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H800 - Short Course On Game Development using Unity3D

Cloud created by:

damien borowik
19 April 2015

Title

Short Course On Game Development using Unity3D

Narrator 

Facilitator of learning

Situation 

This short course occurred in Spring Term 2015. It was delivered face to face during 10 weeks, with two hours classes happening once a week in the evening. 

The course is aimed at introducing learners to a software used for game development, and an introduction to game development itself. 

Key actors could be seen as learner and facilitator, along with the software and the skill to be obtained (i.e. using the software and programming to develop games). The learners and I had for objective to make them learn how to use the software to develop games.

The learners were adults (exclusively men!) from various background, but previous knowledge of the programming language used in the course (C#) was a pre-requisite to enrol.

The classes took place in a computer room on campus, and the face to face sessions were supplemented by a VLE (Moodle)

 

Task

My objective was to give the learners an introduction to game development through the learning of the software.

For the ten weeks, I tried to break down the various parts of the software demonstrating its use for game development through active hands-on sessions during the face to face. 

My measure of success was the level of attendance, the learners’ engagement and participation as well as their completion of the exercises in and in-between classes.

 

Actions

For each week I created a powerpoint presentation file which was projected on the wall during the sessions. The presentations consisted in an introduction of key topics of the software and notions of game design, together with a series of exercises. 

In the first class, the software was not properly installed on the computers in the room, meaning the class could not run as planned. I still went through the slides, but I focused more on each participant introducing each other, including respective background and what they expect to achieve in the course. An additional class was added to keep the course being a full 10 weeks.

Learners were shown a specific task in a step by step sequence which they could try for themselves. Some of the code used in the slides didn’t format and translate properly on the students machines. Once the problem was identified, I could solve the issue there and then for the learners to get on with the task at hand. For the future slides I made sure Powerpoint was formatting text in a suitable way.

Various abilities in programming and complexity of the exercises/task at hand meant some one on one time were needed during the 2 hours sessions, meaning that not all the content was covered in the first few classes. We arranged with the course administrators to extend the classes to 2.5 hours, which greatly helped covering the content for the session and attending to the various individual issues as they arised.

Some of the learners didn’t have enough programming knowledge to follow the course fully, while others seemed to already be advanced in game development and programming as well as using the software. I tried to accommodate to all, still privileging the beginners in the field and use of the software as defined in the course outline.

Additional materials along with the presentation were added every week in Moodle. 

Learners were reminded every week they could post on the Moodle forum if they had questions.

 

Results

 

expected outcomes:

  • sharing the slides helped learners to study and practice by themselves.
  • some learners used the forum to post some issues they encountered during the week, which I was able to help them with. 

 

unexpected outcomes:

  • there was a significant drop out and only half of the 12 learners starting the class kept coming till the end. I felt it was necessary for my presentation slides to be passed to the learners, but I wonder if it sometimes made them not attend the classes. I feel that if I had put less content in the slides that they might have attending more. Another factor could be the basic or advanced levels of the attendees for which the course might not have been suitable.
  • not much interaction between learners. It was however much better in class compared to online via the forum.

Apart from the drop-outs I believe my objectives have been broadly met, as each learners should now have a strong grounding in the software and game design. The teaching techniques used seemed to have been appropriate as a few students mentioned to me their learning was better in this course as it was very hands-on with learning the software environment specifically to create games.

 

Reflections

I will revise my slide presentation not to be too detailed. It should give more of an incentive for the learners to attend the class rather than wait the the presentation and assets to be uploaded to the VLE for them to follow by themselves.

Learning by Doing is key to skill transfer. Help with problem solving and troubleshooting is paramount from the facilitator of learning for efficient learning to take place.

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