‘Think to be Entertained’: On Re-Purposing Canvas LMS Features for SCL + CT-based, Course Gamification
Dominique Angela M. Juntado
Department of Sociology & Behavioral Sciences,
De La Salle University Manila
Dominique Angela Juntado, Department of Sociology & Behavioral Sciences, De La Salle University Manila, 2401 Taft Ave Manila 1004, Philippines
Email: Dominique Angela Juntado email@example.com
Juntado, D.A., (2022). Think to be Entertained’: On Re-Purposing Canvas LMS Features for SCL + CT-based, Course Gamification. Asian Journal on Perspectives in Education, 3(1), 55-85
COVID-19-era education is defined by distance, reliance on technology, and breaking from the ‘brick and mortar’ setup. While several tools for connectivity enable facilitators to coordinate with their students and conduct classes in real-time, how instructors bear the onus of content creation and instructional design remains.
This paper is about the author’s experimentations to refresh the way students would look at the Humanities and Social Science subjects in terms of their value as engagements and the honing of global citizenship and lifelong learning virtues. The concepts, execution, and theoretical discussions of design covered in this paper revolve around the author’s adventure game-inspired interface and facilitation design for Canvas, which she had been implementing as her primary strategy from August 2020 to December 2021 at Far Eastern University Manila, for the subjects GED 0107 Readings in Philippine History; GED 0117 Culture, Ideas, Society, & Innovation; IDP 0102; Introduction to Cultural Studies; and IDS 1201 Introduction to Intercultural Communication.
Educational-Entertainment; Gamification; Games-based assisted learning; Canvas; Extrapolation
COVID-19 has placed people in the position to rethink how everyday things are done and how services are now being rendered and received, and higher education is no different. Aside from how learning should be facilitated, we are encouraged to first mull over what ‘learning’ means during this time. From the perspective of being a regular citizen, the importance of an appreciation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is grasped during COVID-19. This has to do with how people realize that it is in beauty, film, television, music, and video gaming that we can find comfort and amusement during quarantine periods.
Ruminations on the Role of the Humanities and Social Sciences as Citizenship Education
Some time in our pursuits within the professional courses, many have forgotten or overlooked how somewhere in the Humanities, and true for the Social Sciences as well, there is this link these have with the moral foundations of citizenship in that they point to engaging in human cultural settings and relationships (Donnelly, 2004). The Humanities and Social Sciences significance involves achieving ‘some understanding and appreciation of the wealth of different ways in which humans lived and expressed themselves’ (Woff, 1991, p. 23). It can even be argued that it is through the Humanities and Social Sciences that we learn the foundations of understanding and how to conduct ourselves and others. In more memorable words, in these subjects, we are brought to think about what it means to be human (Juntado, 2019; Barrios-Le Blanc, 2021).
Students frequently dismiss how virtues exist in these contexts. In the harsh divide between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ subjects, it is forgotten how these twin disciplines have the potential to foster peoples’ ‘awareness of themselves as citizens who have obligations as moral agents’ by encouraging ‘appropriately guided reflection’ (Halstead & Pike, 2006, p. 82). It is forgotten that who they are, is not their profession. However, they are citizens of the country they owe their allegiance to, the decisions they make (some of which have the potential to impact others) (Facione, 2011), the reasons these individuals hold, and how they treat others. It is believed that ‘becoming educated’ and ‘practicing good judgment’ increases the chances of living a ‘life of happiness, virtue, or economic success’ through the avoidance of what may result from bad decisions made and burdening fellow citizens with the consequences of bad decisions (Facione, 2011). This is how studying in university becomes synonymous with the state of being ‘cultured’ because of the goals the institution has in making well-rounded individuals and not just specialists; affecting the way one thinks and acts, ‘over and above the knowledge and skills that have been learned in any degree’ (Biggs & Tang, 2007, p. 65). The Humanities and Social Sciences keywords are ‘critical reflection’ and ‘acting’ (Biggs and Tang, 2007, p. 65). Furthermore, if we are conscious of this or not, Quarantine has placed us in the position to Think as a mode of entertainment.
Mulling Over the State of General Education in Online Learning
General Education subjects have the potential to leave an impact long after any semester has ended if facilitators use these previous points as motivation to unconventionally repackage course content and the learning session for the online setup. In the present case for Synchronous and Asynchronous learning, the Video Conference Call has been intentionally set as the standard route for the conduct of classes. It has been previously advised that each session with each class has a duration of 30 minutes for the discussion aspect to avoid screen fatigue. While the visibility of the Professor is perhaps the last fragment of familiarity associated with being in the learning setup, it must be realized that this is not a guarantee that the student will learn (Fajutagana, 2020).
What constitutes ‘Facilitation’ has become challenged regarding how it is defined and conducted, given the fluctuating number of attendees to the synchronous online classes each session, as attendance is not being monitored. The laxness of attendance checking is out of consideration to students, given the instability as well as types of internet connections which may or may not be conducive for video calls; the anticipation of possibilities of disruption of electricity; and the varied options of learning modes which divide the class population. Many students have resorted to depending on recordings of MS Teams or Zoom meetings for viewing during a more convenient time. Video conferencing has been especially problematic for student-centered learning because some professors might be tempted to lecture purely to avoid dead air. Resorting to the lecture is a quick, short-term remedy for instances where student participation is low, often due to online conferencing fatigue or lack of motivation due to personal reasons. However, it also means reverting to a method from the instructional paradigm.
In the search for digital interactive strategies and content, there has been the tendency to refer to quick fixes by referring to existing games and educational software, attempting to make them malleable for what other purposes they might call for. In the case of most games in general, not having been created to carry out such function, limitations towards the demonstration of concepts and inaccuracies of the mechanism or depiction of such concepts within a game are possible. Another potential problem would be ensuring that the class arrives at the in-game event (a situation, scene, character action, or dialogue) pertinent to the lesson within the allocated class period. Cheat mechanisms would be convenient for this purpose, enabling the facilitator to bypass portions of gameplay and advance to specific locations and events within the game. The reality remains that they are not educational games in themselves, and it would be challenging to look for material that suits a specific lesson (and without forcing the idea). Not to say that it is not doable or that it is discouraged. In the end, it draws attention to how it is always best to create one’s content for lesson facilitation. This led to the re-purposing of productivity applications for interactive educational entertainment, specifically the slideshow program being the most accessible and with the least complex learning curve (Juntado, 2015; See Joaquin & Biana, 2020).
Not to forget, competitive quiz applications and interactive quiz formats are included in a roster of blended learning tools, but the challenge lies in the composition of the quiz questions in that these should not involve information recollection for its own sake. There is also the matter of points being involved — without points, there is no excitement felt on the part of the students; it is possible to reward and record points, but does this not give the class a token economy feel?
At the common point of intersection is how the intent behind incorporating digital interactivities is to break the ice for a discussion led by the faculty. However, why not think about the interactivities themselves taking precedence over the classroom but not necessarily replacing the faculty? Also insufficiently explored is how there could be custom interactive content that is doable in regular updating, revision, or modification and seamlessly integrate with already created course content.
