These 10 colleges represent your best bets for learning while playing video and other games.
If you were busy playing Call of Duty and you missed it, July 8 was Video Games Day. While most people’s experience with gaming involves mindless destruction or sports competition, educators have begun to see the value in the medium for helping students learn. While the research is still developing and some professors are still skeptical, these 10 colleges represent your best bets for learning while playing video and other games.
The Educational Communications and Technology department at UW has overseen the creation of the Games, Learning & Society Initiative to study how the practice can be used to change the way students learn.
Over the last several years, Purdue has built a strong base of game-based learning classes and programs. The Purdue Serious Games Center is the school’s hub for developing and studying educational games and digital environments to enact in their own classes and to share with schools for K-12.
Role-playing game Reacting to the Past has been used by more than 300 colleges since its development by Barnard College and five other schools. Oregon had already made news in 2009 when a marketing instructor began using Madden to teach business concepts.
Games and simulations have been popping up in business school courses for a while now, but Penn’s Wharton School makes it an integral part of the curriculum rather than an afterthought. “FutureView” lets marketing students learn how to market a completely new product by putting them in the virtual shoes of consumers.
Trojans have the opportunity to use serious games to learn … serious game design. Michigan State is one of the few to provide coursework to prepare students to work as game designers of serious games. The coursework is part of its master’s degree in telecommunication, information studies, and media.
Instead of being shoved in front of real-life children to practice their skills, education majors at UCF can learn good classroom management through the school’s unique learning game.
Math has become a popular subject for educational games, with titles like MathBlaster catching on with kids and teachers. Students themselves at Bothell have gotten in on serious game education, developing games like Facebook: UWB Wetlands Restoration through the school’s Center for Serious Play, to educate other students and the public on the need to protect the wetlands.
At this small private school in Erie, Pa., the intelligence studies department is where you’ll find students learning through video game play. Associate professor Kristan Wheaton decided to incorporate the teaching method into his repertoire. The result? He began to have students play the massively popular and massive multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. The tactics and strategies needed to successfully play the game are a perfect fit for the intelligence studies program, which involves the disciplines of law enforcement and national security.
Although the Austin campus has been known to have teachers incorporate game-based learning into their curriculum, UT-Brownsville has been recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education for the efforts of one of its professors to use video games to teach physics.
NIU has become the poster child of game-based learning, basically through the work of one man. Engineering professor Brianno Coller noticed in his “Dynamic Systems and Control” and “Computational Methods” classes that computer simulations seemed to capture students’ attention, so he created a video game called Spumone to let students build and race virtual race cars to learn both math and engineering.