What is game-based learning?

Game-based learning is an approach to meeting students where they are. It means using video games — something many teens already engage with on their own time — as a primary text or central shared experience. Game-based learning does not mean that the game does the teaching; rather, the game offers an opportunity for teachers and students to share an emotionally impactful experience. From there, teachers use their skills to guide students in applying the themes from the game to their real lives and meeting the learning objectives of the unit. 

In which courses do educators use iThrive Curriculum: Museum of Me?

Museum of Me is ideal for English Language Arts courses and also has been used successfully in other humanities courses including media literacy and elective courses (e.g., video games and storytelling) at the high school level.

For which grades was iThrive Curriculum: Museum of Me created?

Museum of Me was first developed and tested in 12th grade and has since been successfully used in grades 9-12. Class discussions around identity and students' assignments may reach different levels of depth based on the age, academic level, and interests of your students; however, the content and prompts are designed to be suitable and relevant for high school students at all grade levels. The game around which the unit is based is rated by Common Sense Media as developmentally appropriate for ages 13 years and older.

What core standards does iThrive Curriculum: Museum of Me meet?

The unit meets Common Core ELA standards for high school in the areas of Reading: Informational Text; Reading: Literature; Language; Speaking & Listening; and Writing. Specific standards covered are included in the curriculum appendix and in each lesson plan. The unit also meets social and emotional learning (SEL) learning objectives with a primary focus on building students' self-awareness and autonomy through deep reflection on students' personal identities, a key developmental step of adolescence. 

What are the system requirements for using iThrive Curriculum: Museum of Me?

The game around which the unit is built, What Remains of Edith Finch, can be accessed via PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch. If you're using a PC, the minimum and recommended specs are listed on Steam's website under "System Requirements".

How does the classroom need to be set up?

The unit can be taught in person or virtually and the curriculum offers tips for success with both setups. For in-class use of the unit, most teachers prefer the "hot seat" model, wherein one student at a time controls the game while peers observe gameplay on a screen at the front of the room and discuss what they see. If you teach the unit virtually, plan to either stream gameplay over video (with either you or a student playing) or have students stream their gameplay in small groups. You can also teach the unit without playing the game, if access to the game proves to be a barrier. Video walkthroughs of the What Remains of Edith Finch - both as a whole story and broken up by character vignette - are easily accessible online via YouTube. The curriculum provides specific tips and resources for teaching the unit in different ways.

Is the curriculum customizable?

Yes. We encourage teachers to make modifications to assignments to align the curriculum to the needs of their students. We also offer tips for how to shorten the unit if needed.

What does the curriculum cost?

The curriculum itself is free to use. Teachers who use iThrive Curriculum: Museum of Me work with their school administrators or use their classroom budgets to cover the needed materials: at least 1 copy of What Remains of Edith Finch (about $20) and either an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, or a PC that meets minimum technical specifications (used in conjunction with a screen and projector). Depending on the equipment you already have and the platform you choose, the cost could total or exceed $300. Keep in mind that the platform you invest in can be used to teach other game-based units.

How long does the unit take to teach? 

It takes about 2.5-3 hours to play What Remains of Edith Finch, and that gameplay and the coursework built around it has been spread across 11-15 lessons. There's some variation depending on the length of the classes and how much time a class chooses to devote to working on their final projects. iThrive Curriculum: Museum of Me was designed for classes of 75 minutes in length. Teachers have successfully made adjustments (e.g., moving in-class assignments to homework) in order to teach the unit in 45-minute increments.