All these considered, perhaps the shift from a ‘brick and mortar’ setup to distance learning also brings the need to rethink two details. The first involves working over what constitutes the ‘classroom’ — especially true in the synchronous class. Is the traditional classroom setup into the virtual and held on to purely for comfort and to achieve some sense of order? Alternatively, perhaps it is more fitting to extract the processes that went into routine activities native to the traditional setup and consider how these are present or can be reworked into a more non-academic setup that veers away from the virtual classroom. There is also the necessity to reinvent the way people look at the correlation between content and the roles of the facilitator, from serving as guides alone to becoming creators of course-specific multimedia content.
Addressing these inquiries is a ‘show and tell’ — this paper is about developing the idea of a learning space that does away with the virtual replication of the classroom. The design, titled the Canvas Adventure Game Interface (Canvas AGI), is a point-and-click, goal-driven, interactive approach to exploring course material. This paper is composed of a sequence of notes on how the ‘Pages,’ ‘Assignments,’ ‘Discussion,’ and ‘Quizzes’ features on Canvas can be used to create content for a digitally interactive exploration and application of course concepts. Key components of the design are discussed in terms of how they operate along a learner-centered and critical thinking mechanism.
Barr and Tagg’s (1995) call to ‘imagine’ and ‘restructure what we do based on the Learning Paradigm’ (p. 14) could not be more relevant than now. Taking up this call, the Canvas AGI is about how to translate the principles and elements of a learner-centered paradigm into a playable. In this paper, the term ‘Playable’ is used as a catch-all category for the scope of interactivities consisting of games and gadgets (applications that do not fit into the traditional game genres (T. Fulp, personal communication, 2013); their mechanisms do not include goals but have an objective and are often devoid of an entire storyline). The purpose of such a project is to provide variation in the online learning setup by creating a learning climate based on conditions that emulate how the humanities and social sciences would be encountered in familiar, contemplative spaces in the real world. Students are motivated by evidence (Asistio, Balog, Carrillo, Cudog, Juntado, & Tanawan, 2019); they want to see more connections between what they learn, with how these go in reality and practicality. The design of the Canvas AGI is based on the idea that learning could be done through a nonconventional medium that combines the casual and exploratory aspects of the video game and the laid-back voice of conversations in social media.
The Canvas AGI is a response to how to ensure, if not increase student engagement, uniformly across the synchronous and asynchronous learning modes. In terms of its aesthetic dimension, it demonstrates how it is possible to create game-like content playable across devices and without the heavy requirements in terms of hardware and software. The Canvas AGI also involves working with what is already available (as in using the resources already available in the Learning Management System) and becomes budget friendly.
This project serves as an example of how the transition to online learning encourages the exploration of alternative avenues for teaching and learning. To an extent, it redefines the idea of facilitators as ‘generalists’ in that aside from incorporating one’s specialization in creating a customized delivery of the course being handled (FEU DLECCT, 2019), the course becomes more meaningful when faculty can apply their skills from their passion, into the creation of course content.
Of Theoretical Anchorage: The Learner-Centered Paradigm
The Canvas AGI is designed as a digital rendering of the Learner-Centered Paradigm. The following paragraphs provide a summarized outline of how the theory is executed in features of the interface.
Under the Learner-Centered Paradigm (Barr & Tagg, 1995), the College is defined as an institution that produces learning. Therefore, it ‘discourages passive lecture-discussion where faculty talk and students listen’ (Barr & Tagg, 1995, p.13). In-verbatim, to preserve the original flavor of the message:
In the Learning Paradigm… a college’s purpose is not to transfer knowledge but to create environments and experiences that bring students to discover and construct knowledge for themselves, to make students members of communities of learners that make discoveries and solve problems (Barr & Tagg, 1995, p. 15).
In the place of the whole lecturing, the paradigm allows the faculty to exercise academic liberty in the encouragement of seeking out varied approaches to prompt learning of knowledge by students (Barr & Tagg, 1995, p.14); learning comes in the form of the production of insights and application of skills. The Canvas AGI, having borrowed from the exploratory approach of the video game, brings with it the habit of unconscious mental framing, anchoring ideas, and complimenting insights production associated with gameplay. When sharing their insights from interactivity, they must structure their ideas by communicating persuasively. Persuasive Communication provides answers and insights supported by evidence, typically in the form of literature, studies, and even multimedia produced by authoritative sources (FEU, 2019). The conduciveness of the interface lies in encouraging reading and participation in the discussion of concepts, and the sharing of ideas, in that both in-game progressions would reward the student.
It directs the student’s agency as being responsible for their learning and co-producers of their learning (Barr & Tagg, 1995, p.15). The Canvas AGI places the student in an active position to be on the search for answers and not fixate on the answer itself. The synergy between the students and the facilitator in learning production sets in when the facilitator is to create and load updated content that proceeds from the student’s responses in the previous engagement. Also in line with this is the negotiable nature of the course construction:
The structure of courses and lectures becomes dispensable and negotiable… indeed, classes themselves… become options rather than received structures or mandatory activities. The Learning Paradigm prescribes no one “answer” to the question of how to organize learning environments and experiences. It supports any learning method and structure that works, where “works” is defined in terms of learning outcomes, not as the degree of conformity to an ideal classroom archetype (Barr & Tagg, 1995, p. 20).
The investigative character of the Canvas AGI presents a set of applied research topics from which the student can choose for a customized learning experience. These are called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA).’
In terms of the nature of the roles of the faculty, as their contribution to the learning process is of facilitation, they take on a more creative role:
“Faculty are primarily designers of learning methods and environments” (p. 17).
The role of the teacher lies in content creation and coaching the students by learning with them and attending online synchronous sessions for tutorials and troubleshooting. The discussion on coaching students is expanded later in the portion on holding Workshop Sessions.
Notes on the Repurposing of the Standard Canvas Interface
The standard Canvas interface can be given a secondary layout and structure to bear the visual and operational look and feel of a retro-style, point-and-click adventure game. It must be clarified that while genres do tend to blur in game design, adventure games place a prime on exploration and storytelling. In essence, the mechanism of this design is an elaborate setup consisting of a series of ‘Scrns’ (abbrev. of ‘Screens’), sets of which would contain an interconnected series of dialogue, imagery, and actions. While Scrns can be created using ‘Pages,’ ‘Assignments,’ and ‘Discussion’ as they commonly have the same Editor, each has practical strengths and aesthetic limitations.
Pages. Activities posted as Page is limited to point and click. There is pure focus on the content as anything placed into the Editor is the only thing that will be seen; best used for menu creation or content with linear outcomes (Linearity refers to the extent of strict and fixed adherence to a path to reach an endpoint. The only deviation allowed is in the sequence of selection of the features the user chooses to prioritize.) to ensure a clean-looking interface.
