Vance Stevens Plenary at ICCTAR, Melaka, on Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through EVO Minecraft MOOC

Learning2gether Episode #414

On Friday, June 28 Vance Stevens was in invited to be a featured plenary speaker at the ICCTAR conference in Melaka, Malaysia (International Conference on Creative Teaching, Assessment, and Research in the English,, organized by Prof. Dr. Jayakaran Mukundan). There I delivered a plenary 28 June 10:30 to 11:20, on Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC

2019jun28vanceICCTARplenaryPhoto by my son, Glenn Stevens, who happened to be in the auditorium audience.
Glenn also recorded the video at the top of this blog post.

I decided at the last minute to record my presentation using Zoom from the podium with the laptop screen aimed at the projector and me standing with a handheld microphone between the laptop and the auditorium projection screen. This didn’t turn out so well because the acoustics on-stage were horrible. The sound was fine just outside the stage via the PA system directed at the audience, but on stage, the sound echoed badly as picked up by the computer mic. However my son Glenn was in the audience and he was recording on his Samsung cell phone. He got the recording which I’ve now placed at the top of this post, with reasonable sound quality. Meanwhile I uploaded the Zoom file to YouTube and here it is:


Minecraft is a game that has sustained the attention of teachers wanting to introduce elements of gamification into their classrooms despite their encountering two steep hurdles: (1) the complexity and depth of the game itself, and (2) understanding how students will experience self-directed critical and collaborative learning by engaging each other in appropriate video games. I started EVO Minecraft MOOC (EVOMCM) in 2015 to learn with teaching colleagues how to experientially address both these issues.

EVO (Electronic Village Online) consists of over a dozen sessions on topics proposed by language teachers who develop their proposals into professional development courses of interest to other teachers. The Minecraft EVO session has become an ongoing community of practice of language practitioners learning about gamification by interacting with each other in Minecraft for over 5 years now.

This talk is about the nature of learning in sustainable distributed communities of practice as embodied in EVO, and in particular understanding how video games can be leveraged into opportunities for language learning once teachers grasp the ineffable nature of their participatory cultures through engagement with peers, and in learning hands-on through meaningful play how games such as Minecraft might be used in their own teaching contexts.

This was conducted as a flipped presentation. That is, the link to the slides and to the prose write-up were given out to the audience at the beginning of the presentation. The audience were invited to follow along in the slides as I presented, if they wished, and have access to the links I referred to as we went along on our learning journey together:

The complete slide set here –
And there is a text version of this talk at

You can download the ICCTAE program book (onto your device) from here,%2003.06.19.pdf

Here is the schedule for the third day of the conference

I recently created a blog post, with slides and show notes, from a presentation given to a live audience at WorldCALL in Chile, Nov 2018, though there was no recording there of the presentation itself:

Photos from the event

Some participants at the conference have passed me their photos in which I was included. I’m posting them here as a souvenir of our time together in Melaka, Malaysia.


Pictured here are Kadek Sonia Piscayanti, Alan Maley, and Ni Made Ratminingsih to my right, To my left are Alvin Pang, Ken Mizusawa and Lee Su Kim.


On the left are Lee Su Kim, a Nyonya author, educator and cultural activist, and Alvin Pang. I am standing between Ken Mizusawa and Kadek Sonia Piscayanti, a literary figure from Bali who writes profoundly about women’s issues in her home country.


Kenny Ong Kian Meng showed me his poster on the Use of Audio Recording Applications on the Mobile Phone in Improving Pronunciation Performance among University Students. I thought he might like to look at this article about resources for teachers to help them teach segmental and supersegmental pronunciation features:

Cox, J., Henrichsen, L., Tanner, M., and McMurry, B. (2019). The needs analysis, design, development, and evaluation of the ‘English Pronunciation Guide: An ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Teaching Using Online Resources’.TESL-EJ, 22(4), 1-24. Retrieved from (also available:



Earlier events

Thu Jun 27  Learning2gether Episode 413 with NileTESOL LTSIG – Hanaa Khamis interviews Csilla Jaray-Benn



4 thoughts on “Vance Stevens Plenary at ICCTAR, Melaka, on Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through EVO Minecraft MOOC

  1. Pingback: Thinking SMALL about social media assisted language learning – Vance Stevens presenting at the 2019 CALL Research Conference, Hong Kong | Learning2gether

  2. Pingback: Steven Herder interviews Vance Stevens in the iTDi Teachers Room | Learning2gether

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