In my previous post (My 6 Avatar Types) I began outlining the 6 Avatar Types for my History Underground classroom. This is the last of my six avatar types (My Avatar Types – The Executive, Avatar Types – The ArtisanAvatars pt 1 – The Curator, My Avatar Types – The Protege) My class revolves around a central narrative in which the students become “Collectors” for an underground group of Historians in a dystopian future. The Collector’s job is to access, watch, and summarize “hidden archives” of recorded lectures. The archives are hidden by an evil totalitarian government called APOC or The Armed Protectors of the Constitution. This group has withered and starved historic teaching until it is all but dead so that the people are left without the skills to determine the corrupted history used by APOC to manipulate them. This is the narrative framework that creates an organic explanation for my “flipped” class; all students are required to complete the “collection missions” in order to gain the basic content knowledge required by the state standards.

The Scholar

At the Bunker (underground HQ), collection summaries are turned into public history projects. Scholars have research abilities that add context and chronology to the collection summaries.

Player Type Connection

Scholars are pure “Achievers” in Marczewski’s Player Type Hexad. In this player type the motivation is the internal motivation of “Mastery”. Games are really nothing more than placing unnecessary obstacles in the way of a fairly straight forward goal. Achievers seek to master the mechanics or content of the game. In the Underground game Scholars are motivated by mastering Historic skills or the content.  Students that select this type are telling me that they are interested in or have some skill in the deeper historic foundations.

Power Bonus

  • .“Context Keeper” – scholars can earn extra XP by locating, printing (large and in color), summarizing, and posting primary sources related to the current collection materials to bunker timeline.

Special Skill

  • “Lookup” – with 100% completion of unit collection missions, scholars are able to look at their notes to help with 2 test questions.

Organization Aids

One challenge that occurs with the avatar types is keeping track of which students have which powers and skills. My solution to this is based on my “Tie Based Ranking System” (similar to a karate belt system). Each of the types has a different tie pattern. The Scholars purple argyle. When I think of a Professional Historian, the image that comes to mind is a person wearing a blazer with leather patched elbows and argyle socks – regardless of gender. Each student will get a Purple Argyle sticker to put either on their laptops (we are a 1:1 school) or their AVID Binders. They will also get power bonus and special skill stickers. I also have a a Google Sheets grade book that keep track of all of these items for quick reference.

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