Assignments. By default, these postings have information below the displayed content regarding points, section assignments, compliance dates, and occasionally rubrics. They can be re-purposed to be a submission slot. A slightly more intricate design plan involving the use of two interconnecting assignments posts will be tackled in another article. Using Assignments for menu creation is discouraged as these posts do not have the same clean look as Pages because of the details container automatically provided by the Canvas system. This is true regardless of if any values are assigned to them.
Discussion. Instead of regarding it as the standard message board where the whole written idea is dumped into a single post for commenting, it can be used to contain an excerpt from a dialogue that encourages response and exchange among those involved. This is explained in length under the portion on ‘Talk points’ later in this paper.
The mechanism of the point-and-click design relies significantly on hyperlinking for setting the potentially varied outcomes of the interactions. Given this, in terms of operation, there is a conditional override of the navigation bar. For example, on the Web version, course navigation typically involves clicking on desired links from the vertical listing to bring the viewer to a particular course section. In the modified version, the viewer is advised to depend on the icons and refer only to the ‘Modules’ to teleport to a particular screen; if there is electric or internet service disruption, they would not have to start from the very beginning.
What ultimately ties the concept together is the menu system which sets the association of the modified interface with the impression of a video game through aesthetics and navigation. For those with poor internet connection and struggling to load images, a plain-text version can be designed having the exact mechanism; the outcome would be similar to interactive fiction.
For students using the Canvas mobile application, it is essential to remind them that they should begin by accessing the ‘Front Page’ corresponding to the ‘Home’ Screen of the Canvas course. Doing so brings them to the main section of the interface, where everyone is expected to begin. Following the required sequence is vital for the overall design to make sense.
|Consists of the Main Menu. For navigation of the interface, use the designated buttons
|It contains the tasks to be accomplished along with links to pertinent readings and suggested materials.
|Repository for Suggested Readings. It contains links to documents (book chapters, articles, newspaper clippings) that can be used as references in major assessments or to support points made during discussions.
|Similar to ‘Bookshelves’ but dedicated to storing audio-visual and interactive content on the subject matter. It also houses copies of recordings of video conferences and content from public intellectual lectures. It can also serve as the scene for the talk points.
|Submission slots for uploading assessments.
|Contains conversations on class policies and other information. While these are designed to be covered during the course orientation, they can be revisited throughout the semester as needed.
|Area for mini-games or possible side quests. It also functions as an area that contains the different discussion threads on specific topics to be started and joined in by both the Students and the Facilitator.
|It consists of interactive displays on a particular topic. (As of this article, the conceptualization of a design for the exhibit area is undergoing refinement.)
Components in the Canvas AGI
Just as Games tend to have cheatable systems; in the instance of this design, it is in the form of the ‘Modules’ section of the Canvas interface which would enable the student to bypass a particular process, though at their own risk of missing an important detail pertinent to an activity. To discourage skipping sections, a plain text or Master List can be composed and replace the Main Menu for those who can only load plain text and those who prefer a more straightforward navigational system. Doing so will limit the choices of portions that the student can jump to. While the Master List method is somewhat closer to how Canvas conventionally uses Pages, narration, dialogues, and decision-making would still give the impression of interactive fiction. It would still also be gamified in the sense that the overall design is still bound by goals, rules, challenge, and interactivity; the Master List method only does away with Sprites (A recognizable shape that moves around on the screen; it can be animated or static (Lecky-Thompson, 2007). Regardless of what design scheme is applied to the course, it is vital to keep Modules listings updated for both transparency and easy teleportation to a specific component.
On Design History: Student-Centered Teaching and Learning, Critical Thinking, and the FEU ‘Systems Approach’ as Design Operational Framework
The adventure game-style repurposing of Canvas encourages Student-Centered Learning and Critical Thinking because it was created with this learning culture in mind. When composed correctly, the Systems Approach is repackaged and executed via the design’s components.
In terms of the facilitator, their role is defined by the structure of the design content. Duties significantly lean more towards guiding the student, which occurs in two actions. One is providing instructions on how a task is to be accomplished, the questioning process where the facilitator checks on the student’s progress and advises them on their work (this turns the time put into working on the task into a skills-development and skills-refinement session). The student must be reminded that the components of the task are merely avenues for learning the skills needed to accomplish the task and that the scores they earn are proportional to their ability to demonstrate said required skill. The facilitator also provides minimum interference in the conduct of discussions, conversing instead with students, done in observation of the suggested flow of the talk points as presented in the following pages.
Critical Thinking: In-Game Characters and Objects Interaction as Assigned ‘Reading’
What is customarily referred to when talking about ‘assigned readings’ are the documents to be covered concerning a topic, typically consisting of chapters from a book and academic articles. In critical thinking, the proper term for these is the collective word ‘documents,’ referring to ‘objects which can be placed on a page’ (Butterworth & Thwaites, 2013, p. 7). Importance is placed on the process of extracting meaning, what can be worked from what we read, and not necessarily the document itself. What is being read are the substance, what we generally refer to as the ‘objects of critical focus,’ called ‘texts’ (Butterworth & Thwaites, 2013, p. 7), and as encountered in the real-world setting, these are in spoken, written, or visual formats.
A mentioned, frequently resurfacing problem among students today is their aversion to reading relatively lengthy documents. There is also the tendency to lose interest when faced with blocks of text, perceiving pure text pages as rambling. Some students have admitted difficulty and unease when confronted with blocks and blocks of text, regardless of an assigned document being written in simple words.
The online setup of teaching and learning has facilitators mulling over the extent that documents are to be prioritized over other media. Perhaps there are other material genres that students might be more enthusiastic about inspecting. One remedy would involve converting the assigned documents into objects for critical focus. If such is unavailable, take a document or material substance and render them into interactivity. The interactivity has students going over the material in which the pages are considerably ambiguous. In the Canvas repurposed design, this is among the instances that the Scrns creation is applied, which combines relevant imagery with portions of written text. There is a distribution of the content this way, and how the design prompts the student to click to proceed distracts the student from the prospect that the article is lengthy or technical. The setup also widens their attention span as the object they would click would have a respective outcome or response. Finally, dividing the text allows the student to stop at a particular screen and know where to return to after a needed break or an internet/electrical service disruption.
An aesthetic way of translating a document into interactivity that stays true to the substance is to use non-playable characters. Maximize their presence from how they are dressed, the language they use, and echoing portions of the original text; what exists in the environment/background should be picked up by the student as an exercise in observation. This does not count as ‘doing lecture,’ as the Characters and Objects are designed as renders of the assigned material and, most significantly, neither reflect nor express the facilitator’s value judgments, opinions, or interpretations on the topic being discussed. These would be separate from the types of playables designed to explore different angles of an argument; these could be assigned later as an assessment and discussed via talk points.
