Anthony Chatfield, Adjunct Professor of Composition and Rhetoric, Drexel UniversityHIGHER EDUCATION
Experience-based reflective writing is a key component of the first-year writing classroom, but it can be overwhelming to students and lack a central theme or principle. By playing select games as texts in place of traditional readings, students share a single experience with one another that they can write about in a unique way. The result is greater engagement, higher attendance, and instructor familiarity with the subject to better facilitate discussion. This session will discuss how games are presented, played, and written about in the writing classroom and how these experiences transfer to broader reflective writing based on academic experience. Demonstrations of double-entry journal, reflection, and observational research assignments will be provided along with samples of student work.
Participants will learn what types of games work best in restricted classroom spaces and how to facilitate active discussion amongst students leading into reflective writing exercises. Two handouts will be provided to attendees. The first is a double-entry journal template students use to record and reflect on their gameplay experiences. Observations are made in class of their time playing the game, including who won, who lost, how they interacted, and their overall impression of the game. Analysis is then completed outside class based on prompts related to the week's lesson. Students will draw on their observations and assigned readings to reflect on and analyze their experiences. A second handout will be provided with two sample assignments that scaffold the double-entry journal exercise, building toward reflective and research-based papers.