This post is written by guest blogger Keegan Long-Wheeler. Keegan is the educational technologist at the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Oklahoma and my collaborator on GOBLIN.

A set of glasses sitting on top of a 19th-century book of maps

The idea for GOBLIN originates from over a year ago when I (Keegan) was thinking about faculty and staff trainings that I wanted to develop. At the time, I was looking to create professional development material around the idea: “What do games have to teach us about learning?” After finishing up development on similar projects, Mobile Blogging & Scholarship and Course Integration, I was ready to tackle what would eventually become GOBLIN.

At the start of development, I asked myself, “how do you teach gamification, game-based learning, difficulty curves, etc. to faculty?” Especially when such topics are not perceived in the same prestige as something like integrating instructional videos into a course? Being a firm believer of constructivist and experiential theories of learning, I knew I wanted to develop professional development that would give participants an experiences of these topics. What better way to demonstrate “what games can teach us about learning” than using a game?

Now I was on the path to create GOBLIN.

Once, I determined I was going to be developing a game, the project started to solidify. I narrowed down the topics I wanted to cover in the training. I established the branding of Games Offer Bold Learning Insights Nowadays (GOBLIN). And I started brainstorming what a game to teach about learning would look like.

As you can imagine, the scale of this project quickly grew beyond what I could complete in a timely manner on my own.

Enter John Stewart.

I had been working with John on Mobile Blogging & Scholarship for several months at this point. Since we shared a love for learning, educational technology, and for games, it quickly became apparent that we were perfect partners for this project!

A few meetings later and we were cooperatively building GOBLIN.

The development process was three-fold (or more) at this point. We were exploring and determining the content we wanted to use, we were developing the mechanics of the game, and we were writing the adventure that tied everything together.

Expansion, reduction, development, simplification, and many iterations later we had come to a definite plan for GOBLIN (version 1.0).

And so continued the primary task of creating GOBLIN’s content, game, and story, while simultaneously initiating the axillary tasks of developing a website, creating game pieces, and marketing (to name a few). Eventually, GOBLIN was in a state to start prototyping and play-testing. So, John and I followed a rapid-prototyping development model for the remainder of time we had to develop.

If you are interested in learning more about the current state of GOBLIN, visit the website and let us know if you have any feedback or questions!