Theme 2: Use Good Problems

10 10: Sandboxes — Provide safe places to explore systems

With the SANDBOXES principle, Gee discusses creating safe spaces for learners to test things out, explore, and take risks.

SANDBOXES strategies in teaching

  • Create an environment where students feel comfortable sharing and trying out their ideas and beliefs.
  • Offer multiple means for student expression (see UDL) so students can share their thoughts in person or face-to-face, and both anonymously and recognized.
  • Provide opportunities and encouragement to fail-and-reflect (learn from failure).
  • Offer credit for sharing with other students their reflections on failure that include analysis and their process/paths to success. This may help others figure out solutions to their own challenges.
  • Let students express their understanding of course content with options that are meaningful to them (let them design and build their own castle).
  • Add a few strategies that might work in your course, and see others’ ideas here.

SANDBOXES strategies in Canvas

  • Open your course early so students can get a “lay of the land”.
  • Create Discussion or Piazza forums where students can share and respond to ideas and thoughts. Give points to reward constructive feedback that models respectful discourse and risk-taking.
  • Have TAs and/or students create many low-stakes practice tests with answer feedback, so other students can take them, fail, and immediately be guided to success.
  • Use discussions to explore material that are graded only based on participation and receives guidance for improvement.
  • Add a few strategies that might work in your course, and see others’ ideas here.


Knowledge Check


13 Principles of Good Learning in Games — Applied to Teaching Copyright © by not copyrighted here. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book