West Windsor, N.J. – A majority of Mercer County Community College (MCCC) students take at least one online class and many say they could not achieve their goals without online options.
The MercerOnline staff continues to find innovative ways to spread the word about web-based learning and prepare students for its challenges. To make that process more engaging, Noel Quiles, an analyst for MercerOnline, developed “Online Learning Adventure,” a browser game that provides an overview of online education.
Students who play Quiles’ game are tasked with answering a series of questions about Blackboard, Mercer’s online learning software, time management, and more. The questions were developed by MercerOnline staff members.
Quiles began developing the game in 2015 and released the first version in 2016. “My inspiration for the design was the wonder of exploring ruins in old-school RPG games,” he said. “There was always a new treasure, piece of gear or secret to find around every corner. I thought that the branching path design would encourage players to seek new questions and test their knowledge on repeat plays, evoking that same wonder on a smaller scale.”
Click here and let the game begin!
Though Quiles was primarily concerned with making the game a positive learning experience for MercerOnline students, he notes that developing it benefited him as well. "I was able to learn a new game engine and become familiar with the caveats of developing games for the web, so it was a great learning experience,” he said.
Quiles strongly recommends that students supplement his game by attending an in-person information session. “Attending an orientation, or Blackboard Info Session as we call them, is definitely recommended to better understand the college's online resources, taking online classes, using Blackboard, and other concepts not covered in the game,” he said.
MercerOnline hosts Blackboard information sessions prior to the start of each academic session. In preparation for this semester's later-starting 10-week session, the division will host an online orientation on Monday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m., followed by an in-person session at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in AD131. More information is available here.
To learn more about MercerOnline, including course listings and frequently asked questions, visit their homepage here.