The day has finally come! The students have no idea what’s coming and you can’t wait to launch this epic adventure! It’s easy to excitedly rush through your introduction to get the action, but slow down. This will probably be a very new experience for your students and they’ll need some training with the activity rules and materials as well as their phones.
Don’t overwhelm or bore students with too much information at once. Just like a game, make the introduction a tutorial. Have them jump directly into the action by integrating the opening activity into your narrative. Design it to teach them the major activity concepts while still progressing the story. This is much more engaging and effective than than simply listing off all of the possible instructions!
Pre-think about questions or difficulties students might have and create an FAQ for them to reference. They won’t need it when you’re there, but encourage them to look at it when they have issues in the field prior to giving up.
I included a printed FAQ in every MarcelDex, plus made a digital one available online.
If you crafted an interesting narrative and designed activities that encourage both competition and collaboration, half your work is done! But to wrangle those on the fence about participating, consider offering prizes such as bonus points or physical items. While learning should be its own reward, sometimes it doesn’t take much to win over reluctant students…
I offered extra credit for every activity completed, plus a bonus prize for completing all of them. In addition, certain activities had leaderboards, for which I also awarded small prizes. Some students will replay a game over and over to guarantee they hold the top spot!
After all that hard work, you probably want to relax and let students run through your magical maze! But no, your work is not yet over! Monitor submissions as they come in and give quick feedback – both affirmative and constructive. Let students who complete activities well know that they are making good progress. If someone’s submissions are sub-par, encourage them to keep trying and and give suggestions for improvement.