Personalized Learning Versus Dungeons and Dragons

Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Jul 13, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a good analogy for the distinction I've been drawing between personal and personalized learning, though Matt Crosslin uses it mostly to criticize personalized learning in favour of an unnamed alternative. "Many prominent personalized learning programs/tools are a modern educational version of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series from the 1908s," he writes, "But let’s face it – the true 'Choose Your Own Adventure' scenarios in the 1980s were really role playing games. And few were as personalizable as Dungeons and Dragons." Quite right. And if you study the D&D manuals (confession: I did) you find that the whole idea is to provide resources and support for the games, not the game design itself. That was up to the players. This, and not some naive 'learning pathways' idea, is what should characterize future education technology.

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