Gamification: Upgrading the Learning Environment
“Keep sitting there staring at that screen. Atari will rot your brain as fast as Fun Dip rots your teeth.” This may have been a parental warning back in 1985, but things sure have changed since then. Today, universities are discovering that the same elements that make games so mesmerizing also make them ideal learning environments. When we’re engaged with games, our minds are assembling information, recognizing problems, and working towards solutions. Games are an effective platform for simulating real-world scenarios and training students to react wisely under pressure. That’s why gaming is catching on at the undergraduate and graduate levels, even at top academic institutions. Check out this presentation from the SRHE Annual Research Conference that showcases the purpose and benefits of gamifying undergraduate programs:
According to a recent article, we’re seeing an increase in the use of graduate-level gamification to prepare students for careers in industries like healthcare and business. As noted in the article, these top ranking institutions are just a few of those making their marks as graduate-gaming pioneers:
- Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi: In a game called Pulse!!, students can guide a 3D avatar through the medical setting to practice some of the most critical patient care skill.
- University of South Carolina, Moore School of Business: Students at the University of South Carolina use marketing and operations simulations through their MBA courses.
- Florida State University College of Medicine: Geriatrics students play ElderQuest, and nurse the Gray Sage, a wizard with a number of health issues, back to his full power.
- University of Washington: The Foster School of Business piloted enterprise simulations that incorporates business lessons from local companies like Starbucks and Nike
- Duke University Medical Center: The Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center at Duke’s teaching hospital is employing gaming as a key part of teaching students to interact with patients and improve their performance on the job
- University of Connecticut: Graduate student Karen Zook, with the help of Roger Travis, is bringing Latin back to life through a game called Operation Lapis.
- Bristol University: Paul Howard-Jones, a professor of neuroscience has developed his own “TWIG” (Teaching With Immersive Gaming) method.
- Harvard Medical School: Dr. Bryan Bergeron, a researcher in Health Science and Technology, has developed several health care-related games that are used by Harvard’s students and other medical schools across the country.
- University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business: Wharton’s Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab has fostered the development of more than 30 games for supplementing business education courses for MBA students at the school.
- University of Minnesota Medical School: Researchers noted the positive effects of a video trivia game on the psychopharmacology knowledge of 29 third-year medical students.
|Share your experience: Have you taught or considered teaching using a gamified learning environment? Use the comments box below to tell us your experience or thoughts on gamifying your own course.|