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Undergraduate Learning, Small Colleges and Digital Gaming: Collaboration and the State of Play.

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Presentation on theme: "Undergraduate Learning, Small Colleges and Digital Gaming: Collaboration and the State of Play."— Presentation transcript:

1 Undergraduate Learning, Small Colleges and Digital Gaming: Collaboration and the State of Play

2 Plan of the session 1.Gaming, teaching, liberal education: a 2010 snapshot 2.A taxonomy of practices, with selected examples 3.The role of NITLE 4.Futures, next steps, discussion, and futures: towards 2011

3 I. Gaming and cultures, 2010 Snapshots of the American landscape: 1.Gaming as art and industry continues to develop and grow 2.Pedagogical uses unfolding 3.Liberal arts campus cases are now available, and practitioners are networking

4 Gaming as part of mainstream culture Median age of gamers shoots past 30 Industry size comparable to music Impacts on hardware, software, interfaces, other industries Large and growing diversity of platforms, topics, genres, niches, players

5 Gaming as part of mainstream culture Anecdata: Number of Facebook FarmVille players: 63,715,177 (as of June 2010, plications/leaderboard/, ) plications/leaderboard/ (Casual games are more mainstream than most heavy-duty games)

6 Diversity of game genres American teenagers, Pew Internet, 2008

7 Games serious, public, and political Oiligarchy, Molle Industries Jetset, Persuasive Games The Great Shakeout, California DimensionM, Tabula Digita

8 Gamings pedagogical functions James Paul Gee Claims games offer pedagogical experiences (2003ff) Other experts follow suit: Marc Presnsky Henry Jenkins John Seely Brown Mia Consalvo Constance Steinkuehler Kurt Squire Hippasus Sample pedagogical principles: Semiotic domains; transference Embodied action and feedback Projective identity Edging the regime of competence (Vygotsky) Probe-reprobe cycle Social learning (roles; consumption-production) Fish tank tutorial Strategic self-assessment

9 Another summary Jason Mittell, Middlebury College: games are platforms for learning… Skill development Simulations Media studies (psych, cultural studies, media) –NITLE brownbag, January 2008

10 How is gaming used now? Classroom and courses Curriculum content Delivery mechanism Creating games Peacemaker, Impact Games Revolution (via Jason Mittell)

11 Joost Raessens and Jeffrey Goldstein, eds, Handbook of Computer Game Studies (MIT, 2005) Frans Mayra, An Introduction to Game Studies (Sage, 2008) Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, eds. Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (MIT, 2009) Game studies as academic field

12 How is gaming used now? Libraries Collection development Game night Creating games Defense of Hidgeon, Games Archive: University of Michigan

13 Maturing professional venues

14 Gaming and liberal education And what is liberal education, again? Learning for learning's sake Pedagogy (active learning, faculty/student collab. etc) Democratic, engaged citizenship/leadership Specific institutional type -Jo Ellen Parker, 2008 Scripps College library

15 Gaming and liberal education What are shared concerns with the rest of academia? Pedagogical uses Support strategies Tenure/promotion Cultural fears Bryn Mawr College, Michael Toler

16 II. A taxonomy of practices Liberal arts uses Gettysburg, Hope, Depauw

17 II. A taxonomy of current practices 1.Faculty research area 2.Faculty/staff game creation A.From scratch B.Modding 3.Classes and learning A.Professional games delivering learning content B. objects of study C.Students creating game content D. games

18 1. Faculty research Harry Brown, Depauw University (M.E. Sharpe, 2008) Part I: Poetics –Chapter 1: Videogames and Storytelling –Chapter 2: Videogame Aesthetics –Chapter 3: Videogames and Film Part II: Rhetoric –Chapter 4: Politics, Persuasion, and Propaganda in Videogames –Chapter 5: The Ethics of Videogames –Chapter 6: Religion and Myth in Videogames Part III: Pedagogy –Chapter 7: Videogames, History, and Education –Chapter 8: Identity and Community in Virtual Worlds –Chapter 9: Modding, Education, and Art

