I have a professor that wants to build a "choose your own adventure" course (like the kids books do) with dozens of pages and paths students could take.
I was thinking Mastery Paths might be the way to do it but I haven't played around with it much.
Anyone have other ideas?
Thank you. As open as this professor is, I think he may draw the line at allowing students to decide to combine many small assignments to replace one larger assignment, but this is definitely something I'll keep in mind for the future.
Thank you. One of the options I showed the professor was to be able to extend divergent paths within any one path. He was very intrigued.
I helped a professor build a course out similar to this a couple of years ago. He came to me with the idea that there would be a number of required activities that students had to complete and a whole series of activities that were optional. He and his TA would create all of the activities in advance. Points for activities varied depending on complexity and difficulty of the assignment. So, a student could do two or three major activities to get all the needed points or they could do many more easier activities to get the same amount of points.
He also wanted the course setup so that grades were calculated using points so that students started with zero points and worked their way up throughout the quarter to whatever amount of points they desired to get the corresponding grade. You can read my blog post about setting this up at https://blogs.uw.edu/orwinr/2015/09/17/gaming-the-system-part-1-making-it-all-add-up/ . Note, I have not updated the post to reflect any changes made to Canvas functionality, so make sure to test things out in advance. I can say that you still can't use points in the gradebook if you have weighted grading turned on. This poses a bit of a problem if you want to have mandatory assignments, meaning at the end of the quarter there was a bit of manual calculation involved.
If you want more details, please let me know and I am happy to help. Now, the most interesting part of this little experiment in charting your own path through a course, was the student response on course evaluations, This was a graduate level course, and the majority of the grad students did not like having to pick their own content, many very opposed to it. These are people who are really good at "school", meaning you tell them what to do and they will happily do it. They hated having to make the decisions about their own learning 😞 The few that liked the approach, absolutely loved it and wished all of their courses functioned in this manner. Just thought you might like to know what the students thought about the approach.
Prototyping with 2 units sounds like a fantastic start.
Thanks for sharing the results. It's always awesome to see how conversation progresses to implementation.
Best of luck with it all firstname.lastname@example.org!
email@example.com, the professor loved it. He decided that a full course of this is a little ambitious to start out so we're going to do 2 units in the Spring along with his other stuff he normally does and then decide if we want to go bigger in the Fall.
Thanks everyone for your help and ideas!
You may be interested in this presentation I gave. Extendable Narratives
Choose your own adventure paths can branch out quickly and become unmanageable, but there is a way to allow more curiosity in your course structure.