Also, it must be clarified that this is not to do away with reading documents entirely. The facilitator is to make still the original assigned document available. Documents and more traditional, linear media (i.e., video, audio recordings, music) are better reserved as references easily accessed for when the student is working on developing their responses for discussions or searching for answers as part of some more enormous task or project. This corrects the observed tendency of students thinking of reading to provide answers as an end when they should be reminded that it is the search for the answers, the process, which they should put value in, that this is what determines what actual skill sets they have.
Interface Fixture: The Journal & Its Aesthetics
‘Journals’ (and other similar written documents) are a classic trope for adventure games. They resemble the shape and content of a diary or stray pages of them, and they are created to provide information, of which there are customarily two types:
Storytelling. This journal function involves presenting an explanation and making a backstory to some situations accessible. Games usually use this to set the story’s tone and discuss subplots and perspectives of different characters. In the course setup, it can be a subcomponent to a task wherein it provides context and clues needed for accomplishing some of the objectives of an activity. The challenge lies in how the pages are composed, as the audience would likely end up skimming, if not skipping it entirely, if it merely provides an information dump (placing a massive amount of background information to be read at one instance rather than the information playing out in the rest of the game). The length of the information also has to be relevant to the gameplay, and there must be a balance of the written content with actual actions and in-game objectives, as this grant games their distinction from a digital interactive book.
Guide. Sections of the journal contain instructions on accomplishing a task, mini notes on the resources needed (as well as where they can be retrieved), simplified reminders on what needs to be done (a To-Do list) for a specific period, and general advice. For the course setup, additionally, on the same theme, the journal can also include a section that contains a periodically updated list of announcements and emails sent to students. One purpose is archiving so students can backtrack on announcements and emails exclusively to the course. The section also includes reminders on deadlines and requirements, making them easily retrievable.
Onto the course setup, the journal pages are where the student can find the lesson description, the preliminary readings setting context, the tasks to accomplish (rubrics included), the suggested references, and where they are located. The composition of the page presents an opportunity to partly remedy the attitude of isolation and detachment that is said to come with online learning. The suggestion is to provide a more personal-sounding writer’s voice in two instances. The first involves changing the way the reader is addressed, from ‘The student/you’ to ‘We’ and, when fitting, ‘Our’ — as an expression that the facilitator is assuring the student that they are in the learning journey with them for feedback, discourse, and (re)new(ed) knowledge. This is neither a lie nor platitude, as the work of those in the Humanities and Social Sciences involves continuous updates and, on occasion, re-visiting ideas and, importantly — questioning what one knows. The second is in the way the Outcomes are stated — it may help to label them as ‘Motivation for the Session,’ just as a nod to the inspiration portion as reminiscent of the bullet journal aesthetic.
From the vantage point of critical thinking, the aesthetics going into the creation of the journal page layout can be used for extrapolation practices; at its most functional, graphics and text used to form parts of the aesthetic are renders of portions of information designed to function as clues or pointers to answer a task. The way they are created would require the student to consider their preliminary assumptions about what they see, suspend the immediate judgment, and take the time to inspect.
In identifying objects, web browsers and the Canvas App permit magnification, making inspection easier on the eyesight regardless of one’s device. For example, suppose there is a reference to a thing that is unrecognizable or seems ‘off.’ The student can take a screenshot, crop the image, and attempt a search on Google by uploading the same extracted image to identify the subject and what makes this item or detail significant to answering the task. Thus, by practice, this mechanism is designed to develop the habit of observation in the student. In execution, it particularly hones observational skills with technical skills, where the latter would enhance observation and inquiry through existing and easily accessible tools.
The object of special attention would be the Rotary Phone which, upon closer inspection, contains a clue to identifying the theory that should complement the explanation.
The inspection of the journal page further hones the habit of paying attention to details. Keen observation is vital in critical thinking as students need to understand how evidence can be presented or encountered in different forms, but with the data/information as the substance of the evidence, being a constant. Attention to detail also requires knowing how to read the reference in that it is anchored to context; this is where the student learns the distinctions between interpretation and appreciation. These considerations make the aesthetic component (together with how the student processed it/them) a good conversation point to include in the Deepening discussion.
On Talk points as Substitute for the In-Class Discussion: An Aesthetic Setup for Socratic Questioning
Talk points are the set of discussion questions that the Facilitator poses to the students, succeeding in an activity; these are intended to place the reading, the topic explored, and the skills applied into perspective. In both the face-to-face and online real-time setup, such a strategy sets the flow of conversation to avoid the delivery of a lecture. In its original formulation, the Professor would establish the opening statement to condition the class for the exchanges; the students would then answer the questions as in an open forum; at its most successful point, they would eventually carry on the discussion, and the Professor would fade into the background and only surface to moderate the nature and transition of the discourse (Doyle, 2011, p. 51; Weimer, 2002, p. 72).
With the pandemic posing challenges to student motivation,it does not remain easy to ensure that responses will be received, and a few do not monopolize that participation. In addition, the reality remains that the student is also bound to take the path of least resistance but with significant gains (Doyle, 2008, p. 19) due in part to the fact that one’s subject is not the only one the student is enrolled in.
One practical remedy which would reconcile everyone being present for in-discussion and recorded tasks would be to assign Talk points participation as a graded Formative Assessment. We cannot dismiss this move as an instance of the classroom becoming a ‘token economy’ (the classroom setup where no one does anything unless points are being offered) (Weimer, 2002, p. 19) because of the reasons previously stated. This strategy focuses on the critical line demarcating recitation ad baculum and quality insights production. However, the latter’s distinction lies in structuring the talk points so that there is a student’s choice in selecting subtopics to participate in and meeting the required number of questions to address and the types of posts that would be counted. The critical aspect here is variety and option, as this prevents the sense of powerlessness and anxiety experienced by the student, these two being characteristic of the IRE (initiation – response – evaluation) cycle (Hattie & Yates, 2014, p. 44). For example, a student can opt to provide answers to questions posed by the facilitator; they can post anchored replies/inquiries which weigh in on what a classmate remarked, addressed to the said classmate, the general audience (for their response), or the facilitator; and so on. To keep a standard for grading, the substance of their responses should follow the claims & justifications format for persuasive communication. Perhaps similar can be suggested for the questions they raise — aside from the question itself, they can include their understanding of the matter; it concerns impressions or misconceptions that can be corrected and potentially contribute an angle to the discussion.
For the Facilitator, they need to ensure that the questions they incorporate are not ‘low-level, often calling for simplistic answers’; not about retention of information; and that the responses are not supposed to be predictable (Hattie & Yates, 2014, p. 45). The effort of composing quality questions brings the enduring invaluableness of the Questioning Circles method.
Talk points and responses are accessible in that they are quickly loaded and constantly available when a post has been made, thus making talk points versatile as synchronous or asynchronous tasks. The student further learns time management; aside from viewing and participating in the post, they must keep themselves updated if there has been a response to their remarks. Aside from encouraging the sharing of insights, it remedies the concern of ‘regulating the flow of communication, deciding who gets the opportunity to speak, when, and for how long (Weimer, 2002, p. 24).
