Episode 13 – Discovery Learning in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

landscape from The Vanishing of Ethan CarterThe Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a 2014 all-around spooky game that doesn’t hold your hand. There’s even a note at the beginning stating that you’re on your own. You’re expected to learn as you go, figuring out not only how complex puzzles work but also sometimes the fact that you’re being confronted with a puzzle at all.

That approach matches up quite nicely with the theory of discovery learning. In that framework, learners are expected to figure out underlying concepts on their own, through experimentation and inductive reasoning.

This week’s episode opens with a discussion of expository vs discovery learning, has a mention of J.S. Bruner’s wonderful term “intellectual potency,” and explores the motivation provided to players in Ethan Carter.

But all is not well in the world of discovery learning – check back next week for a look at the dark side of this kind of instruction.

Show Notes & Links

Other games mentioned in this episode

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