University to offer game-based calculus course as elective in Spring 2018

Texas A&M University is taking a new approach to transformational learning this spring, merging computer games and calculus with the aim of reaching additional undergraduate students who may be interested in earning elective math credit in just four weeks while helping to usher in a paradigm shift in education.

MATH 289: A Game-Based Approach to Calculus is a one-hour, one-credit online course offered by the Department of Mathematics and centered around a Texas A&M-developed computer game intended to provide a more thorough qualitative approach to fundamental concepts in calculus–specifically, limits and continuity.

“The concept of limits is the basis of everything in calculus,” said Texas A&M mathematician Dr. Paulo Lima-Filho, associate head for operations and undergraduate programs for Texas A&M Mathematics. “Lots of courses focus on the mechanics, but this one concentrates on the fundamental framework. If you can instill in people a qualitative understanding of limits, you can teach them calculus.”…Read More

Video: Find the learning in ANY game

Ed. note: Video picks are supplied by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to watch the video at Common Sense Education.

Video Description: Every game has potential for learning. Consider the educational value in some of the more popular, entertainment-focused games that your students (and you!) already enjoy at home. Of course, not all games are school-appropriate, but you can approach any game from an educational perspective. Think of games as experiences rather than instruction–as field trips, not textbooks. It’s a perspective that’s as valuable for students as it is for teachers. To learn more about using games in the classroom, visit our collection, Find the Learning in Any Game.

Video:…Read More

These 3 game-based components can increase student achievement-here’s how

Remember the days of Oregon Trail? How about Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? While learning games have been around for decades, technological advancements are creating an entirely more modern gaming experience—one where quality mirrors the digital literacy expectations of today’s student, one that entices the student to play and play again, and one that aligns a game’s outcomes with the goals of the course.

Every game teaches the player something, from the very basics of how to play the game to achieving the game’s objectives, whether it be killing zombies or winning races. As Eli Neiburger points out in the paper “The Deeper Game of Pokémon, or, How the World’s Biggest RPG Inadvertently Teaches 21st Century Kids Everything They Need to Know,” entertainment games are proven to teach very complex skills and knowledge.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, knowing how to kill a zombie or effectively battle Pokémon doesn’t necessarily translate to a useful skill. Below are three key components to successful game-based learning:…Read More

New gaming technology for learning now available to colleges and universities

Technology for a University of Michigan learning approach that employs video game-style strategy made its way to the market this week.

The gameful instruction tool known as GradeCraft is now available to K-12 schools and universities, and a key university that promotes the use of technology in the classroom has signed on.

“With the ability to access and leverage GradeCraft, instructors around the world are now able to join a growing global community of educators committed to increasing student learning,” said James DeVaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation. “This is a perfect example of what’s possible when a research university like U-M supports a culture of innovation in learning, and a talented group of faculty, staff and students invests significant effort and creativity into solving a complex problem.”…Read More

New USC partnership to innovate game design, social and mobile gameplay

Zynga, a social game developer, has made a substantial gift to USC to promote the study of social mobile games, inclusive game production and advancing diversity in the industry.

The gift was announced jointly by Frank Gibeau, CEO of Zynga and Tracy Fullerton, chair of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division and director of USC Games.  The gift funds three years of class curriculum and an event series of panels and lectures on inclusivity and diversity in the video game industry.

“We’re proud to partner with the USC School of Cinematic Arts to invest in the next generation of social game developers,” said Frank Gibeau, CEO of Zynga. “We’re continually impressed with the USC faculty and inspired by our interactions with students across the campus. USC has always taken a cutting-edge approach to advancing the intersection of entertainment and business innovation, and we’re thrilled to share our unique view on how to blend art and science disciplines in social mobile gaming. As a proud alumni, it’s also rewarding to see a diverse mix of Zynga employees return to USC to share their skills and perspectives on new tech frontiers and career opportunities in gaming.”…Read More

Immersive game-based experiences aim to revolutionize the way students learn calculus

Calculus courses today have one of the highest failure rates of any course on any campus, yet Calculus remains a core element of the ever growing STEM curriculum. Easing complex Calculus concepts for students, Triseum is unveiling the first game in a new series of immersive educational experiences for Calculus students, Variant: Limits, at this week’s EDUCAUSE conference. The Variant series gives students a new perspective on difficult Calculus topics, empowering them to learn through high quality, fun and results-driven experiences.

