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Learning to Play: Building an Immersive Classroom with Video Games

Faculty Development Workshop

Learning to Play: Building an Immersive Classroom with Video Games

Jeffrey D. Berejikian

Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor

Date: September 11, 2014

Overview

When you ask students to describe their favorite video game they use terms like “addictive” and “awesome.” Rather than compete against digital distractions for student attention, building video games into the fabric of a classroom allows instructors to harness the fact that games are designed to provide immersive entertainment. In this presentation, Dr. Berejikian discusses the opportunities and challenges that come with constructing classroom simulations around popular video games. Gaming classrooms create unique opportunities for active learning. Students can test theories and concepts through gameplay, and this direct experience improves both their understanding of course material and sharpens their critical thinking skills. For instructors, gaming classrooms create a number of challenges. Because contemporary games are very complex, instructors cannot control the trajectory of the simulation and students often have very different classroom experiences as a result. Gaming classrooms therefore challenge instructors to teach beyond the syllabus and to remain flexible throughout the semester, adapting course material and learning outcomes as the simulation evolves.

About the Speaker

Dr. Jeffrey D. Berejikian is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Georgia, and Associate Professor in the Department of International Affairs. He teaches classes on international politics, foreign policy, and decision-making.