But what of design considerations? The Discussion feature of Canvas is customarily used as a space conducive to the asynchronous forum. In the traditional message board format, the Facilitator tends to compose the starting post with an information dump. In a game-based design, however, the Talk points are set up with a mechanism similar to a Conversation Simulator. This strategy involves a weave of context, student input, followed by student perspective, and pre-set dialogue from the facilitator that returns to context so that the student can check the extent that they are on point. The facilitator uses a combination of semi-linear and open-ended talk points to achieve this effect.
In setting up the design, the Facilitator has to create two sets of talk points. The first is to accommodate preliminary input from the students. It begins as a warm-up to gauge the student in terms of what they presently know about the topic. The discussion then proceeds to the portion of questions based on the assigned material. The facilitator can post follow-up talk points on the responses if necessary. The second set is intended to be covered in another session, which involves building on the students’ posts. Questions and remarks for this set consist of diplomatically worded corrections, encouraging students whose posts may need more supporting references/evidence, and synthesizing common and general remarks. This cluster also presents the opportunity to put twists on perspectives, to be subject to the same conversational process as the first round of talk points, or at least for students’ viewing.
The types of Talk points are discussed as follows.
Semi-Linear Talk points. These refer to questions with a predefined set of answers provided by the Facilitator, which the student must choose from. The next portion of the discussion builds from the response selected; each response takes the student to a separate conversation but is still in line with the topic. Semi-Linear Talk points are intended to anchor the discussion to the context of the topic and so require foresight on the part of the facilitator in terms of what the student may share and might incorrectly answer. Incorrect responses are included among the choices so that correction or rectification builds from the answers and does not latently result in the expressed invalidation of their ideas nor trigger embarrassment. Semi-Linear Talk points are mixed with open-ended talk points.
Open-Ended Talk points. These are types of questions with no precise answer; they are intended to permit a freer flow of ideas and practice elaboration which utilizes the same claims-justification format. However, for the justification, in addition to anchoring on the assigned material, the student is free to refer to supplementary material or content they previously encountered and associate that with the present discussion through anchored thinking. Declarative or Propositional Knowledge (Biggs & Tang, 2007, p. 72) is the foundation of this class of talk points. Further, open-ended talk points encourage sharing insights and exchanging ideas or provide angles the facilitator may have missed in the readings. Finally, responses to open-ended talk points allow the students a margin to question their fellow students based on the posted responses; even the ‘student to student’ inquiries can be questioned.
What does a conversation simulator accomplish? Aesthetics-wise, it intends to be inviting as the game is a pop cultural medium; with the repurposing of the Canvas Discussion post format, it also bears some operational resemblance to a social media thread. In the process, it is practicing persuasive communication until it becomes a habit; it develops the writing skill concisely without sacrificing substance. It encourages taking the time to think about a topic and seek material to confirm or negate one’s thoughts rather than writing by an impulse of the moment or impulse of response. This enables the practice of responsible digital citizenship. First, digital citizenship involves the capacity to navigate the digital world with digital literacy by being able to identify reliable digital sources and sharing information and opinions responsibly and respectfully. Secondly, to exercise ethics by being reminded to practice source citation and to ‘give credit where it is due if work found online is shared or lifted and applied as reference material for any post or submission’. Third, practicing responsible digital citizenship entails diplomacy. The dynamics and exchanges in online discussions necessitate composing questions and responses in a manner that makes a point but does not offend. Lastly, the activity is also intended to help students acknowledge that there are limits to what one knows and for them to accept that reality.
With this combination of aesthetics and process in the conversation simulator, perhaps it could be treated as a step towards encouraging the normalization of intellectual humility and persuasive communication outside the university.
The challenge in implementing this strategy partly lies in encouraging dialogues among the students. Initial shyness has been reported to be affecting the prospects of students working with each other (and in competition with each other) in discourse creation and collaborative work.
|[Parts of a Systems Approach]
|[Element in Design]
|OUTCOMES What the students will get by participating in the session
|-Conversation with In-game NPCs -Included in Readables; restated as ‘Motivations.’
|-Facilitator’s Office -Interaction with other NPCs -Journal (Reading Room; also accessible via the Main Menu)
|PRELIMINARIES What is required for students and facilitator to be effective in the session (from assigned readings to minor/ice breaker tasks)
|-Conversation with In-game NPC -Included in Readables; restated as ‘To Do List.’
|-Facilitator’s Office -Interaction with NPCs encountered in other locations -Journal (Reading Room; also accessible via the Main Menu)
|TASKS What the Students and Facilitator will do in the session
|-Included in Readables; provided under the tier of the ‘To Do List.’
|-Journal (Reading Room; also accessible via the Main Menu)
|DEEPENING Where the class summarizes, analyzes, evaluates, and interprets the tasks and the output from the task
|-Interactive Talk points; conversation to be conducted by either or both Facilitator NPC and other NPCs
|-Facilitator’s Office -Multimedia Room -Café
|SYNTHESIS Where the students will give their learning from the session and where the professor can assess whether the outcomes are met.
|-Custom Content creation and inclusion in the Canvas AGI Options: Exhibit Video, Podcast Discussion Thread
|-Exhibit Area -Multimedia Room -Café
|-Journal (Reading Room; also accessible via the Main Menu)
Summary of the Systems Approach Rendered into
Game & Interface Elements
The Role of the Facilitator
The duty of a ‘Facilitator’ involves helping students learn their course material first by providing an environment for engagement; providing a set of resources such as ‘questions, articles, research findings, problems, and cases’ to engage with; and using assessment tools which provide the learner with significant and substantial feedback (Doyle, 2011, p. 52). However, such characterization is lacking when the professor is brought into a pure online setup. There is a need to define further the role based on actions in light of two considerations.
One is the need to highlight how learning is two-way. The student is responsible for their learning but they are not alone; the facilitator is accessible through different communication platforms and willing to address what inquiries and clarifications the student needs to make. The facilitator may also learn an angle of a topic provided in a student’s assessment from a reference cited that the facilitator has yet to discover and read. Also, assuming responsibility means that the student has free will to act on agency; they may choose to submit a poorly created assessment, skip essential readings, or rely on the barebones information (consequentially, barely scratching the surface) of a topic being covered.
The second is how the facilitator plans to adjust to the mobility of students going from Mixed Online to Asynchronous, and vice versa — this is to do with the widespread practice of students playing ‘sungka’ (mancala) with their course schedules, where they prioritize a course over the other.
Perhaps a more fitting description would be that the learner-centered professor ‘connects students and resources’; they ‘design activities and assignments that engage learners’; and they ‘facilitate learning in individual and collective contexts’ (Weimer, 2002, p. 76). By impression, this seems to resolve potential time-related conflicts.
In conjunction with this interactive setup, aside from content design, the Facilitator appears in the course in two instances: as an in-game Non-Playable Character (NPC) moderating the Talk points, providing feedback and skills-based mini-lessons; second is being on standby as a troubleshooter if the content does not load properly, and serving as a guide, real-time, during the designated schedules.
