Continuing on this week's exercise of defining learning objectives for a hypothetical new Excalibur.js learning experience, yesterday I grouped the steps we laid out and asked if you had any ideas.

Here are the groups again for reference:

Group 1

  • Explain what Actors are
  • Explain what Scenes are
  • Understand how the viewport works

Group 2

  • Add Actors to the game
  • Create a new game instance
  • Install excalibur
  • Import excalibur code from the package

Group 3

  • Enable physics simulation on certain actors
  • Handle basic keyboard movement to control an Actor
  • Position actors on screen

Looking at Group 1, these seem like fundamentals of understanding how Excalibur works.

Where in Bloom's Taxonomy might this fit? Likely the Understand level.

So the first enabling objective may be:

"Explain how Excalibur games work"

For Group 2, it's some of the boilerplate things we'd expect in every game. What do we want learners to take away from it? I would say Apply – the ability to demonstrate how to create a new game instance, for example.

The second enabling objective may be:

"Construct a new game using the Excalibur library"

(What's the difference between Apply and Create? Constructing a new game instance is not creating new, original work – a new game instance does not create a new game in and of itself.)

Finally for the third group, it's also very apply-oriented, so I think it will be the same Apply level but with a different outcome more focused on adding interactivity:

"Implement interactivity in your Excalibur game"

Do you see how I've rolled up the steps into three bucketed objectives? These speak more to the outcomes for the learner.

Now we can easily sequence the learning:

  • Explain how Excalibur games work
  • Construct a new game using the Excalibur library
  • Implement interactivity in your game
  • Create your first game

Putting it all together, we now have a high-level description of the learning experience:

First, you'll understand how Excalibur games are built. Next, you'll be able to construct a new game and add interactivity. By the end of the Quick Start, you'll be able to create your first game.

Notice how I combined the "Next, ..." with the two Apply objectives because they're in the same taxonomy level. When we construct a description like this, we are aiming for three main takeaways.

At this point, we've defined the learning objectives of the learning experience. But that's really just the beginning, isn't it? The objectives don't dictate the overall scope and implementation details.

Now we need to design the learning experience – that's when we can ask questions like...

  1. What's the game genre?
  2. What will be in the game?
  3. What are the mechanics?
  4. What assets need to be developed?
  5. Will it be deployed?

All of the answers to those questions depend on having an overall strategy, understanding the constraints, and the learner profile.

I bet we could continue tackling those next week as part of an overall design thinking exercise, what do you think?

Have a lovely weekend,

Classifying steps into higher-level learning objectives

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