Home » 2020 Spring

Category Archives: 2020 Spring

Minutes from 5-21-20

Game Based Learning (GBL) Faculty Interest Group (FIG) – Notes from Meeting

Friday, May 21, 2020, 3pm via Zoom

Grace Axler-DiPerte, Facilitator

Participants:    Grace Axler-DiPerte (KCC BIO), Lorraine LaPrade (KCC LIB),

Kathleen Offenholley (BMCC MAT), Mary Ortiz (KCC BIO)

Meeting began at 3:04pm.

  1. Grace welcomed everyone.
  2. Grace mentioned we would discuss asynchronous games today.
  3. Kathy discussed how to get an online discussion going with students. She suggested: introducing oneself, asking why students took the class, sharing good and bad math experiences, posting 3x per week.  We discussed what we could do in a stats class, as Mary mentioned having difficulty getting the students to participate.  Kathy has a book coming out titled, “Teaching Math Online”.  Have the students report something online.  Mary shared having students flip a coin to test the 50/50 chance of heads/tails.  Could pool the class data.  Also, Mary mentioned the “game” she plays in class with students where she gives each student a different set of 4 cards, each with a criterion for the Binomial Distribution, and the students have to determine if their set of cards meets the criteria or not, and why.  She could create a set of online criteria and have students challenge each other.  She could use this as a participation component.  Discussion Board could be used with this asynchronously.
  4. Kathy said for the 2nd exam she had students make up questions and had another student solve them.
  5. Mary suggested the website eSkeletons.com to Grace for BIO11 in the fall.
  6. Lorraine sought ideas for games in an online workshop she teaches on databases (ex. career, APA citation). Maybe she could give each participant a fact to look up, or give each participant an incorrect citation, and have them correct it.  Kathy provided the link for the library from City Tech:


You can also go to the CUNY Games network, click on Teaching With Games and then Literacy.

  1. Grace explained we may need to play games asynchronously in the fall and provided a PPT presentation titled, “Games People Play NOT Together”. She mentioned Jack Box Games (you need a computer to see the game and a phone as the game controller).  Grace demoed Drawful2, which is similar to Pictionary, via jackbox.tv. These games are synchronous.
  2. Some asynchronous games that can be played via discussion boards, were disucced. An example is “Two truths and a lie”, which can be modified for online. She then went over and demoed three games: Code names, Scattergories (synchronous or asynchronous), and Scavenger Hunts.  These are 3 simple games.
    1. “Code names” – she went over how to play this game and modify it. Discussion followed.
    2. “Scattergories” – Get a topic and a letter of the alphabet. “yellow” and “b”, and come up with things that are yellow and start “b”, such as banana.  You can time this, work on an honor system, have challenges, or give awards or points for unique answers.  Another example: “types of knits”, where some possible answers could be linen, fleece, terry.
    3. Scavenger Hunts – Post a picture with no explanation and challenge students to fit the category, what do the pictures have in common? Challenge students to post (ex. foods made with microbes, have other students explain choices).  This is a good way to get students involved.  Even if it doesn’t work the first time, you can try it again.  Discussion followed.
  3. Grace will send out a post-survey and we can send it to KCTL.
  4. Grace thanked us for coming. We will continue in the fall, perhaps keeping the Zoom format so a wider audience from CUNY may participate.  Janine will help with this.
  5. Meeting ended at about 4pm.

Notes respectfully submitted by Mary Theresa Ortiz, KCC Bio

Minutes from 4-24-20

Game Based Learning (GBL) Faculty Interest Group (FIG) – Notes from Meeting

Friday, Apr 24, 2020, 1pm, Virtually using Zoom

Grace Axler-DiPerte, Facilitator

 Participants:    Grace Axler-DiPerte (BIO), Christina Colon (BIO), Eric Conte, Tyronne Johnson,

Elizabeth Mulligan (BIO), Liljia Nielsen (BIO), Kathleen Offenholley (BMCC), Mary Ortiz (BIO), Raluca Tuscano

Meeting began at 1:02pm.