The Facilitator as Non-Playable Character
The key aspects which typically constitute a pleasant in-class personality of a teacher are ‘open gestures when dealing with the class, movement, relaxed body orientation, frequent use of smiles, and direct eye contact (Hattie & Yates, 2014, pp. 27-28). These refer to the ‘emotional climate’ of teacher-student relationships.
Rendering the Facilitator as an NPC can be a remedy for those who struggle with online presence, have an unruly backdrop/distracting environment behind them, live in a noisy location, and have trouble smiling on cue or in general. The NPC compensates for these difficulties through the Sprite used to represent/embody the Facilitator and the fabricated environment posted in the interface. Different expressions, along with varied poses and gestures, are stocked and paired with the appropriate text to display the idea of the character communicating. These projections should help students perceive the supportiveness and sincerity of their professor; in turn, students would associate question-asking and constructive criticism with ‘positive aspects such as mastery goals, building their abilities’ (Hattie & Yates, 2014, p. 30). The facilitator’s choice of Sprite can also have the potential to boost rapport with the students if the sense of visual and dialogical humor is just right.
The Facilitator as Admin and Guide: The Workshop Session
Instead of the typical class session (characterized by discussion) via conference call, Workshop Sessions are held for the duration of the respective class schedule (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes). Workshop Sessions are allocated time slots for the students to work on tasks in line with the facilitator’s course. For more extensive and collaborative activities, it is a timeframe that guarantees that everyone enrolled in the mixed online learning and even asynchronous learning modes for that subject and section has the option to be in the same space and time when observing the original course schedule. This should permit communications and collaborations on partnered or grouped tasks to be strategized, conducted among the students, and submitted as intended with no delay.
In workshop sessions, the facilitator has a more visible role compared to that which they assume in discussions in the sense that they ‘help by directing [students] work with the [content]’ through assisting them in ‘how to solve problems’ and ‘by helping them develop their understanding of the concepts (Black, 1993). The workshop session’s highlight is that it serves as an opportunity for the student to gain feedback on work before official submission and grading; this is a chance for the student to learn skills through the activity from shortcomings and mistakes. This does not necessarily invite the student to have their work repeatedly checked with the ultimate end goal of getting a perfect score. Ongoing coaching may lead to the facilitator ‘telling’ the student what is missing rather than guiding. This is to say that the students should be reminded that ‘every intervention compromises the potential to learn from mistakes’ (Weimer, 2002, p. 92).
Bringing a work in progress into discussion puts the student and the task at the center. The student can be given pointers in the right direction by being advised about pitfalls with a particular project type or a chosen theoretical framework and methodology and being informed of what needs revision but not the steps to get there. Converse with them on what they know about the suspected object of the mistake (this could be a concept or their interpretation of the task), then correct and add to their present framings by referring them to suggested material. From there, question them regarding their processes in answering the task to determine if there is reasonability. If there is, they may proceed. If they are too distant from the required outcome and result (especially if the result is particular or fixed), then this is where the correction by questioning sets in. The workshop session is therefore, a Socratic expansion of the ‘let them discover principle’ (Weimer, 2002, p. 85) where ‘if someone asks a question that is answered in the text, refer that person to the text, but always with the provisio that after checking, he/she is welcome to consult with [the facilitator].’ Once more, this is what turns the task into a skills development and skills-refinement session. The student must be reminded that the descriptions and what is required in a task merely serve as avenues, and the decisions made and actions they take are definitive of the grade they get in that activity. There is the need to accentuate and reiterate the importance of the pursuit of answers, not just the answers themselves.
What about the feasibility of such a role? Comprehensive guidance can be reserved for collaborative tasks and Summative Assessments so that groups are addressed. The facilitator can also have requests for consultative discussion scheduled so they would not be overwhelmed and for efficient time management of the session; this way, works from individual and collective activities can be entertained. Workshop sessions are conducted over the preferred conference call system of choice, be this Big Blue Button, to MS Teams or Zoom; those who cannot join calls are given the option to send their inquiries or request advice via Canvas messaging. Attendance is not required, and the facilitator waits for the student to approach them.
At the same time, workshop sessions are a measure that indirectly tells students that opportunities to work on tasks and verify what they know are maximized. Holding workshop sessions should pre-empt unnecessary negotiations where they miss submission due to insufficient time. Conducting these sessions potentially prevents complaints with regards to the marks they earned for a task, where they failed to take the opportunity to make clarifications and or have a work in progress checked for suggestions and improvement. These considerations magnify the reality in the learner-centered approach where agency lies primarily in their responsibility to keep posted and to practice the processes of taking control of their learning.
Application: From ‘Readings in Philippine History’ to ‘How to Read Philippine History
Writing from personal experience so far, GED 0107 seems geared towards 1st and 2nd-year students. If they did not attend high school in a learner-centered educational institution, they are most likely weaning from the instructional paradigm. In theory, the students should welcome adopting a learner-centered, in-class approach. The learner-centered paradigm would permit students to have more control over their learning through the choices of what and how to learn, a range of activities and assignments to choose from, and the promise of a more exploratory mood to learning together with the interactive methods to learning (Doyle, 2008, p. 17).
The challenge lies in how students ‘buy into the change’ (Doyle, 2008, p. 17), especially if it concerns a subject that has not had the best reputation. Philippine History subjects (or social studies subjects in general) have been commonly handled using teacher-centered instruction. The Instructional Paradigm has influenced students, as they have preconceived notions that history subjects are about memorizing facts and details and less, if at all, of ‘the larger themes of causes and consequences’ (Doyle, 2008, p. 19).
We reiterate in this portion how the packaging of the subject plays a significant factor in how a course is received. Aesthetics-wise, the course is presented in a laid-back adventure game-like setup to ease biases a student may have towards a history subject. It also aspires to be a ‘complex environment’ with a climate conducive to students’ exercise of reasoning, creativity, and ethical practice (Biggs & Tang, 2007, p. 67); these are applied to activities under independent study and teamworking & collaboration. In the mood of the course, it attempts to instill the attitudes of curiosity, inquiry, and exploration as both scholarly and laid-back habits. Mechanism-wise, Readings in Philippine History becomes content to mull over — if students were accustomed to studying the subject with the end goal being the mere recall of information and the answers themselves, the version of the course, as discussed in this paper, weighs heavily on the search for the answers. It zones in on skills consisting of how varied texts are read, on developing strategies on how information can be retrieved and organized, and understanding each type’s varied strengths and weaknesses, given how one works with multiple sources of data and information. Lastly, and of equal significance, combining these two aspects hopes to appeal to the citizenship aspect of this course — an understanding of national and regional identities informing a full-bodied, cultural reading of history and ‘doing something’ with what one knows.
What follows is a commentary about some of the examples of activities used which demonstrate the principles and methods discussed earlier on.
