Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Game-Based Learning in Higher Education


Is game-based learning(GBL) only good for young students? Who is using game-based learning in the higher education courses? How is it implemented into the curriculum? From Anne Derryberry’s blog: I’m Serious.net, the status survey and analysis of GBL in higher education was given:

An overview of game-based learning in higher ed.

game-based learning in higher ed

Even as game-based learning is gaining momentum in many sectors, the activity in higher ed around game-based learning is scant. Sure there are pockets of innovation on many campuses, but broadscale initiatives are nearly impossible to find.

In my role as Analyst with Sage Road Solutions, I have recently completed a scan of the penetration of game-based learning within higher education in the U.S. Highlights include:

  • 13 institutions using game-based learning in their curricula
  • 10 university research center exploring game-based learning
  • 343 degree or certificate programs for game design/programming
  • Examples of COTS entertainment games used as learning tools

The great overview is available here.  It is licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-SA.


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Rochester Institute of  Technology

To share some examples, don’t forget Just Press Play ! – a program in Rochester Institute of  Technology (RIT) to wrap gameful and ludic experiences around the traditional pedagogical processes of a modern university. The pilot is exploring the design, legal, and privacy challenges related to creating an ARG for education. But the ultimate goal is to create a unified game layer for education and lifelong learning. GBL adoption is still on its very early stage in higher education, but it could be a game changer in future.

University of Texas at Brownville

From 10 Innovative Idea Winners of Game-Based Learningin the NEA Foundation’s latest Challenge to Innovate (C2i), we also saw a cool teaching practice for freshmen non-science university students. It’s from Soumya Mohanty in University of Texas at Brownville. 

STEM learning through Video games : It turns games into virtual laboratories. Instructors can use the full 3-dimensional visualization of physics to explain key points and make the connection to abstract schematic diagrams and pictures. DIY games can allow instructors to create exercises that have a real-world connection, students build virtual machines in their games and watch their dynamics evolve over time.  This idea had been used to teach an entire course for freshmen non-science university students. Examples of how elementary physics concepts were taught using readily available commercial games have been described in a journal publication.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Art

Another idea winner in C2i game-based learning challenge that using  the popular “Dungeons & Dragons” board game, introduces the major branches of philosophy through an immersive role-playing game.

The game’s goal is to defeat the Aesiphron who have invaded the regions of Sophos, each of which represents a major branch of philosophy. To do this, students travel throughout Sophos, completing Quests, participating in the Marketplace of Ideas, pursuing membership in various Guilds, and building their Skills: consistency, rigor, research, rhetoric, precision, and skepticism.

For the concerns and considerations in this topic, Gamification in Higher Education on Prezi (from Nottinggham Trent University) has made an outline with several inspiring ideas. And, 7 Things You Should Know About Gamification (from EDUCAUSE) is also a quick briefing on the fundamentals with some more examples from Penn.State University(So You Want to Be A Millionaire?),  Dartmouth College(Metadata Game) and Pepperdine University Business School(use Veri).

Although it’s still in the early pilot stage, the use of gamification in higher education is wide ranging and we believe it will become even more creative and interesting as the ideas bouncing around.

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  1. Game-Based Learning in Higher Education | Games and education | Scoop.it
  2. Eric Sembrat » Game-Based Learning: A Primer
  3. Play and Learn Weekly, Sep.29th, 2012 | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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