Flow-Ting Arguments

Flow-ting Arguments is an educational video game designed to facilitate the development of argument-evaluation skills. The game was developed at Radford University by Guy Axtell, Ph.D., and John Hildreth, M.A. The game was piloted using a Smart Board in Axtell's classes in October 2010, and Flow-Ting Arguments was presented at the 2011 Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy poster session at Virginia Tech as well as the New Media Consortium Summer Conference in Madison, WI, in 2011.

Flow-Ting Arguments: Adapting a board game to a smart board

Teaching in ways that develop critical thinking (CT) skills in our students is a major priority in higher education. One of the more difficult yet vital CT skills for teachers to instill in students is competence in argument identification and evaluation. This skill demands a clear grasp of the differences between inductive and deductive patterns of reasoning, and of how these different argument-types are evaluated. This competence is measurable, but acquiring it typically necessitates a great deal of time working though exercises of graduated difficulty.

This project seeks to model effective game-based teaching and learning through audience participation in a video game we have created to teach for the above-mentioned skills. The game, authored with Adobe Flash, can be played in any computer-equipped classroom or assigned to students outside of class. We introduce the game’s pedagogy through the contemporary literature on game-based and blended learning, and show how this pedagogical approach can heighten focus and enliven the practice necessary to master the associated skills. We end by inviting a broader discussion of how educators can also bring the theory and practice of game-based learning together to achieve other class- or disciplinary-specific goals.

Contact citl@radford.edu to receive a free copy of the game.


System requirements

Windows: Windows XP, Vista or 7; Flash Player 9 or higher*; Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox (recommended) or other current browser.
Mac: OSX 10.4 or higher; Flash Player 9 or higher*; Mozilla Firefox (recommended), Safari or other current browser.

*The Adobe Flash Player is a free download at www.adobe.com.

How to play

Working from the top down, match each answer to its argument type. Answers are listed in a text box for each question, and each is represented by a movable game piece marked with its corresponding letter or number. Match the game piece to its argument type by reading the answers in the text box and dragging and dropping the corresponding game piece to the correct answer box. Correct answers will disappear when dropped in the correct box.

As questions are completed, the answers for the following question will appear. Work downwards from Question One to Question Two to Question Three to complete the game. Note that Question One contains two levels.

There is no time limit; however, you earn a point for each correct answer and lose a point for each incorrect answer (i.e., dragging to the wrong answer box). Your final score will be displayed upon your completion of the game.