  1. Grace welcomed everyone.
  2. Last time we spoke about using PPTs and Discussion Boards.
  3. Grace tried Kathleen’s idea in the Chat Forum using 123 Go to answer questions. It really helped things seem real.  All the students answered at once.  It gave them all a chance to answer, and it was easy to do.  Beth tried 123 Go also.
  4. Christina will give students a task in Ecology using a phone app that has them inventory all nature in their environment. It’s competitive.  For example, they can report a flower pattern on their bedspread or plant patterns on the floor.  Christina asked for input on how she can give rewards.  Grace mentioned that you could give certificates on Blackboard (ex. HMS Beagle Award).  Another suggestion was that maybe if a student finds 6 things, they get to choose the funny hat the professor wears to the next session.  Beth mentioned she gives stickers out if a student scores ≥80 on a quiz.  The students really like little things like this.  You can also set up badges on Blackboard.  The students love it.  Liljia uses smiley faces – it was incentivizing.  Christina mentioned a citizen science app.
  5. Grace mentioned the Badgr website.  Mozilla had a badge backpack.  Awards could be for the most items found, the most creative, etc.  Beth asked Christina to clarify her assignment.  Christina explained the students could go into their veggie bin in the fridge, look out the window, mention their cat, etc.  The NY Botanical Gardens has a virtual tour.  Maybe the students can do a scavenger hunt on line.  Mary suggested asking the students to identify plants in stuff around the house.
  6. Grace talked about giving riddles to her students. (Ex. I am a conifer that…)
  7. Eric asked if other departments are using synchronous learning and/or discussion boards. Beth and Liljia are using asynchronous, and Liljia is also using discussion board. Beth records lectures on Blackboard (1 hour limit).  Christina records in Blackboard Ultra and gives the option to give oral reports.  Grace does trivia questions.  Many of Beth’s students don’t use cameras.
  8. Tyronne shared it’s hard to get feedback from students. We discussed issues with getting student feedback online.  All students answering at once is a problem.
  9. Grace uses Kahoot.
  10. Kathleen has been doing online synchronous learning. She also has 5-minute videos and prefers Flex.  She uses Venn Diagrams (ex. wear glasses, long hair) to let students tell her where they are in the Venn Diagram.  Grace – if things are more personal, the students get more involved, and thinks the Venn Diagrams are a great idea.  Discussion took place on this.
  11. Christina shared she does GBL without realizing it. She uses a trophic pyramid and asks students where they are on it.  This uses role-playing.  Grace shared she used role-playing, too.  For example, “You’re the ultimate pathogen”.  Christina also uses 20-questions, and Grace asked how you can personalize that.
  12. Eric mentioned Big Wind Blows and that it works well in Behavioral classes. Discussion followed.
  13. Beth and Grace discussed Kahoot. Beth will try it next week with her Anatomy students.  There is a picture bank with types of tissues (ex. epithelial), and it is easy to set up.  Grace uses the picture bank to also give silly clues (ex. for Western Blot, she uses a cowboy with a hat for the word, western).  Christina said there are data to back up use of humor and tries to incorporate it into here lessons.  Find the “weirdest”…it’s fun, personal, and allows for critical thinking.  Another ex. Find the freakiest parasite.  Grace will ask the students to look for the freakiest protest next week.  Beth mentioned using blue-footed boobies dancing for blue hospital booties – the students remember this.  Tyronne expressed he was glad he joined the meeting for the ideas presented.  Discussion followed.
  14. Kahoot premium is free right now. Sign up via a college account.  Eric said he used Kahoot as a result of learning about it in the GBL FIG.  Kathleen said she would try using Kahoot.  Grace offered to help anyone with Kahoot.
  15. Grace used some PPT slides to share: Boards, PPTs, How to Make Discussion Boards More Engaging. (inspired by Joe Bisz’s Complex Mechanic Game Cards) She shared several examples:
    1. Which literary character would want this informatin?
      1. Garlic toxic level
      2. Blood type diet
      3. John Harker” Real Estate

Ans: Dracula

  1. Which pathogen’s bookshelf is this?
    1. Have students make up riddles and guess each other’s riddle.
  2. Two truths and one lie
  3. Spot the fake headline
    1. Make up your own headlines
    2. Which is more credible?
    3. Which is more attention getting?
  1. FACTITIOUS game
    1. Spot the fake news by looking at sources and the way the article is written
    2. Which is real and which is false?

Discussion followed.