“Calculus is fundamental to STEM careers, yet research tells us that Calculus is explicitly tied to attrition in STEM degrees. The results we are seeing across Calculus courses are disheartening,” said André Thomas, Triseum’s CEO. “As an industry, we need to do more to motivate and engage students in this fundamental subject, as well as increase success rates – our Variant series does just that. Presenting students with innovative, self-directed activities means they play a more active role in the education experience and connect with content on a deeper level, thereby inspiring them to go further. Variant brings Calculus to life for students by transforming abstract ideas into creative and visually engaging challenges. It increases opportunities to collaborate and can measurably improve outcomes.”

Staying true to its academic roots and founded through Texas A&M University’s LIVE Lab, Triseum develops academic games that incorporate standard learning and gaming design methods. Working closely with Texas A&M to ensure the Variant series is well researched, executed and tested, educators and gaming veterans have created an experience whereby students don’t just memorize and regurgitate information, but rather apply it for a more well rounded understanding.…Read More

Growing eSports niche explores big data and gaming behaviors

University of Nevada, Las Vegas students will be able to explore the eSports phenomena in today’s popular culture through an innovative new fall course from the International Gaming Institute (IGI).

In the eSports Lab, students will explore multiple facets of eSports and produce presentations and business plans relevant to the casino industry. They will learn about the games and genres, synthesize information, and explore opportunities in big data related to gamer and fan behaviors in order to develop strategies for effectively targeting Millennials.

They will work to solve problems that exist in the field, such as how to effectively design competitive events and improve eSports experience models. They will also be expected to apply new and relevant technologies within the specialty as well as develop intellectual property and other innovations related to the overall gaming experience.…Read More

Trend update: Gaming is a higher education wild fire

Gaming in education has traditionally belonged to the K-12 sphere, but in recent years higher education has taken a vested interest in this learning approach, from taking a game-based approach in classrooms to ensuring future educators learn the merits of it.

Key points:

  • In recent years, gaming has gained momentum in higher education
  • Research indicates it is a viable learning approach, with faculty gamifying lessons and student teachers learning how to use the approach with future students
  • MIT, Penn State, and UC Irvine are all among schools leveraging game-based learning

(Next page: How universities are leveraging gaming)…Read More

Game-based learning gains steam in higher education

Triseum raises $1.43M to transform educational experiences for students

Triseum announced a new funding round of $1.43 million, on the heels of its official market launch and initial game release due June 1st, 2016, raising the total investment to nearly $2 million.

Emerging out of the LIVE Lab at Texas A&M University, in 2014, André Thomas and Rahul Khanorkar founded game-based learning company Triseum combining legacies in game development, design graphics, market development and management.

Triseum has grown to over 30 staff, incorporating former Texas A&M University students, professors and leading experts in game development from around the country. It was important to Thomas that Triseum’s team be built, in an interdisciplinary fashion, to support all facets of curriculum interaction by students while maintaining and exceeding Game-Based Learning (GBL) expectations from students and teachers.…Read More

Kaplan U. weaves gamification into career services network

Online tool makes finding a job and building a career motivating for students and alumni

Kaplan University has incorporated gamification into its career services network. Gamification applies game design elements to non-game activities to drive stronger student engagement.

“Finding a job is a job and it involves a lot of hard work and determination. By incorporating gamification features into our career services network, our goal is to make that process more enjoyable, engaging and successful for our students and alumni,” said Jennifer Lasater, Vice President of Employer and Career Services for Kaplan University.

Students are introduced to CareerNetwork during their first term at Kaplan University. When entering the network, students see an individualized job feed based on their program of study and geographical location. They can apply for jobs directly from the feed and organize their search with the Career Services staff. Students start by creating their own avatar—a virtual representation of themselves. They receive points and advance levels for compiling personal information that in turns helps the University’s Career Services team learn more about them and their job search. This helps the team provide more effective coaching.…Read More