Dungeons and Dragons: Using Role Playing Games for Education (Level 2)




Meets for 90 minutes once per week for 16 weeks.

If learners have not already taken Level 1, they need to have extensive experience playing live with 5th edition and homebrew games, have an understanding of races/classes, know how to fill out a blank character sheet, and understand gameplay. This class includes 16.5 TOTAL HOURS of live gameplay!***

I’ve been playing D&D for about 15 years. I have always liked my nerdy side, but especially when I can use it as a tool for education! Dungeons & Dragons is not just a role-playing game (RPG), it’s an educational RPG! Dungeons & Dragons helps the players build academic skills like reading and writing, basic mathematics, critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork. These academic skills are important to developing people at a young age. Yet, the positive aspects of Dungeons & Dragons is not only academic but the game requires a large amount of social interaction among players. Through normal game progression of the story, players are challenged by obstacles that require teamwork and coordination that is comparable to participating on a baseball, soccer, or football team. Dungeons & Dragons promotes skills that any educator strives to teach and build in developing people.

Each player will create a character from scratch, and then write a backstory. Once a character is created, the goal of the players is to level these characters and gain new abilities and skills. Some players may choose to play a character that casts spells while others may strive to be a melee character. Whichever path, the player must decide how to build their character to meet their goals. Different characters will have different abilities, so we will choose wisely what aspects our characters will have.

I will act as Dungeonmaster and create a world for players to use; all of my boards will be viewed via share-screen and each player will see exactly where they are in the dungeon, encampment, arena, or other areas. Players will come across monsters, quests, treasure, as well as towns and cities while exploring the world around them. This part of the game requires role-playing with the dungeon master and fellow players. This role-playing rouses the imagination and helps players build social skills and problem-solving skills to complete tasks. For example, these tasks may involve coercing a non-player character to help the players carry out a duty, gain information or just simply solving a puzzle in the game. These problem solving and social skills are essential to developing people, especially if the players are in their early and mid-teens. I’ll use puzzles and riddles to help students with their problem-solving skills.

We will also use teamwork to help us through the game. Teamwork is important because each player’s character has special skills that make them ideal for certain tasks. Some characters are stealthier than others and make great spies and rogues. Other characters are strong and bulky and do well in melee to absorb damage that could otherwise destroy another player’s character. And, some characters use magic to change the tide of battle in their favor. No matter what a character’s role the player quickly realizes that often they need their allies to carry out tasks that benefit the group.

Not only does Dungeons & Dragons promote critical reading, writing, problem-solving and social interaction but the game also requires the continual use of common mathematical skills such as addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication, and sometimes requires players to read tables of information. Based on dice rolls, players use these numerical results in battles for determining success or fail of skill checks, determining randomized items, randomized events, and for moving combat forward. Math is first used in the game when characters are being created to determine ability scores.

While this is a great course for struggling or apprehensive writers, even experienced writers and learners who enjoy writing find this class to be very fun and useful! Homework will only be assigned if the backstory isn’t finished in class 2 or the character storyline isn’t completed in class 15.

Anticipated Course Outline

Class 1: Introduction to my DM style, and discussion of learner personal experience playing; we will start on character sheets, time permitting; character sheets can only be done during class time.
Class 2: Filling out the character sheet: character creation; backstory writing; drawing/coloring character; character presentation and honing
Classes 3-14: Game play; players will encounter different scenarios and use their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, teamwork, and more. We will continue the game play with each class, not create a new campaign each class.
Class 15: Course review; discussion for final writing of complete character story; character storyline writing homework assigned
Class 16: Complete character storyline presentation


Tue Aug 21, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Aug 28, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Sep 4, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Sep 18, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Sep 25, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Oct 2, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Oct 9, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Oct 16, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Oct 23, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Oct 30, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Nov 6, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Nov 13, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Nov 27, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Dec 4, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Dec 11, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Tue Dec 18, 5pm – 6:30pm Eastern

Parent Information

Materials Needed:

I’ll provide character sheets and act as the Dungeon Master. Learners will need a dice set like this ($6). A pen/pencil and notebook paper will also be required. Learners are welcome to bring miniatures to represent their characters to class.