During Fall 2019, four University of Hawai’i at Mānoa students pursuing their graduate degrees in Learning Design and Technology created a Minecraft lesson planned titled “Minecraft: Experience the Four Seasons”. As all four students had grown up in Hawai’i, we understood the challenges of understanding the four seasons. With this, we created a Minecraft lesson plan for Hawaiʻi middle school students, grades 6 – 8. This lesson plan would create an opportunity to learn about the four seasons using immersive and experiential learning. This has become an example of what can be accomplished when virtual tools are used with theory-based learning design. Each season showcases different facets of learning that have been intentionally orchestrated to present lessons such as virtual experiences, teamwork and collaboration, traditional educational subjects such as mathematics, project-based learning, and environmental and medical safety and awareness. All evaluations are imbedded within the virtual experiences and therefore the only perception that the students will have is that they are having fun. This project illustrates just one example of how learning design can offer applicable and valuable lessons that are now crucial in the real world.
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