19 2A. Faculty/staff game creation Valley Sim, Christian Spielvogel (Hope College) Simulation: American Civil War Archives: based on primary documents already in digital archive (Valley of the Shadow) Type: MMOG, as players experience and debate the wars epochal events as avatars based on the lives of residents from two wartime communities

20 2A. Faculty/staff game creation Trinity University library: ARG

21 2B. Faculty/staff game creation Dickinson College, class on empires: game modding

22 3A: Games as learning content Shalom Staub, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs, Dickinson College: Conflict Resolution course Peacemaker: integrate and apply the concepts and strategies that you will encounter elsewhere in the course.

23 3A: Games as learning content Todd Bryant, Dickinson College: teaching German with World of Warcraft If the game provides authentic language content and requires communication in order to progress through the gameand our students are willing to spend hours of their time immersed in this environment we can greatly increase not only their overall exposure to the language but their motivation to learn as well.

24 3B: Games as objects of study Aaron Delwiche, Trinity University: COMM 3344, interactive multimedia (Spring 2006)

25 3C: Students creating game content Chris Fee, The Medieval Atlantic, Gettysburg College: Interactive Fiction (2007-)

26 3D: Students creating games Venatio Creo, Ursinus College

27 III. The role of NITLE Nonprofit, working to advance technology in liberal education

28 NITLE gaming programs so far Professional development (workshops, videoconferencing) NITLE Network venues (IT leaders meetings, NITLE-IT list, annual Summits) Research Exploration of field Publications Blogging Network facilitation Game co-creation –ARG (ELI 2009) –Web game: futures market, 2008-ongoing

29 The gaming initiative Conference (Dickinson, 2007) Workshop (Bryn Mawr, 2008) Web 2.0 networking –Blog conversations –Twitter –Diigo

30 The gaming initiative And: Videoconference sessions (starting 2008) Presentations (CNI, Educause, NMC 2008-10) Publications ( Alvarado, Alexander, Bryant) Overcoming the Fear of Gaming: A Strategy for Incorporating Games into Teaching and Learning. EDUCAUSE Quarterly Magazine, Volume 31, Number 3. 2008.

31 The gaming network Faculty and staff involved from: Albion College Austin College Depauw University Dickinson College Gettysburg College Hope College Middlebury College Swarthmore College Trinity University (Texas) Ursinus College Vassar College

32 The gaming network Disciplines include: Anthropology Communication English History International relations Languages Media studies NB: strong emphasis on humanities and non- quantitative social sciences, so far

33 We launch one game NITLE prediction markets (

34 More social media strategies Diigo group (http://group roup/gaming -and-the- liberal-arts)http://group roup/gaming -and-the- liberal-arts

35 More social media strategies NITLE blogging,

36 Lessons learned? What supports intercampus collaboration for educational gaming? Strength in diversity (disciplines, regions, projects, sectors) Supernodes make the network work (the Dickinson movement) Low barriers to entry are crucial Educational examples are essential Economic fears vie with cultural anxiety

37 IV. What next? What else is possible for teaching and learning with games, based on practice outside of the classroom? Computer games as liberal arts? Educators who teach kids to make their own video games are on education's cutting edge. (CNN, 2008) ostversion=2008060606

38 More current options Already in use in sectors: Machinima for video production Information/media fluency curricula More modding (ex: Civ IV mod) Mobile app development

39 Exploring no- and low-cost games further Nanws Adventure, National Library of Wales ( )

40 What next in liberal arts gaming? Looking into 2011: Diigo group continues (68 items so far) Ruthless blogging NITLE prediction market trades, grows Reaching out to more schools and organizations

41 What next in liberal arts gaming? Looking into 2010: Iterations and new projects for fall classes Reacting to the Past interest (Pearson) Mobile gaming development (Vassar) Repurposing gaming tools for visualization (machinima), computing power, presentation (Wii remote) Simulations in use? Involvement from sciences

42 Techne blog Prediction Markets game Diigo group the-liberal-arts the-liberal-arts NITLE

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