FN# 8:draft#2 Kids don't read directions!

From: Annie McDevitt
Submit: Post Field Note
VisitDate: 11/24/96
Collaborative: Selected
Unclear-Approach: Selected
Informal: Selected
Date: 05 Dec 1996
Time: 14:42:11
Remote Name: mingong-pc03.ucsc.edu



Jose, Male, 11 years old


On Monday at BU, I hung out with Jose for a while. At first, he was playing reader rabbit which seemed a little simple for him. I suggested that maybe it was too easy for him and that he should attempt something more challenging. Upon reflection, maybe that was a choice I should have let him make on his own. Anyways, then we looked for another game that seemed interesting. He decide on Treasure Cove. So we put it in and it began to tell the story behind the game, something about some greedy scientist who had produced too many "goobies" and we had to stop him and capture them in the ocean or some such thing. Jose skipped right past the story. He didn't want to listen to it, he just wanted to play the game. But when we got to the game , he couldn't figure out what to do. He asked me, but I didn't know either. I told him he needed to listen to the story in order to know what to do. He reluctantly agreed to do that. Then, unfortunately, we still didn't have enough directions to understand the game. So Jose and I tried to figure it out on our own again, without success. I suggested we click on help in order to get more direction. Jose was adamantly opposed. He would rather just move around in the game not knowing the point than take the time to look through the directions. Finally, he gave up on the game, deciding it was boring. So I said I would look at the directions under the help icon. I read them but they didn't claraify very much. They told what to do, but not how to do it.


I think Jose and I were working collaboratively to figure out the program. I guided him by making suggestion on how to figure out what to do. He didn't always take my suggestions seriously though.It's hard to say what sort of approach the Treasure Cove program took on learning because I really couldn't figure out the point of the game.


I noticed these events because it just seemed striking to me that Jose wouldn't even attempt to read the directions, but would rather go blindly through the game without any strategy. Or maybe his strategy was to figure it out through trial and error. Maybe his englich reading skills are not very good. English is his second language, but he speaks it very well. Maybe he didnt' want to read the directions because he didn't think he would understand it anyway, because english may be difficult for him to read. However, even after reading the directions myself, I couldn't understand the point of the game. My fellow students also had problems figuring it out. The lack of "how to" instructions made it very difficult.