How I Use It
I used Quandary for the end-of-year busy work in my self-contained eighth grade science class for English Language Learners. ELLs were paired according to their proficiency levels and learning styles in order to explore the game on their own. While playing the game, students were allowed to navigate on the Internet to look up words or terms in different languages if necessary. After modeling the beginning of the first episode, students were able to work on their own. Students rarely asked questions during the game because the game is self-explanatory and quick and straight forward with feedback.
It took my ELLs about an hour to finish the entire game. Some fast players were able to retry episodes more than once.
Before delving into the cyber civilization, I emphasized on the importance of the leader in the rise of the colony. Students went over the qualities of a good leader in a brief discussion. All that being said, students were excited to get into the game. Also, students immediately took the leader/Captain role when the background was presented to them.
Quandary is visually stimulating because of its cartoon-like format. It may be a little too rich in texts/dialogues, so some students skipped a couple to move faster, and resulted with undesirable outcome. Reflecting on how and why the Captain and the colonists all ended up in predicament was not easy for the students. Instead of re-examining the process, they just wanted to start over. I had to give them some simple guiding questions for self-reflection.
Overall, Quandary is an interesting and educational game. Students commented, " I learned that for every society, group, or community there has to be someone to lead who hears everyone's opinions, or what they want to say in order to pick the best solution for the situation. it was pretty interesting...." and "Even that the game is not that fun it is helpful because it talks about facts and opinions and you have to think whats better for the people in the game and you have to read carefully in order to get more points. It makes you think a lot."
Integrating Quandary for different learning styles - graphic, conversations in voices, characters and hands-on practices of decision making processes - is effective in engagement and motivation.
Comments for the developer: It takes a good amount of time to load the game. It could be the Wi-Fi in my building but it was slow to load up the game. Each conversation must be clicked to be read-aloud. It would be nice to have them play like an audio-book with pause and fast forward/rewind options. Built-in glossaries would be very helpful for ELLs.