Workshop: Improving Capacity for Game-Based Research to Scale

PI: Kurt Squire
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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A growing number of educators are looking to game-based learning approaches to increase interest in and understanding of major science mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM) concepts. Serious games have demonstrated the capacity to engage learners in complex domains through role playing and problem solving. A key hypothesis driving many educators’ interest in serious games is that they might reach broader scale than previous educational innovations because of their capacity to engage learners, give teachers highly polished learning resources, and provide parents, teachers, administrators and students tools for assessing learning. As examples of empirically-tested game-based learning materials proliferate, the field might benefit by connecting researchers, teachers, developers and policy makers so as to increase the field’s capacity to reach scale.

This workshop addresses the need to connect a wide range of experts involved in game development and research to develop and disseminate best practices. The workshop will also establish a network hub where educators and developers can find tools for implementing game-based curricula. Specifically, the project will bring together approximately 100 early contributors, including researchers, teachers, game designers and publishers, to inform the next phases of research, development, and production in the field of games and learning. A closed beta experience will launch in late winter 2013 to support participants preparing for the workshop followed by a public workshop at the annual Games+Learning+Society in June 2013. The goal is to build the basis for a nationwide network of teachers, developers, academics, and industry leaders. If successful, this model will be held at other campuses, including Boston / MIT, Arizona State, and Vanderbilt.

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