On November 25, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Microsoft partnered with DeVry University to hold a Gaming Workshop featuring Construct 2. This event reached approximately 30-40 students total. Tim Benroeck and I went to Gurnee, IL to hold a Microsoft Programming Development Event with DeVry University. The workshop was also broadcast to two other classrooms remotely around Chicagoland. I taught the class how to build a “Flappy Bird’ game using Construct 2, while Tim assisted and moderated. Professor Nana Liu was the contact at DeVry University; she is a Senior Professor in the College of Engineering and Information Sciences.
“The hands-on training was amazing. I thought the reps from Microsoft were very friendly and informative. Actually running through and constructing an app was so cool. This is what DeVry needs more of.” – Student
Insights & Best Practices:
I had an enjoyable experience teaching this class, and Tim was able to provide me with constructive feedback on my presentation. Going forward, if I were to do this workshop again, I would make an effort to memorize all the material and be able to teach the workshop without relying on my own PowerPoint slides. This way, when students have questions, I could answer them thoroughly without being tethered to a podium up front.
During this initial workshop, it felt like I was walking the students through step-by-step instructions without being able to explain each step. If at any point I stopped walking them through it (let go of their hand, so to speak), they would stop in their tracks and be totally lost. I could have better communicated the concepts behind each step so that they could begin to figure out the process on their own and repeat it for themselves. In the future, I would like to metaphorically teach them how to fish, instead of putting fish in their hands.
A fun moment of this event for me personally was when I was walking around the room to observe the students’ progress, I saw my own head flapping up and down between green pipes, flying through the Flappy Bird level. A cheeky student had taken my bio headshot and imported it as an asset into his game!
Tim and I have received continued offers from Nana Liu to return to DeVry and lecture again. The feedback from the students themselves indicates a positive perception influence about Microsoft. This was the students’ first introduction to the Construct 2 program, and their reception was overwhelmingly positive.
Nana was gracious enough to provide us with direct feedback from the students, written the night of the workshop event.
The reviews were glowing. Here are just a few excerpts:
“I believe that this was a wonderful experience. … This should be done more often.”
“I feel this experience was very enlightening. I had never heard of the software we had used, so learning it was a fun experience. The reps from Microsoft were helpful and very knowledgeable.”
“I think that future workshops like this will motivate people through the programming courses here as they do become stressful.”
“The hands-on training was amazing. I thought the reps from Microsoft were very friendly and informative. Actually running through and constructing an app was so cool. This is what DeVry needs more of. More hands on training!!! Labs like this are fun, and actually engage the audience.”
“It was a blast! I now have a greater respect for game developers from creating this game. Tim and Sarah did an excellent job tutoring us and helping us create the game.”
Download this PowerPoint and the Flappy Bird game assets at https://aka.ms/C2game