Giving OPTIONs to Commuter Students

Good design is one that changes customer behavior for the better. (The Lean Startup, p.120)

When I designed the system that is currently OPTION PLAY, I built the model on my belief that players will proactively deal with relevant and challenging situations if those situations are presented in a game format.  Focus groups support that.

There is a strong vein of feedback that OPTION PLAY's content is great for college-bound students who are living on campus, and that there needs to be scenarios that address the challenges that commuter students deal with.  Living on campus is a big plus to "feeling" part of the campus environment.  Can commuter students use OPTION PLAY's system to help student affairs departments work smarter with them to create that "feeling"?

C4.     You plan to carpool to get to classes because your family needs the car part of the time.  This morning while you sit waiting to be picked up you get a phone call from your classmate’s father telling you about the DUI/car accident from the previous night.  No carpool from this friend.  What do you do?

What about this scenario is relevant to your situation?




What other scenario would you like to use in this card game?


C5.     The professor in your chemistry class gives really hard exams.  You have heard that having study sessions are really important.  The only one that fits into your packed schedule is at 10pm in one of the residence halls.  You are worried about the study session going long because you have early classes in the morning  What do you do?




What about this scenario is relevant to your situation?




What other scenario would you like to use in this card game?






C6.     You thought easing into college with commuting to a community college would be a great idea.  You have the academics down, but you are feeling very disconnected socially. What do you do?




What about this scenario is relevant to your situation?




What other scenario would you like to use in this card game?


C7.     You went to a single-gender high school, and are suddenly thrust into a giant, co-ed environment at college. You are interested in dating, but because you don’t live on campus you are not sure how to socialize.  What do you do?


What about this scenario is relevant to your situation?




What other scenario would you like to use in this card game?



Coming full circle

Returning to the Residential College to share the game I have created, the backstory of its creation, and knowing it will provide an opportunity for new students to more effectively use such an awesome experience as coming to the Residential College was breathtaking in a way.  I had planned this meeting, and was looking at it as business-as-usual.  Then, during the great conversation I had with Logan, the significance hit me.  I have come full circle.

Just before my meeting I met a current freshman.  I asked him what would have been helpful to know as a new college student and he said knowing he was responsible for the condition of his room would have been very helpful.  Hey, I have a scenario for that!



RA training at CCNY!


On January 25th I used OPTION PLAY Ed. 2 with 10 RAs during their training.  The group, some new RAs and some returning, will work with approximately 300 freshman, as well as upperclassmen.    The group illustrated that some players care about points, and some do not.  Some players commented that some scenarios were exactly what they were dealing with, that the game was like CCNY 101, and that OP would be applicable to any college or university because of that.    Great comments at the end!  Thank you CCNY at The Towers for your enthusiastic play!

OPTION PLAY could be a tool used by amazing people!

I began January 27 by driving to Skyline High School.  The photo didn’t do the complex justice!  I felt like I was walking to the land of Oz.  However, instead of green people I found helpful, friendly, and committed people throughout my visit.  After finding the central office and signing in, I made my way to The Cube and Ms. Haller.  Over the next 2 ½ hours I played two “short” OP Ed. 2 games with high school seniors, and watched Ms. Haller meet with two vendors, students who needed help with a variety of college application issues, promote a coach who supports girl power, develop how OP will fulfill student needs, and a transition plan.  She didn’t break stride, or lose her firm but positive attitude.  This is a very clear, concrete reason why I am on this journey – to help amazing people have even more tools in the pile they pull from to help students successfully go to college.



Making the most of today!

Today is the day!  January 26, 2017!  I flew from Laguardia to Metro, got my rental car and headed to Ann Arbor.    On Monday, I will visit Concordia University and while scoping out the location realized I was driving past Huron High School.  In the wet snow I made my way in to the "central" office and dropped off an OP Ed.1, postcard and business card.  The lovely secretary gave me the phone number to contact the counselor.  Later, at the suggestion of my son, visited Community High School.  I met Mr. Williams, a counselor who looked through OP Ed. 1 enthusiastically, and asked for a price for OP Ed.2!  Then, I went to East Quad...