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The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game 1st Edition

34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1435458444
ISBN-10: 1435458443
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Editorial Reviews Review

Multiplayer Classroom Shots

Multiplayer Classroom photo 1
Don't mess with a Game Designer
(Click to enlarge)
Multiplayer Classroom photo 2
Author and educator Lee Sheldon in action
Multiplayer Classroom photo 3
Student board game

Multiplayer Classroom photo 4
Presenting in character
Multiplayer Classroom photo 5
Student demonstration
Multiplayer Classroom photo 6
Student virtual game

See one of Lee Sheldon's course outlines, which illustrates principles of The Multiplayer Classroom.


1. Gaming the Classroom. 2. Overview of the Current State of Education. 3. Video Games Entering the Classroom as a Supplement to Teaching. 4. Designing a Class as a Game. 5. Writing the Syllabus and Rubric. 6. Playing the Game. 7. Evaluating the Experience. 8. Case Studies. 9. Design for the Future. 10. Tools.

1. Structure and Process of Supervision. 2. Supervision Models: Psychotherapy-based Non-Psychotherapy-based. 3. Effective Supervision. 4. Supervisor. Gender and Perceived Stereotypes. Theoretical Orientation, Interaction and Learning Styles. BTI Types. Negative-Harmful Supervision. 5. Supervisee. Attachment Style. Self-presentation and Self-disclosure. Interaction and Learning Styles. Theoretical Orientation. Gender & Perceived Stereotypes. 6. Assessment of the Trainee. Knowledge and Skills. Personal Dynamics. Formal Assessment Tools. 7. Supervision Ethics. 8. Legal Aspects of Supervision in Psychotherapy. 9. Impacts of Culture and Diversity on the Supervisory Relationship and Process.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (June 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435458443
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435458444
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lee Sheldon is a Professor of Practice and member of nationally-ranked Interactive Media & Game Development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has written and designed over 40 commercial and applied video games and MMOs. He is the author of The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game, a pioneering work in creating classes that are entire games. His book, Character Development and Storytelling for Games, is required reading at many game developers and in game design programs at some of the world's most distinguished universities. A new, updated edition was published in 2013. Lee is a contributor to several additional books on video games including Well-Played 2.0 from Carnegie-Mellon's ETC, Writing for Video Game Genres from the IGDA, Game Design: An Interactive Experience and Second Person. He is cited in many publications; and is a regular lecturer and consultant on game design and writing in the US and abroad. Before his career in video games Lee wrote and produced over 200 popular television shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Charlie's Angels. As head writer of the daytime serial Edge of Night he received a nomination for best writing from the Writers Guild of America. Lee has been twice nominated for Edgar awards by the Mystery Writers of America. His first mystery novel, Impossible Bliss, was re-issued in 2004. Lee began his academic career in 2006 at Indiana University where he taught game design and screenwriting. At IU Lee first instituted the practice of designing classes as multiplayer games; worked on the serious games Quest Atlantis and Virtual Congress; and wrote and designed the alternate reality games The Skeleton Chase and Skeleton Chase 2: The Psychic funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Skeleton Chase 3: Warp Speed funded by Coca-Cola. He wrote and designed Secrets:A Cyberculture Mystery Game, an online game for Excelsior College teaching culture and identity on the Internet; and wrote Crimson Dilemma, a game on business ethics for Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. He is creative director of The Lost Manuscript 3.0, teaching Chinese language and culture. His recent commercial game work includes Fantasia: Music Evolved from Harmonix and Indiana Jones Adventure World from Zynga. He is currently writing Suburbia 2, a Facebook game, for MegaZebra.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By L. Graykin on July 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first heard about what Lee Sheldon was doing in his college course, by way of a viewing of Jesse Schell's DICE Convention talk (distributed by TED), I looked for more info. Using XP to grade? How would this work? My gut told me that it was worth investigating further, so I poked around...and discovered that this textbook was about to be published, a scant week from my investigation. TIMING!

