Up to 100
This assignment is designed for students to identify a major theme, focus, issue to have emerged across our readings and discussions, to explore that theme/focus/issue in some depth, and to consider that theme/focus/issue in relation to a specific artifact.
– Must have completed all assignments in L1
– Must have completed all 4 Reading Response assignments
To complete this assignment, students need to write a 750-1000 word essay that identifies a major theme, focus, or issue from our readings and discussions, that explores that theme/focus/issue in some significant depth, and then that attempts to consider that matter in relation to a specific artifact (using the readings to support various claims). Students also need to have this assignment peer-reviewed before submitting the work to the instructor.
Students who successfully complete this assignment will receive +2 diamonds.
As we engage a variety of readings and/or points of contention in the course, patterns and connections will emerge in relation to how we are trying to think about games, play, rhetoric, education, writing, and so on. The purpose of this assignment is to get students to attune to those patterns or points of contact and to really think through what they mean. To do this, students will want to identify a theme, focus, or issue (i.e., the pattern or connections) of some significance to the course (emergent from our readings and discussions). Then, students will want to explore that pattern in some significant depth—what is it, how does it emerge, what are the points of contact, how might we conceptualize it as a whole (particularly if its spans disparate course readings), and/or how does it help us think about the phenomena of games, play, and the like. Following that, students will want to attempt to apply this theme, focus, or issue through a kind of critical inquiry practice—i.e., how can I use this pattern or these points of connection to explore a particular artifact, instance, or system.
For example, one pattern to emerge from the class readings and discussions is the definition of a game. At least four different authors have provided related, but different conceptual apparatuses for helping us understand and approach games. We might, then, begin by offering a kind of synthesized definition. That synthesis might favor one author more than others, but we would still want to explain how that synthesis accounts for these related, but competing frames—this would essentially address the second requirement of exploring the construct in some depth and situating it in relation to the course concepts. Following that, we might use our synthesized construct by applying it to a particular instance or example. Thus, we might take our synthesized construction of the definition of games and see if it helps us answer whether or not our course is itself a game.
These essays will be graded on their overall written quality (Is the prose readable? Is it relatively free from grammatical and punctuation issues? Does it offer a sense of clarity of thought? Is it concise? etc.), the insigthfulness (and/or inventiveness) of the thinking, the depth of examination and explanation, the sophistication of the application, and the ability to stay within the guidelines of the assignment.
The goal of this assignment is to help students identify and attune to the emergent patterns and key issues in the readings/discussions, to think through what they mean, and to attempt to apply them in some meaningful manner.