Creating the GOBLIN

In the Center for Teaching Excellence, we’ve been using OU Create pretty heavily as a distribution method for Faculty Learning Community curriculum. We’ve used it for FLCs about OU Create, about video production, wikis, mobile blogging, etc. You know, it’s interesting… Because what we offer isn’t a formal course, we’re never issued an instance on a learning management system for FLC use. And, yet, we never have this “either-or” discussion about the LMS or open sites. When the only option you have is the open, you tend to welcome it with open arms. And luckily open is open for anything all the time.


Launching this semester is a brand new offering called Games Offer Bold Learning Insights Nowadays (GOBLIN) which has been cooked up by John Stewart and Keegan Long-Wheeler. Both John and Keegan have written multiple posts explaining their vision as well as what brought the game to life.

GOBLIN aims to synergistically combine professional development, storytelling, and a role-playing game into a memorable, engaging learning experience for instructors. Over the course of GOBLIN, topics ranging from scaffolding and overcoming failure to team learning, game-based learning, and gamification will be discussed and experienced firsthand.

It’s a really cool concept and a learning approach that I really subscribe to. To learn games it’s best to, first, play games. So you become a character, a “guild initiate” and the course site will walk through the game/course towards becoming a member of the guild. Each lesson requires you to perform different tasks. Completing a blog post, for instance, earns you a Crystal for your supplies. They’ve also interweaved a tabletop role playing game which will be a really nice piece as well.

One of the fascinating parts that John just unveiled in his most recent blog post is where the artwork came from. When they first launch the page, I was really impressed with how asthetically pleasing the site was.

As John notes, the artwork is open source content that was released as with a CC0 public domain license when the Glitch the Game got axed in 2012. The developers released both the source code and its artwork.

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10,000 individual art assets is a real treasure trove for educators to build websites or for students to use inside of game developer applications such as the MIT Media Lab project Scratch. The mere existence of assets such as what Glitch has offered is another testament to the idea that DIY is a feasible approach in EdTech. As we continue to build our work in the open, I’m excited to see what we can dig up. STILL a believer that the TRUTH is out there!


Cover image: Created by assets provided by Tiny Speck under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal License.