Having placed my order for a copy, I scoured TED for relevant talks (and found several), and began some cursory plans for my classroom.

When the book arrived, I put all planning on hold and read it. It proved to be a quick read, in part, no doubt, because the author had been/is a writer (for TV shows, notably Star Trek: The Next Generation; and for some of the best computer games out there). He knew how to keep the info engaging. One small example: Instead of chapters, the book has levels.

The Multiplayer Classroom offers a sturdy skeleton for a rethinking of your classroom content delivery. It shares the youthful history of using a gaming overlay in education step by step, as it evolved, and unashamedly allows for the criticisms of such restructuring to be voiced as well as the praises. (The latter easily overshadow the former.) The book explains the mechanisms games use to engage and entertain the player, and suggests how to use those same mechanisms to facilitate learning. And, it shares concrete examples from real-life applications.

Now, I will tell you straight up: There is content in this book that feels like filler. There are several tentative case-studies, reports of initial experiments that teachers at various levels in various disciplines have attempted. Not all of these have solid, decisive conclusions to share.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bobinski VINE VOICE on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Who'd have thought that Lee Sheldon, a scriptwriter for the likes of Quincy, M.E. and Simon & Simon, as well as a writer/producer for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Charlie's Angels (plus many more) would be writing a book about improving learning in a classroom through the use of games? Well, he did it, and as someone who's been using games for years to teach management concepts to managers, I'm impressed. Sheldon's book is easy to read and engaging, too (one would hope so, coming from a script-writer).

The book is laid out in a well-structured format, and I immediately liked his first-person writing style. Books written for people anywhere near academe are often dry and lifeless. Not so, here. You'll feel like Sheldon is actually talking with you or even writing you a personal letter.

Know this is not a book about VIDEO games ... it's about classroom games, so you need no video game experience to do this. In fact, Sheldon clearly states in the opening paragraphs that "if teachers have never played a video game in their lives, they can create a course as a multiplayer classroom." Given that most of today's young learners are well-versed in multi-player games online, what a great way to capture their attention and get them learning in real classrooms.

I would describe this book as a sneak peak into Sheldon's own class or into his very-open diary on how to do classroom multiplayer games. You might even picture yourself as a mouse in the corner of his class, only with the benefit of opposable thumbs so you can write notes in the margins as you go.

For those who want to see quotes and references to Piaget and a host of other education experts and how this all factors into their theories, Sheldon doesn't' disappoint ...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wanted to try this book because the IDEA behind it fits with all the research I have been reading for grad school about creating a richer, more authentic, highly engaging, and student-centered classreoom learning environment. It SOUNDS like a great idea, and it would be, if actually implemented.

Unfortunately, the book was not the user-friendly manual it claimed to be. The methods described are highly complex, and would take longer than the school year to successfully set up and implement. Much, much more useful would be smaller more bite-size strategies that could be incorporated into lesson plans, ideas for classroom rules and policies that fit the multiplayer model, and user-friendly "interface."

Overall, the book was just not useful, though the idea behind it is. I hope to see more on this topic in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. J Parker on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm familiar with the gaming terminology, and the value of turning efforts into games, thanks in part to authors like Jane Mcgonigal. I picked up this book hoping to learn ways to include game techniques to Cub Scouts. Unfortunately, I did not get what I was looking for. The book does a great job explaining the value of gaming in education, and covers the theory quite well. The Author then does an excellent case study describing how he transformed his own class into a game. The problem is that I couldn't make the jump from his experience and case study to my own classroom. Maybe that's my fault. I found a distinct lack of discrete 'how-to' type examples. If you are the type of person who can learn and extrapolate from another person's examples, this book will probably go well for you. If you need a little more 'recipe' and direction, this book might not work for you.

It's a book worth reading, the theory is sound, the material compelling, and the case studies engaging. It just wasn't what I was looking for.
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