Three Learning Theories - Three MiniGames
For my seminar “Games, Play and Education” (summer term 2008, University of Hamburg) I’ve scraped together - via skinning, modding, recontextualisation - three minigames. These should serve as an intro to the three learning paradigms of Behaviourism, Cognitivism and Constructivism and their possible realisation in games via their very different gaming mechanisms.
Description and playing material
Scalability: Due to division in small groups of four students all games are scalable to any reasonable seminar size
Duration: Estimate for four groups is about 45 minutes
Precondition: 32 paper strips per group, a stop watch or something similar per group, and at least a rudimentary knowledge about the three learning paradigms.
Overall didactic goal: Discerning learning paradigms in different games, discovering that knowledge about categorisation, definition and connectability can itself be a playing material.
Physical playing material: 32 strips of paper with learning theory terms and proponents from the ‘big three’ learning paradigms:
First round: Behaviourism
Each group has to categorise the 29 expressions or names according to their association with Behaviourism, Cognitivism and Constructivism. First group to finish is declared the winner.
Didactic goal: Behaviouristic limitations - ambivalent or negotiable objects can’t be assigned in a game of clear cut categorisation.
Commercial game equivalent: Trivial Pursuit 
Second round: Cognitivism
Each student in a group gets dealt five of the 32 paper strips and has to explain two expressions or persons (she may discard three she doesn’t like or know onto a central stack) to her fellow group members - but without mentioning the expression itself. The first one of the other three students who recognizes the expression is the next one to explain. After one minute without a ‘winner’, the paper is discarded and she has to draw another paper from the stack. Then the player to the left of her is the next one to explain. The first one to have no papers strips left is the winner in the group.
Didactic goal: Cognitivistic multiperspectivity - Though the term itself may be rather clear, there are many ways to describe it.
Commercial game equivalent: Taboo 
Third round: Constructivism
Each group selects two pairs of expressions and gives the first pair on to the next group. The group may decline the first pair, but has then to take on the second. Now each consecutive group has three minutes to explain (as group) in a mini-lecture to the seminar, why the two expressions are closely connected to each other. Other groups vote for the most entertaining and/or convincing relation presented.
Didactic goal: Constructivist creative connections - The relationsship between two (disparate) objects is not a given to be discovered or learned, but can be subjective, creative and object of negotiation.
Commercial game equivalent: Once upon a Time 
Playing Material (Download)
Downloadable cards and instruction as PDF (three pages)
--Weytan 15:41, 3 February 2009 (UTC)