The SMTE NSF Project timeline required that game production begin at the outset, running in parallel with and responsive to the game design and curriculum development processes.
As the curriculum emerged, the game-based learning was designed, and rapid prototypes were produced. External reviews and internal consulting and testing fine-tuned the curriculum, evolving the learning outcomes and their assessment criteria - in turn resulting in new game mechanics and new prototyping.
Everything was in flux in search of the best learning product, with documentation serving the process (not vice versa). The large project team was working in small groups, on discrete components, over short durations, meeting frequently, and sharing their small group's progress and products with the team at large during a weekly web meeting.
Quite naturally, the SMTE project team was working in something very closely resembling a Scrum production model (circa 2008). When, by way of a different project, the project's Game Producer underwent Scrum Certification Training - the project's production process began to take on some new labels, but only those that clearly fit the unique needs of the team and the project.
For example, since the teams worked virtually, across time zones, there were no daily standup meetings. The producer maintained a burn-down chart, but it was not a tool used throughout the team. The same was true for the Scrum Board. Tasks were not defined as Stories, but their generation and tracking in Sprints and Backlog was closely aligned.
So, in many ways the SMTE Production Model was not Scrum in the technical understanding of that Agile method. However, in the most important, vital aspects it was a close modification that served the needs of the project effectively and merits consideration for any team undertaking a Serious Game project where the curriculum is an innovation.
SMTE Modified Scrum Production Model Presentations:
Dassault Systemes SwYm Conference Panel Presentation, Paris, France (June, 2010)
4 different presentations of the model, over two days, for 100+ attendees. The common interest centered upon the role of curriculum development, game-based learning objectives and game-based assessments in our production process.
ENJMIN Graduate School Presentation, Angouleme, France (June, 2010)
200 graduate students attended a presentation, followed by an extensive Q&A session.
DR K-12 Panel Presentation, Washington, DC (December, 2010)
Session Panel Presentation, 4 session attendees asked for and received follow-up information on our use of the model.
Watch a recording of this presentation (from YouTube channel, opens in a new window)
GDC 2011 Booth Demonstration, San Francisco, CA (February, 2011)
Four sessions, over three days, were attended by approximately 50 visitors to the 3DVIA booth in the exposition. This resulted in 4 follow-up meetings with attendees to answer questions about the project model.
ITEEA 2011 Annual Conference Presentation, Minneapolis, MN (March, 2011)
70 visitors to the project booth in the exposition, and 23 attendees in the session presentation discussed our production process, our model, and resulted in the UW Stout Internship initiative.
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