Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and 360Ed, Inc., have announced the release of Conspiracy Code, the first in a series of online game-based courses. According to the announcement, these new courses, presented in 3D, combine proven instructional practices and academic content with the latest in online gaming tools to produce an engaging and active learning environment for high school students – 97% of whom are avid, self-proclaimed gamers. The first Conspiracy Code course to be released is for American history. The complete high school-level course fulfills a full credit of history and will be available in June 2009.
Conspiracy Code courses offer an original learning environment where students can strengthen higher-order thinking, written communication, problem-solving, and collaborative skills through:
o Playing engaging concept practice games
o Responding to a variety of question types
o Writing assignments and essays
o Completing authentic game-based assessments
o Participating in discussion based assessments
In the first Conspiracy Code course, FLVS and 360Ed, Inc. offer students an American history class where they will play as fictional characters in an espionage-themed adventure game set in the fictional metropolis of Coverton City. In the game/course, students must build their knowledge and understanding of American history in order to stop a vast conspiracy that is threatening to erase and change the course of history.
Besides an engaging story, detailed environments, and a diverse cast of characters, Conspiracy Code offers new educational technologies designed to improve retention and increase comprehension. Course features include the Data Map, a 3D visual mind-map with tags and keywords for each piece of historical information collected, which students populate with associations and complex relationships. Students strengthen their understanding of history by using unique tagging and through writing about information collected in the course note system. They also apply knowledge during interactive information modes, agent interrogations, and character interactions.
Conspiracy Code is built on a foundation of challenges and missions that allow students to learn progressively. Based on their own understanding of content and the use of clues—standards-based, historical data—students self-select their path and pace through the course. As they follow a sequential learning path, they master complex ideas before moving on to the next level or mission. Conspiracy Code offers students multiple communication mediums and a variety of sensory-type game play activities that enable the use of their strongest learning attributes to build higher order thinking skills.
Certified teachers are facilitators in Conspiracy Code courses and participate alongside students encouraging them, offering feedback and guidance, and challenging their comprehension of content through a variety of assessments. Student work is tracked and documented using a web-based Student/Teacher Interface (SiTi). This system collects information about the amount of time a students spends on assessments and evaluation, the student-to-student collaborations, and time on task within each mission. Using the information and tools embedded in the web-based communication system, teachers give students immediate feedback on progress, provide interventions if necessary, and offer positive encouragement as they work through the course.
The American history content meets state and national standards. Credit received from Conspiracy Code courses are transferable and will be accepted by a students' primary school transcript or on their home education portfolio. Additional information, including technical specifications, can be found online at www.flvs.net and www.360Ed.com. School officials interested in arranging a detailed demonstration of the American history course should send an email to Erik Sand at esand@360Ed.com.
Source: Florida Virtual School (FLVS), www.flvs.net