Learning should be an adventure. Curiosity about what's around the corner should be a driving force in learning at all ages. EPIC Academy is built on an instructional design concept known as quest-based learning. The basic idea is straightforward. Choose a topic you're interested in and accept your first quest. Scratch the surface of an idea and choose whether or not you want to explore further. If so, complete a task and unlock the next quest as you delve deeper into the topic. As you explore, quest-after-quest, you'll begin to develop your understanding of the concept or skill and how you can apply it in your own classroom. These "quest chains" culminate in a final quest in which you apply the skills and knowledge you've acquired as you use what you've learned with your students and share artifacts to demonstrate your mastery.
One of the primary aims of the program is to honor the educator as a professional. Educators are busy people. It's hard to balance family, work, and social obligations. Quests in EPIC Academy are typically asynchronous, meaning they can be completed at ay time. Some require a time investment of 10-15 minutes while others can take a few hours to complete. Don't have time to complete a quest? Abandon it and return to it later.
Players in EPIC Academy can choose their pathway to custom-suit their individual needs. Want to take a deep dive into a blogging, no problem. Want to learn only the basics with YouTube in the classroom, that's OK, too.
Much of the overall design of EPIC Academy is influenced by games. What are the basic elements of all games that draw people in and make them want to play? Game elements like choice, progression, reward, feedback, novelty, and community are woven throughout EPIC. Yes, gamification is a key component with XP, levels, and badges, but those novelties wear off quickly. The journey is as important if not more than the destination.
Unlike traditional one-and-done workshops, EPIC focuses on application of concepts and skills in the best laboratory of all, the classroom. Most quests in EPIC ask the player to apply what they've learned, with their students, in their classroom. To successfully complete culminating quests, players must show artifacts that either they or their students create during the application of learning. This is typically followed up with reflection on the experience and thoughts about next steps.
"Fun is the emotional response to learning."
-Chris Crawford, Game Designer
-Chris Crawford, Game Designer
Why is it that we often don't connect play and learning, especially among adult learners? EPIC attempts to balance elements of novelty and community throughout the program to boost player engagement and keep things fun. There are secret quests uncovered by clues hidden in random corners. There are community challenges and school-based competitions. There are even rewards for engaging in social media to share your accomplishments.
EPIC Academy by http://epicacademy.info is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All quests designed by the teachers leaders of Surry County Schools, NC.