’Choose Your Own Adventure’: On Customization
Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) is one of the features of the course design for GED 0107, which balances power in the online learning setup in the sense that the student exercises their agency to select the applicatory content with which the principles and skills learned during the first half of the semester gets practiced. It consists of a series of activities organized under themes and subtopics of the course that are within the professor’s facilitating ability. The activities tagged as CYOA are intended to be a demonstration of Functioning Knowledge (The performance of knowledge based on what was read or studied; taking theory to practice) (Biggs & Tang, 2007, p. 72); these consist of a mix of skills-emphasized questions and ideas for critical reflection. This allows learning in the individual context, as depending on the option, they can select those focusing purely on citizenship knowledge or those which go into the subject’s interdisciplinary dimensions.
The Holy Week Mystery is a sleuthing game tiered under the category of social & cultural history and local history. It revolves around an actual case in Pampanga during one of the previous observations of Maleldo. Its originally intended audiences are students who are in the medical sciences.
Solving the case involves answering a set of questions in which arriving at half of the answers requires viewing assigned content that comes in the form of articles, newspaper clippings, and videos after reviewing the case description. The journal setup displays a combination of storytelling and guide details, setting the context of the activity.
In the quiz proper, there are three questions that the student has to address; each is weighed according to the activity’s learning objectives.
Question 1: What is the term for the practice which includes self-flagellation as a gesture of being one with the suffering of Christ? [20 pts.]
Question 2: Identify the illness/disease described in the line ‘foamed at the mouth’. [20 pts.]
Question 3: If you answered ‘Rabies’ in the previous question, you are correct. What do you think is the most possible cause of Rabies as discussed in this case?? Choose from the following and justify your answers in only 05-10 bulleted sentences. Support with references (at least 3), use an in-text citation and list your references at the end. [60 pts.]
1. An infected dog bit the practitioner
2. They had the same bladed paddle to cut them
3. They were sharing the same bucket of water to rinse their Palaspas
4. Punishment for incorporating vices during the practice
5. Dog licked his owner’s wounds at the end of the last day
6. Penalty for losing one of the cylindrical sticks of the Palaspas
The student’s ability to identify what information is critical to answering the questions is being tested to distinguish these from what is not. The quiz will have each question locked after the respective value is provided. This requires the student to answer the question they are viewing in the present — there is neither jumping ahead nor going back.
If the student read the ‘Newspaper clippings’ and viewed the contents of the ‘Folded Piece of Paper,’ they would be able to find the answer to Question 1. The clue can be found on the same page as the newspaper clippings. The excerpt talks briefly and cryptically about the significance of Context when analyzing any cultural situation. The importance of knowing how to seek and analyze context justifies the question given a weight of 20 points for a multiple-choice item.
Addressing Question 2 is an exercise in research and inquiry as the description of the illness/disease is not exclusive to one. This also ushers in the student’s discussion in Question 3, which requires their demonstration of information literacy and personal and intellectual autonomy by structuring an argument anchored on the existing evidence (once more, the content appended to the case) and research from their field, which supports the claim.
The activity’s dynamics changes depending on whether it is assigned as an individual activity or a group collaboration; there is a difference between having an idea and having an idea and needing to argue its validity with others and consolidating it for a negotiated answer. To up the ante, the total time in answering the task could be counted for an independent-competitive or a collaboration-based, competitive event.
Example #2: “The Hotdog as Horror Material?” (HDHM for short)
The aesthetics for this activity follows the format and aesthetics of the Talk points as discussed in the midpart of this paper; the distinction lies in the setup that uses Canvas Quizzes and the respective locking mechanism. HDHM is a multi-part quiz in which students’ responses will lead them to particular ‘fates’ or custom questions.
“Dr. J” is the sprite for the facilitator of the class.
Observe the weight of the points for a simple semi-linear question, from this question with three possibilities for an answer, the quiz branches to a specific and subtopic-exclusive set of questions.
HDHM is best viewed on the web browser. Each part is connected via hyperlinking, with continuations intended to be opened in a new tab.
Specific components must be locked via password (in which the student is informed of the pass upon completion of a related component to avoid over choosing specific outcomes). If the student is limited to using the App, they need to be provided a sequence map (a no-spoilers walkthrough) separate from the quiz itself so that they can refer to this reference for the links to the continuation; this remedies the App not having the option of having course contents simultaneously open. The final component of the interactivity would bring them to an automated discussion that presents the facilitator’s perspectives along with the correct answers to the activity; this portion is likewise password-protected to prevent early and unauthorized access.
The Outro: Some Final Thoughts
Going in the direction of re-purposing presently available and already accessible Technology begins with knowing how each component works. With just the right amount of imagination, the possibilities are numerous.
The Canvas Adventure Game Interface is an edutainment design with components that involve gamification and games-based, assisted learning. The gamification of Student-Centered Learning involves an interactive, aesthetically appealing repackaging of the Systems Approach and attributing game elements. The design’s games-based assisted learning portion is expressed in the short games and gadgets housed or linked into the Canvas AGI.
As discussed in this paper, this adventure game-inspired design of Canvas is a response to the implied need for variation. Pedagogically, it advances a digital form of a “teacherless” environment. The facilitator is behind the design of the learning experience and environment the students use, and they are not always visually visible and participating in the structured learning activity (Barr & Tagg, 1995, pp. 21-22). Their more active roles are in the skills-refinement sessions covered during workshop sessions, as facilitators would teach through coaching strategies how to arrive at specific responses required in an assessment.
The gamification of Canvas would impact teaching-learning behaviors beginning with fostering an exploratory culture of self-reliance. To reduce whatever intimidation may come with it (especially if the student is new to the Learner-Centered paradigm), the aesthetic packaging of a course would play a role as it would place a more audio-visual character on ideas, concepts, processes, and frameworks. It would make an effort to render the abstract into something more concrete and understandable.
The idea of using a video game-inspired approach would draw associations between fondness from a childhood memory of gameplay and attributing this same sense of comfort towards learning under the Canvas AGI.
Combining gamification and games-based assisted learning as a strategy is one solution that encourages students to exert the extra effort characteristic of the learner-centered approach. Under the learner-centered approach, students are asked to do more firsthand work. Reflections are turned into insights by pairing ideas with evidence and references. Students are also expected to engage in activities that require more verbal expression and listening, practicing less spectatorship and being more involved and synergistic. This is in consideration of how the design operates on the idea that students would be willing to go through these processes mentioned if they are not the end. That would drive them to anticipate what would happen next in interactivity; they are focused on a specific target or objective, which requires going through the works to arrive at it. Also, in its practical execution, it is a method that provides workarounds towards time constraints. It prevents some students from monopolizing the in-class discussion for the whole period, as typically observed in a conference call (emulated face-to-face) setup.
The processes at the foundation of the Canvas AGI further underscore the concept of responsibility being a framework for action. Like the Learning Paradigm, the gamified approach is about the continuous improvement of how the student would learn by learning to understand and ask questions and looking for the correct answers. The design demonstrates the idea of embracing ‘education for understanding’ (Gardner cited in Barr & Tagg, 1995, p. 22) by balancing the study of concepts and principles defined by a course with skills development and enhancement through the required tasks and interactivities.
