I said I’d return to the subject of text. Over the weekend, I’ve been wrestling with the words that we should use in our app. The challenges are threefold:
- We want the text to be an adventure story, that motivates the user to want to discover more through completing the game
- We want the text to be minimal – our tutors are not going to want to read a thesis, and it has to fit on a mobile screen
- We want the text to be accessible, and that includes not being a barrier to play. All sorts of things might prove to be a barrier, for example the tribal metaphor that I was worried about using when first brainstorming our idea.
So, instead of building a tribe, I’ve to exploring an inhabited island. (Yes, it is still rather colonial, but lots of communities around the world have reached new lands by sea.) Thus, rather than gathering the tribe on the first level, we’re getting to know the crew, and building our ship.
How about this:
Welcome Captain! Are you ready to gather your crew, build your ship, explore the seven seas and built a new settlement, your Community of Practice?
Time is short and there’s so much to do.
Your backers have hired you a crew, and given you money enough to build a ship. But time is tight, you must discover land and build your community before the rations run out.
Name your ship (course name):
Count the crew (total number of students)
When you set sail (course starts)?
When must you finish?
Alternatively, we could have a plain English input screen, and then translate the input data into something like this:
Your backers have hired you a crew of <total number of students>, and given you money enough to build a ship. But time is tight, the good ship <course name> must set sail on <course starts> and the rations will run out buy <course end>.
Check the [ship’s papers: link to task list screen] to see which tasks you must complete before you can properly start exploring.
You need to get the measure of your crew. Do you have people who can be look-outs, depth sounders, navigators, riggers and jacks? Get them to work out their [preferences: link to VARK questionnaire] and share their preferences. Tally the numbers of each here:
(if total <(numbers of students)) Have you got the measure of ALL your crew?
(if total =(numbers of students)) Task finished! Your crew manifest is complete. Now its time to plot your voyage.
What do you think Nashwa? Should I continue in this way?