  1. Beth gives her Microbio students a conspiracy theory and they have to debunk it. Origin of HIV…where, how, when?  You can post this in discussion board and ask a question or ask them to create a hypothesis.  Discussion followed.
  2. Grace mentioned in microbiology about old and new classifications for taxonomy. Discussion followed on how to deal with this in class.
  3. Grace thanked us for coming and said that we will have one more meeting this semester in May. She asked that we “try something new” or come with ideas.  Grace will send out a Doodle for our next meeting on Zoom at the end of April 2020.

Meeting ended at 2:13pm.

Notes respectfully submitted by Mary Theresa Ortiz, KCC Bio

Meeting Minutes 3/30/2020

Game Based Learning (GBL) Faculty Interest Group (FIG) – Notes from Meeting

Monday, Mar 30, 2020, 1pm, Virtually using Zoom

Grace Axler-DiPerte, Facilitator


Participants:    Kelly Amoroso (KCC Fatherhood Academy), Grace Axler-DiPerte (BIO), Joe Bisz (BMCC), Javon John, Victoria Mondelli (Missouri), Elizabeth Mulligan (BIO), Kathleen Offenholley, Mary Ortiz (BIO), James Sinagra, Vera Moreno, Felicia, “Faculty”

Meeting began at 1:02pm.

  1. Grace welcomed everyone.
  2. Grace mentioned how a digital platform for GBL can help students relax, have fun and learn.
  3. We went around “the room” and introduced ourselves.
  4. We had a special guest, Joe Bisz (BMCC), who started the CUNY Games Conference for GBL.
  5. Victoria was invited by Joe to join the meeting. She is Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Missouri, and formerly was at CUNY.
  6. Today Grace tried Kahoot with her microbiology class. It is an online game that makes use of clickers.  Right now it is free on line.  She made up a set of Kahoot questions on bacterial metabolism and showed them to us.  Students logged in on their phones to play.  The students competed with each other.  The game let’s them know how they are doing.  You can make trivia questions and can put graphics with it.  It led to more questions and engaged the students.  You can do puzzles, too.  For example, which molecule produces more ATP?  Grace said it took 1.5 hours to set up the game she used.  There are leader boards and streaks.  We had a discussion about the game.
  7. Joe Bisz gave a presentation on simple game mechanics on line. He presented a PPT titled, “Online Teaching with Activity – Games”.
    1. He discussed “Challenge and Switch”, where students apply facts that need to be corrected or completed. Students create trick questions or a puzzle.  For example, if a run-on sentence is given, the next student fixes it.  When handing back graded work, students can check each other’s work.
    2. Another approach is “Cut-Ups”, here students are given cut up/out information and they have to re-assemble it in the correct order. For example, this can be done with essay sentences, a math equation, or CPR.  In an on-line format, you can post the text description in the wrong order and students have to put it in the correct order.
    3. Using PPT for games works well because you can move things around on the slide easily. For example, the pieces of a math equation can easily be ordered on a PPT slide.  (Students can get MS Office from CUNY for free.)  Also, Scrabble can be done with students on line easily in a PPT slide; so can a crossword or a math puzzle.  PPT can be used to design games at different levels.
    4. Visit Joe Bisz’s website at joebisz.com.
    5. A Q&A session followed Joe’s presentation.
  8. Grace shared using a “KCC Urgent Care Clinic” with role-playing with her microbiology students.
  9. We discussed doing breakouts in Zoom. The host calls you back into the main meeting room, and there’s a countdown to get a task done.  You can do breakouts in Zoom if you set it up when you set up the session.  The students in a breakout room can call the teacher in.  You can share in small groups with breakouts.  One example was starting with your name, who gave it to you, and what it means.
  10. You can do Pictionary with a white board in BlackBoard Collaborate and in Zoom via Share. (In Zoom you must release the mouse to let students see the move.)  Some shared Chrome works better with this.  Discussion followed.  We can try Canva for a non-green screen.
  11. PPTs can be used to do concept maps.
  12. Grace will put crossword sites in the notes and post on CUNY Commons.
    1. Crossword maker
    2. Another one
  13. Grace will get everyone’s email address so she can invite all to meetings and share notes, etc.
  14. She will share this online GBL FIG.
  15. Next meeting: Grace will send out a Doodle for our next meeting on Zoom for the end of April 2020.

Meeting ended at 2pm.

Notes respectfully submitted by Mary Theresa Ortiz, KCC Bio