Setting Cooperative Gaming Expectations

If you are allowing students to cooperatively play an educational game, make sure you go over expectations for being a good cooperative gaming partner. Explain what it looks like and sounds like to work together well.

You should talk about appropriate behaviors before they begin playing. Together, try to find some answers to questions like these:

  • Can you talk to anyone other than your partner? If so, who? When?

  • How should you resolve differences if you and your partner disagree on a strategy or an answer?

  • What kind of language should you use with your partner? “Please”? “Thank you”? “That’s dumb”? “I can’t believe you chose that!”? “Good work!” “Next time will be better”?

  • How often should the players take turns? Is there a signal the teacher will give to change roles? Should they alternate after each decision they make during game play?

  • Does the partner not playing have a role to play, such as recording the strategy used on a graphic organizer?

  • What happens if your partner hogs the mouse?

  • What happens if your partner goes off task?

  • What are the consequences of breaking the rules?

You can have students use a graphic organizer to help them remember what you’ve discussed.