educational gaming

Level Up Teaching Strategies with Gamification in the Classroom

I’m a perfect target for marketing driven by gamification, as evidenced by the amount of money I spend at Starbucks; by the point-earning search engine I use on my computer; and by the fitness trackers and tied-in apps I can use to earn points across platforms, competing with friends on various leaderboards on a daily basis. College students, who were likely raised with video games as an everyday part of life, are even more receptive to being engaged in this manner. To tap into this growing, but still experimental, strategy, many teachers are using gamification in the classroom, allowing Read More…


Students on Using Games in the College Classroom

Over 4,100 students attended Phi Theta Kappa‘s 2014 NerdNation convention, giving us a chance to engage with them and learn about their experiences with student life. More specifically, we wanted to know about their goals, what engages them in their courses, what digital tools they’ve used, and what advice they would give to college-bound high school students.

In this video, we hear from two attendees, who discuss the educational benefits of using games in the college classroom. Rafael Jimenez (a student at Butler Community College) and Stephen Orr (a student at Morainepark Technical College) told us how their instructors used games that engaged them in the learning process and helped them better understand course concepts.

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Embracing Life-Wide Learning via Emerging Technologies

“It’s mainly a matter of getting beyond the ‘old wine in new bottles’ attitude and recognizing that these mediasocial media included—are a more effective way of doing something different, rather than a way of automating the same old stuff that we’re used to doing now.” — Chris Dede Do you remember the first cell phones? The ability to reach out, and be reached, wherever you went meant that an expected phone call no longer tethered you to your home or office. As the technology evolved – and the humble cell phone’s power increased from simple voice and text messaging, Read More…


Tips for Students: Is a Career in Game Development Right for You?

The field of game development may appeal to students for a wide range of reasons. Perhaps these students have great ideas for enjoyable games suited to the educational setting. Perhaps they see work in this field as an opportunity to use their creative skills in a fun and competitive environment. Maybe they find it rewarding to spend hours writing code and then see the “tangible” result of a playable game. And of course, they may simply think to themselves: I like playing games… Hey, why not MAKE them? However, as with any career choice, it makes sense to consider all Read More…


Should You Develop a Game for Your Course?

Do you want to take on the role of “game designer” for your course? Though it may seem fun (and it certainly can be an enjoyable process), the act of creating a game obviously involves much more work than playing one. As an associate professor and co-director of the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lee Sheldon has a significant amount of experience in writing, designing, and developing games — as well as teaching others how to do so. In his book The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game, he poses several questions that can help you Read More…


Digital Games to Engage Students in Learning

Guest Contributor: Dan Petrak, Des Moines Area Community College.
Though every course has different objectives and aims related to a particular field of study, all instructors desire that students become truly engaged in — and perhaps even engrossed in — their courses’ material. Today, Dan Petrak of Des Moines Area Community College shares how gaming has increased engagement and motivation in his developmental math courses.
Have you designed games for your classroom? What prompted you to do so? What outcomes did they help your students achieve? Share your input in the comments section.    What is a game? Just the word “game” Read More…


Designing Games that Promote Learning



An interview with
Dave McCool, CEO, Muzzy Lane Software.
If you work with college-age students on a daily basis, you are probably aware that many of them love to play video games – online or downloaded onto local devices; alone or in groups; on computers, tablets, smartphones, and video gaming systems. The 2013 Horizon Report for Higher Education lists games and gamification as one of the top two higher education trends in the mid-term horizon, with widespread adoption expected to occur in approximately two to three years. In a 2003 research study conducted by the Read More…


Fun and Learning for Students of Any Age

Games are not just for teaching our youngest learners important skills. In fact, they can be valuable tools for engaging students of any age in course content. In this video, authors Dan Petrak and Maria Andersen discuss how they developed math apps specifically with adult and young adult learners in mind. Based on their understanding of their students’ needs, they worked to create games that encourage persistence and engagement, deter boredom and frustration, and make practice fun in an age-appropriate manner.   Have you created or used a game to engage your students? What factors helped you determine its effectiveness or Read More…


Playing to Learn: Tales from the Trenches

Guest Contributor: Jeannie Novak, Lead Author & Series Editor, Game Development Essentials. In 2003, while speaking at the University of Southern California’s Teaching, Learning & Technology conference, I noticed more than a few visibly uncomfortable educators in the audience. I had recently completed my Master’s thesis on using massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) as online distance learning applications, and I was providing a summary of my findings. The notion of any game posing as a learning management system (LMS) was difficult enough for most to parse—especially at the time—but those who weren’t well versed in the workings of Read More…