Syllabus Design and World-Making

In Brynn Welch (ed.), The Art of Teaching. Bloomsbury (forthcoming)
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Abstract

There are many commonalities between the framework of roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons and the way in which we design classes and assignments. The professor (the dungeon master) selects a number of readings with some end goal in mind (the campaign). Along the way the students are expected to be active participants (roleplay) and the professor designs progressively harder assignments (quests) in order to test the students’ abilities and to promote learning and growth (leveling up). This structural analogy prompted me to investigate how such a framework could be implemented more explicitly in a class, and in this chapter I describe how I did so.

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Rima Basu
Claremont McKenna College

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