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Cartoon Convo: Exploring Gaming in Higher Education.

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1 Cartoon Convo: Exploring Gaming in Higher Education

2 Play is a very serious matter....It is an expression of our creativity; and creativity is at the very root of our ability to learn, to cope, and to become whatever we may be. (Rogers & Sharapan, 1994, p.1)

3 Play and learn?

4 Yes.

5 What are you, five?

6 ? ?

7 Learning games are for kids.

8 No.

9 Yes! It's all Leap Pad and Playskool!

10 No it isn't.

11 I teach college. I hate computers. Will it even matter?

12 That depends on you and on your students!

13 I can integrate learning games into my college classes?

14 Yes! Games can be as useful for adults as for children

15 Prove it!

16 No problem! OK!

17 “An experiential technique, such as playing games, provides a deeper and wider-ranging experience than does a lecture, even though the experience may be different for everyone. Some research findings indicate that simulations and games are at least as effective as other methods in facilitating subject matter learning and can be highly effective in aiding retention.” (1)

18 “Under some circumstances and for some students, gaming can be more effective than traditional methods of instruction in creating positive attitudes toward a topic” (2)

19 What kind of games should I use?

20 Decide what is the best fit for your class and what you want to accomplish. Some games are electronic, others can be as simple as a scavenger hunt or round of “Identify the Shakespearean quote Jeopardy.”

21 What can I teach using games?

22 Some college level subjects can sometimes be too complex to be taught completely using games. Biochemistry, or abstract algebra, for example. However, games can be used to “spice up” a lesson, to review for a quiz, or to help students remember key ideas. First identify your teaching goal, then select a game to supplement the lesson.

23 Are there resources out there where I can find more information? Where are they?

24 T here are many resources for teachers wishing to integrate gaming into their curriculum. For example: Offers links to research, game information and colleagues who can offer help. For adults learning English as a second language, offers a Top 5 list of materials for teaching adults English. MSU MindGames offers information and resources at

25 This seems like a lot of work.

26 It is. Just like any decision to incorporate a new idea into a lesson plan, the decision to use games must be planned before it can be implemented. Try starting small, say with a quiz show type review format before your next quiz. Then, review the quiz scores. Are they higher? Ask the students, did they think the game helped? If so, go from there! If not, rethink your strategy and try again!

27 Is it worth the effort?

28 According to the Horizon Report of 2005, educational gaming will be a growing trend in universities for the next two to three years [or beyond!]. (3)

29 Research suggests that gaming in its various forms can motivate and interest learners (Dempsey, Lucassen, Gilley & Rasmussen, 1993; Dempsey, Rasmussen & Lucassen, 1994; Jacobs & Dempsey, 1993; Lepper & Malone, 1987; Malone, 1980, 1983; Malone & Lepper, 1987; Malouf, 1988), increase retention of subject material (Dempsey et al., 1994; Jacobs & Dempsey, 1993; Pierfy, 1977), and improve reasoning skills and higher order thinking (Mayland, 1990; Rieber, in press; Wood & Stewart, 1987). (4)

30 Incorporating gaming, even in higher education classrooms is fun AND useful! Don't you think that's worth a shot?

31 Where'd you get all this information, anyway?

32 Works Cited 1. Somers, J. A., & Holt, M. E. (1993). What's in a game? A study of games as an instructional method in an adult education class.Innovative Higher Education, 17, 243– Kolb, D.A. & Lewis, L.H. (1986). Facilitating experiential learning: Observations and reflections. In L.H. Lewis (Ed.) New directions for continuing education: Experiential and simulation techniques for teaching adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 3. Hogle, J. G. (1996). Considering games as cognitive tools: In search of effective "edutainment". University of Georgia: Department of Instructional Technology, ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED New Media Consortium (2005).The Horizon Report – 2005 Edition.

33 Good luck! Have fun!

34 Mario copyright Nintendo 1985 Pacman copyright Namco 1980


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