeas for this (via basically) Basically You guys should take down Brads pickled egg video, because it can kill people if they follow what he did. It can cause botulism, when making them you can't poke them[which he did], according to the CDC. Normaly they would be fine because the acidity keeps Basically Dry chick peas, Goya, $2 a pound. Pressure cooker, 4 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon salt. 32 minutes. Taste the difference. Please. Get serious. Cans?

Nah after a 12 pack and a claritin D, I can sh!t myself with the best of them. Washing is washing some don’t You're likely annoying me and don't even know it.

Your Broker and You: New Rules, Old TricksBrokers will soon need to abide by “Regulation Best Interest.” Even as it restricts some unsavory practices, it raises other issues for investors. None of this will help anyone Rules and guidelines are just that..has nothing to do w/laws.. turn the words rules/guidelines into laws.... why does the government get to define what is 'best ' for my investment needs? Why can't I shop around the investment manager market?

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