Digital Gaming and Simulations in Higher Education
Games and simulations are among the fastest trending topics revolutionizing learning nowadays. Research in the field suggests that games, simulations and other similar technologies can have a purpose beyond just having fun. Throughout this ‘hands-on’ program, participants will investigate how higher education students learn from interactive computer environments, and will delve into the process of designing and understanding games and simulations for educational purposes. The first session of day one will help ensure a common understanding among all participants on key concepts related to gaming and simulations. Participants will be exposed to various definitions, latest trends and research out- comes in the field and will further investigate how people learn from gaming and simulations and how such tools can be implemented in educational settings. It will also discuss technical, practical, social and pedagogical advantages and limitations. The second session is more focused on looking at theories and practices to motivate and engage students. The consecutive sessions will explore in details how to use and integrate gaming within teaching and learning whether using Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) games and simulations or by developing one’s own education game/simulations. The program will conclude by considering how to assess the efficiency of such technologies within teaching and learning. This program will use a hands-on approach to explore the theories of educational gaming, and the practical aspects of evaluating and implementing games and simulations for teaching and learning. Challenges, tasks, rewards and other aspects of game-based learning, will be used. We will examine how educators can leverage students’ interests in digital culture to extend their learning and keep them engaged. Participants will explore the foundational, social and cultural implications of these new media.
This program is addressed Faculty members and Teaching Staff interested in expanding their portfolio of pedagogical strategies for teaching through the adoption of gaming and simulations, in order to improve students’ learning experience by enabling richer engagement with content and interaction with faculty and peers. The program may also be of interest to heads of academic departments, instructional designers, educational technologies and staff working in Teaching and Learning Centers.