Return to Instructor Resources

Rubric to evaluate the Geocaching game for L2 learning

Geocaching is a global outdoor scavenger hunt activity. With the use of a global positioning system and internet on mobile devices, participants find containers with treasures anywhere in the world. The following is a rubric to evaluate the potential usefulness of this game for second language learners in two contexts of second language (L2) learning: L2 learning abroad and L2 learning at home. The categories are a few principles of learning with technology, derived from the text by Howland, Jane L.; Jonassen, David & Marra, Rose (2012) Meaningful Learning with Technology. 4th Ed. Boston. MA: Pearson. These principles are put in a context that supports L2 learning. The rubric only acknowledges if the category generally could be achieved (yes) or could not be achieved (no) according to the given language learning context and my assumptions.

From the rubric, we can assume that that Geocaching is potentially an effective online game for the L2 learning in the study abroad context. The potential role of this new online game needs to be research.

Learning category (On right)
context (Below)
Does the game provide learners and opportunity to meaningfully seek through L2 texts?
Does the game promote experimenting or casual reasoning of L2 texts through competition?
Are learners given the opportunity to communicate with the native speakers of the target language through engagement with the online game?
Community Building
Does the game promote an online community of practice in the learners L2 that can transfer to actually joining, in person, a community in the L2?

Language Learning Abroad

Yes. Many of the caches that are hidden abroad have written descriptions in the L2.
Yes. If learners compete to get caches they will have to reason through the L2 texts.
Yes. Through the blog and forum, L2 learners will communicate with natives through computer mediated communications.
Yes. The world wide game has an blog for players, who can access and engage in discourse related to the practice. The difference is L2 learners can make contact with players in the foreign  country through the website and then actually meet them in person in the local events and meetings.

Language Learning at Home

No. To play the game you must find the caches in your local area. It is most likely that existing caches will be in the L1 at the homeland.
No. If the game is played in the homeland, texts will be in the L1.
Less likely. The dominant language in the homeland is likely to be the L1, and other players of the game they encounter online are likely to use the L1.
Less likely. Learners can easily contact players of other countries, but this will be limited to an online community through the blog or forum. It would be difficult for learners to contact players who natively speak the target language and live in the target community at the homeland.