We started a great project over the summer and hopefully some of you have already noticed a few of the changes. Quests are the main means of assessment for teachers in Quest Atlantis, but they appear quite static compared to the dynamic 3D environment. Kids love doing the missions but are sometimes not as enthusiastic about their Quests, even if Quests have a greater col payout. Since May, we’ve started adding small interactive elements to our Quests in order to leverage the world space better and make them more engaging.
These new interactive Quests are smaller than a mission and should only take a class period or two. These Quests no longer appear as spinning disks; instead, they are given out by Quest-Givers. These Quest-Givers represent Questers who have shown great devotion to one of the social commitments and now work to help the emissaries and OTAK. They are easily distinguished by the spinning Quest disks above their heads. The Quest-Givers, along with the teen council, offer some exciting new in-game role models for the kids to look up to.
Writing some of these Quests has offered great insight into all that goes into developing Quest Atlantis. It wasn’t easy giving each Quest-Giver a unique personality or trying to establish a basis for why students are completing the Quests. I struggled a lot at the beginning making sure that I had a reason for doing the work, not just “do this Quest because I’m a Quest-Giver and I said so.” I now have way more sympathy for just how much work our designers, Janis and Ed, put into creating our entire units!
We hope to continue adding more interactive Quests in the future. I have a few I’m working on that are almost ready to go. The eventual goal is to have the majority of our Quests contain some interactive element. There’s no reason to have such a lively world and static work!
Although not all of our Quests have been converted to interactive Quests at the moment, a good selection has. I invite you to try out one or two with your students! To find the new interactive Quests in your toolkit, look for (IQ) after the Quest name. You can also check out some of the starter Quests recommended by teachers on the QA Teacher wikipage, http://quest-atlantis-teaching.wikispaces.com/. Feel free to leave your own impressions as well!