How can World Anvil be used as a teaching tool? Well, Julia Grunnen, one of our users, is a worldbuilding professor at Kristinehamn Community College in Sweden! She’s been using World Anvil for her writing course. And we’re so excited to have her on the blog to learn how she’s been using it!
At Kristinehamn Community College in Sweden we started a course called ”Creating Worlds” in 2019. We explore fictional worlds in fantasy and sci-fi, like Hogwarts, Forgotten Realms, Azeroth… The list goes on! But how can you go about creating your very own fictional world in fantasy or sci-fi? And how can you put that world into use?
How does the worldbuilding and writing course work?
In our course, we have people who want to expand their interest and knowledge in gaming culture, worldbuilding, and design. During the one-year course, the students get access to various tools that they can then use in their own worldbuilding, writing, designing, or gaming. One of the tools we use in the worldbuilding part of the course, which I teach, is World Anvil. After testing the platform for a year with my 15 students we feel ready to continue with the same setup.
Using World Anvil
To begin with, I created my own World Anvil page called “Otherworld”. It works as a platform where I can share material with the students. These are some of the resources I’ve shared:
- A generic article with questions to think about when creating flora and fauna in their fictional world.
- Examples of fictional currency that others have created.
- A video from the team behind World Anvil about the best software for creating your own maps.
The type of material I share depends on the area of the world that we are working on at that time, such as flora and fauna. Once the students have gathered tools and resources, it’s time for them to create something on their own World Anvil page. When I give the assignment I use the challenges that the World Anvil team has created for their users as inspiration. For example, I used the Peculiar Plants Challenge. The assignments from World Anvil are inspiring, exciting, and perfect for those who want to expand their knowledge in worldbuilding. They also allow the students to learn about the platform’s possibilities. By completing their assignments, the students have a basis for their own fictional world through the articles, prose, timelines, and maps that they have created during the writing course.
Did the students enjoy World Anvil?
At the start of the course, most of the students were beginners at World Anvil, but they found the idea exciting. After a learning period, participants became eager to test the platform’s capabilities and began exploring its tools. Those who were not interested in exploring all of World Anvil’s tools mainly used the article system, categories, and the linking system. Others who explored more of the platform’s possibilities made DnD campaigns based on their world and created several interactive maps.
One thing the students have highly appreciated is the opportunity to get an overall picture of the world they have created. They also found organization tools like categories very useful. World Anvil also makes it possible to easily share what you create with others in a good-looking way through the world’s website. It is also appreciated that you can link (and publish) short stories, poems, and illustrations to share your inspirations.
Everything is collected in one place, and it makes it easier for both me and my students in our work.
Thanks, World Anvil!
Isn’t that amazing? Go create a free World Anvil account to test these features for yourself! And if you’d like to use World Anvil in your own school or college (or you are already), send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be thrilled to help you and hear your story!
Who is Julia Grunnen?
Julia Grunnen is a teacher at Kristinehamn Community College, Sweden. She has studied (among other things) psychology, sociology, and religion, to learn how people function individually and together with others. This, plus her interest in fantasy and sci-fi, has led her to teach the one-year Creating Worlds course, where she explores the structure of the real world to see how fictional worlds can be created. Every student gets the opportunity to create their own world with the help of World Anvil. Make sure to check out the course’s Instagram account to see what they’re up to!