Occupied Paris: Creating a Virtual Learning Experience

Terri Nelson (California State University, San Bernardino)

Dr. Terri Nelson shares results from student testing of Paris Occupé, a role-playing game she created. Students progressed in linguistic production, complex reasoning and empathy over the course of the game, in which players take on fictional identities of characters living in Nazi-occupied Paris.

The combination of historical information learned through the game, as well as more traditional course materials (fiction and nonfiction in a variety of media) plus the personal, emotional engagement with their RPG (role-playing game) character, helps students engage in higher level critical thinking skills and express more nuanced emotional, moral and philosophical stances in French while also developing a more comprehensive and realistic understanding of the complex time period.

This presentation demonstrates the game design features underlying the content delivery and linguistic scaffolding.


Update: Dr. Nelson has created a website for teachers interested in testing her modules or creating their own. 


Learn more about ARIS, the tool Dr. Nelson used to create Paris occupé:

  • ARIS is an open source platform that enables users to create mobile learning games, tours, and interactive stories, with the help of augmented reality
  • View a demo from the ARIS team at Wisconsin Institute of Discovery (The University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Read more about Mentira, a mobile, place-based, augmented reality game for developing Spanish skills
  • Eco Pod is a post-apocalyptic survival game created by CASLS (University of Oregon) using ARIS


View video of the webinar:

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