A conversation sim gets students to ponder deep issues and simultaneously assesses their progress in learning. To create a sim, follow this template, maybe just in a text document:
Think of a witty name for the conversation, if possible with a poetic play of words
(Pose a situation that ends with a question which is not immediately simple to answer, a problem that you think might have some paradoxes attached)
(Come out with an answer which is either correct or incorrect but in all events colourful)
(Use this space to dispel the error or fill in the inadequacies)
(Develop another angle on the question)
(express the strength or weakness of the response)
Another response again
(Look at the problem a further way and don’t be afraid of audacity)
(Remain the voice of reason and bring the conversation back to the sense that you want from it)
A final response
(Have fun, either indulging in the errant view or celebrating the truth)
(Wind up with a positive air, establishing the correctness of the preferred responses but implying that there is still much to think about)
The remaining tasks
- Imagine after each response saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ or ‘Maybe’ and reconfigure the feedback text respectively, according to what you would say to someone in agreement, disagreement or uncertainty.
- Based on the sense or probity of each ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ or ‘Maybe’, assign a number, e.g. 50%, 70% and 100% for the preferred answer
- Insert both the text and the values in either a multiple-choice quiz or the ‘Lesson’ facility in Moodle or counterpart in other LMSs.
Once installed, vivacious teaching can take place, with student interaction entered automatically in the grade book.
Theorized details of the purposes and techniques are given in the full manual.