Basic Writing

Writing Games for Career Readiness and Student Success

These role-based simulations provide interactive practice and real-time remediation to help students master the fundamentals of writing in the context of real-world workplace scenarios.

TOPICS AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Grammar Basics

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Writing Basics – Differentiating between compound and complex sentences and identifying proper subject-verb agreement.

Grammar – Proper comma and apostrophe usage and proper pronoun-antecedent agreement.

Sentence Types – Correct application of sentence mechanics and grammar.

Sentence Structure – Correct application of sentence structure and mechanics.

Writing Process

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Thesis Topics – Distinguishing thesis statements with well-formed positions and properly scoped topics.

Thesis Statements – Writing clear, focused, well-supported thesis statements.

Outlining – Covers the steps in the writing process, creating a topic outline with main ideas and supporting details, and constructing an organized, well-developed outline for an academic essay.

Paragraph Construction

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Sentences and Paragraphs – Identifying components of effective paragraphs and understanding consistency, completeness, and parallelism.

Paragraph Structure – Constructing well-formed, grammatically correct paragraphs with topic sentences, supporting details, and transitions.

Paragraph Structure – Using quotations to support a thesis and differentiating between objective and subjective opinions and information.

Introductions and Conclusions – Constructing effective introductory, body, and concluding paragraphs without fragments and run-ons.

Revising & Editing

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Revising and Editing – Differentiating between revising and editing and using proofreading techniques.

Revising Rough Draft – Using revising and editing techniques to improve an essay draft.

Revising Final Draft – Using revising and editing techniques to improve style, tone, mechanics, and APA format in research papers.

Research & APA Citation

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Research Process and Sources – Identifying the purpose and process of research writing, the qualities that make a thesis topic researchable, and the proper sources to use.

APA Citation Evidence – Identifying proper in-text citations according to the American Psychological Association (APA) style guide and demonstrating appropriate use of APA style for source citations.

APA References – Using appropriate APA style for reference citations.

TESTIMONIALS

My students appreciated how these role-based experiences provided an interactive and engaging way to apply writing mechanics and processes in a real world workplace setting. Helping students make this connection between the classroom and their future career success is a powerful way to keep them motivated and determined to learn.”

Tonya C. Hegamin

Professor of English, Medgar Evers College, The City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn, NY

I believe that the Writing Games helped my students gain confidence in multiple areas of writing. When I was introduced to the Writing Games, I was immediately impressed with the level of engagement and how the games targeted specific learning objectives. I like that they supplement and reinforce key writing components, and the students generally enjoy playing the games.”

Karen L. Shively

Professor of English, Estrella Mountain Community College, Maricopa County Community College District, Avondale, AZ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Writing Games are available at a per student cost of just $3 a game or $25 for a 17-module bundle. All adoptions are backed by Toolwire’s value-added services including 24x7x365 support, LMS integration, and instructor onboarding.

Last fall, fourteen American colleges and universities introduced the Writing Games into first year writing courses. Based on these initial pilots, our  Fall 2015 Research Report provides quantitative and qualitative faculty and student data from over 530,000 minutes of use by over 1,000 students.

Toolwire produces highly authentic game-based simulations with live characters filmed in real locations – unlike other games that leverage animated characters. Customer feedback and user testing has taught us that authenticity is essential for enhancing relevance and believability – both critical components for student engagement.

Toolwire works closely with seasoned higher education faculty to determine the most relevant topics and objectives for our game-based simulations. In addition, these subject matter experts (SMEs) help us ensure that the learning modules incorporate rigorous content that is applicable to authentic, contextually relevant workplace scenarios.

For the Writing Games, our primary SME was a former Dean responsible for the First Year Program at a large university serving students taking online and blended learning courses. In addition, he spent many years teaching first year composition to non-traditional students; this experience inspired and informed his interest in ways to present writing instruction in a way that was more relevant and engaging.

As part of our development process, we poll our SMEs to determine the most important proficiencies for entering college students. We use this information to create the skeletal structure for the content that the game-based simulations should address. In addition, we research topics and objectives from the top 10 selling textbooks in that subject area. Combining these two sources of information, Toolwire creates a final draft of topics and objectives to inform the final academic goals of each game.

All learning modules use a consistent Instructional Architecture that incorporates the following components:

  • Introduction establishes learning context and the scenario
  • Pre-test evaluates students’ skills and knowledge in a 5-question, auto-graded activity
  • Digital Learning Objects introduce and explain skills and specific content
  • Interactive Game provides opportunities to practice and apply skills and knowledge
  • Dynamic Remediation addresses errors or misconceptions based on students’ responses in the interactive game segment
  • Mentor Feedback delivers personalized encouragement and guidance
  • Post-test measures learning and skill gains in a 5-question, auto-graded activity
  • Performance Analytics include both detailed metrics and a single score based on pre-and post-test results so students can own their  learning and take steps to improve skills and knowledge

As a supplemental tool to help faculty reinforce course learning objectives, each interactive learning module targets one to three primary competencies and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.  To support instructors, Toolwire will map game learning objectives to any course. Auto-graded assessments sync directly to an instructor’s grade book via LTI 1.1 integration.

Toolwire strives to be a leader among game-based learning developers in our efforts to provide universal access to all of our users regardless of their varied needs. Our goal is to go beyond compliance in order to be the obvious, responsible choice for the thoughtful buyer.

We have an active partnership with a well-respected, national organization called the Center for Independent Living (CiL), a leader in the areas of accessibility and universal design. CiL evaluates our products, provides insights into industry standards, and even provides user-testing to ensure that the changes we make bring real and positive impact.

Toolwire follows WCAG 2.0 guidelines, which are most relevant to today’s web applications. Of the three levels for WCAG 2.0 Compliance (A, AA, AAA), Toolwire passes or surpasses almost two thirds of the requirements for WCAG 2.0, Level AA. We are safe for learners prone to seizures and learners with learning disabilities. In addition, we are navigable by learners with hearing impairments and by learners with visual impairments.

The remaining third of WCAG 2.0, AA compliance involves the difficult-to-approach functionality of keyboard-only navigation and non-sighted navigation. Toolwire games are not yet navigable by learners who are blind nor learners who are unable to use a mouse; however, we offer services of our Learner Advocacy Team to learners who need assistance beyond what our games provide.

As much as possible, Toolwire strives to go beyond WCAG standards. Where the WCAG says that a text to background contrast ratio of 4.5:1 is acceptable, our testing with learners who are visually impaired has found that not to be enough so we are rising above the minimum. Where the WCAG says we need captions, we are working with the CiL to ensure that the captions are readable to real users with real needs.

Yes, over the years, Toolwire has integrated its courseware products with just about every major higher education LMS. Once integration is complete, students have single sign-on access to the modules. When students complete a game, the learning modules pass students’ final scores directly into faculty gradebooks. Toolwire is an IMSGlobal Learning Technology Interoperability (LTI) 1.1 certified partner. Click here to learn more.

A defining feature of Toolwire’s game-based simulations is an instructional design architecture strategically developed with users such as Millennials and busy, working adults in mind. Toolwire’s new games are short, stand-alone practice units that take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Each game targets one to three specific learning objectives.

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