As a teaching strategy, for the Canvas AGI to work at its fullest, students need to exercise responsibility in their learning. Taking responsibility includes meeting or sending correspondence regularly with their facilitator for feedback, verifying information, assistance in course navigation if needed, and clarifying instructions. Although the Canvas AGI is not standalone, it does not do away with the facilitator; it includes, within its structure, games-based assisted learning involving synergistic content creation and attempts to set an environment comfortable enough to compensate for physical distance between the student, the faculty, and the old classroom.
Future directions for this design include a paper on re-framing points and grades to fit the gamified aesthetic advanced in this study. For the games-based assisted learning facet, a slightly more intricate design plan for interactivity involving the use of two or more interconnecting assignment posts will be tackled in another article. Experimentations for its usability are ongoing as of the writing of this article.
The motivation is that using the design helps instill critical thinking as a habit, together with practicing how to communicate with substance in a diplomatic and intellectually humble manner, even beyond the classroom setting.
We think to be entertained.
 With reference to the Dearing Report of 1997 which emphasizes critical thinking, ethical practice, creativity, independent problem solving, professional skills, communications skills, teamwork, and lifelong learning; mention of students to become part of the consciences of a democratic society with these skills.
 Graduates, compared to non-graduates are expected ‘to feel a need to seek and evaluate evidence before coming to a conclusion, to question the status quo, to show intellectual curiosity about the physical or social world’ — this we find in p. 65 of Biggs and Tang (2007).
 This is a point I have always believed since distance learning started for the academic year 2020. I had my doubts with regards the effectiveness of the video conference call, especially if the majority are relying on that medium for their primary teaching strategy. The video call is very linear, even if we encourage our students to chime in. There’s still the unresolved question of the level of engagement along with the depth of it which is dependent on the media that gets projected within the conference call. Not to mention some technical difficulties which may be encountered depending on the outgoing connection from the Facilitator and the incoming for the student which may result in lagging when there is screen sharing.
 For an example of this on the general education physics and mathematics level, there’s the idea of an Angry Birds gameplay which would teach students about object motion, understand the relationship between angle and distance, an understanding of the belief of mass on falling objects (Aldama & Pozo, 2019). A shareable example for a game which can be appreciated in Understanding the Self would be this author’s written let’s play of American McGee’s Alice (Juntado, 2014; Juntado & Sanna, In-Press) which looks into gender and socialization. For an instance of general philosophy, Plants vs. Zombies was appreciated as a ‘vivid portrayal of life and death’ and a reflection of life and death philosophy (Zhang, 2015).
 The Quake III engine at the foundation of American McGee’s Alice for instance has codes where the player could go to a particular level. The game also has multiple save states where the facilitator can pull up a particular event or proceed where they left off.
 In the domain of published games, Minecraft for Education has become a buzzword in that it is a ‘game-based learning platform that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive digital environment’ (Mojang, 2022). Facilitators can upload and share their lesson plans publicly.
 Such as Kahoot, which tests students’ speed in both processing the question and the answer entry.
This portion of the discussion includes how the Systems Approach was interwoven into the design, and adhered to the Far Eastern University (FEU) principles of teaching; as at the time, it was intended for use in facilitating subjects taught in FEU. It must however be clarified that the Canvas AGI retains its flexibility wherever college/university, as it operates on the general principles of the learner-centered approach and critical thinking.
 On p. 90 of Learner-Centered Teaching Five Key Changes to Practice, Weimer writes that the success of learner-centered teaching requires certain climates for its success; this is among the duties of a facilitator in that they are more involved ‘in designing and implementing activities that first create and maintain conditions conducive to learning.’ Before learning can be at its most meaningful, students need to be motivated.
 It helps to think for example of how Fandoms work in social media pages, the hobby of reading texts from a favorite TV or Game series, developing theories, sharing and contending on insights.
 This is not a game design term but is used as the labelling scheme for interconnected posts (parts to an activity) made in Canvas. It is important to keep labels ambiguous to the student in order to prevent unjustified snooping into locations and thereby spoiling the interactive experience.
 A nostalgic example is FROTZ
 See Figure 1 for reference. The App does not seem to automatically open to the contents of what the Facilitator sets as the Home Page upon access to the Canvas course. The students are greeted by a menu which is a basic list of features and they just tap at a desired section.
 For some notes on attention span and mind wandering, see John Hattie and Gregory Yates’ work in ‘Chapter 6 The Recitation Method and the Nature of Classroom Learning’ in the book Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn (2014).
 There are students that have reported poor quality of internet connection, struggles in keeping a school and life balance, and trying to keep their mental health in check. Others claim that they miss deadlines because their parents have been giving them chores and work (i.e. running the family business), under the impression that the present setup has learning from the comfort of home and at their own pace anyways.
 In addition for the context of this discussion, for a certain census of the student population, risks in learning are feared in the time of the pandemic because of how there are those who want to assure their chances of getting high marks in order to keep or apply for scholarship; they fear the prospects of not being able to afford the regular tuition due to being laid-off or not having sufficient income.
 Also known as the IRE cycle or CDR method in recitation, in which the participation of students depends on random draw from the professor, so as to assure that everyone will read the assigned material and prepare to answer if called.
 Based on experience, this is something that needs to be emphasized as there are students who have the habit of treating the rubric as a list of criteria of what their outputs should have, to the point of overreliance and the goal in itself.
 Knight’s 2006 work collectively dubs these as ‘wicked competencies’ which refer to skills that are highly valued by employers.
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DOMINIQUE ANGELA M. JUNTADO (firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com) has two degrees in Political Science from the University of Santo Tomas and a doctorate degree in Social & Cultural Anthropology from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She was part of the DLECCT (Batch 7) training at Far Eastern University Manila and is active in the advocacy for the learner-centered paradigm. Her research interests began with political culture and cultural studies. Her research passions delve into interactive educational entertainment, and she has had speaking engagements in line with this theme, initially at Xavier School in San Juan (2015), then in Laguna State Polytechnic University (2016). She has also published papers and delivered presentations on design and creations in the conferences by the Philippine Historical Association (2015, 2017, 2018), the Philippine Studies Association (2018), and in UNESCO-APNIEVE (2018). The paper particular to this issue has been presented at ICOME 2021. Dr. Juntado is also a regular of EduTech Asia; she first spoke about her design, the Canvas AGI, in EduTech Asia 2021 and was chosen as a repeat Speaker for EduTech Philippines 2022. She believes in thinking as a hobby, and when she isn’t writing or busy facilitating classes at De La Salle University Manila, she enjoys the local scenes, cultural talks, and gallery hopping.
ASIAN JOURNAL ON PERSPECTIVES IN EDUCATION
Far Eastern University
Institute of Education
FEU Campus, Nicanor Reyes Street, Sampaloc
Manila, Philippines, 1015