Excelsior College To Integrate Game-Based Learning in 5 Courses

Excelsior College will integrate gaming and advanced simulation in five of its courses over the next year. It is one of the first steps in an initiative to integrate game-based learning across its entire curriculum.

Muzzy Lane, a company that creates game-based tools, will partner with the college on the project that is one of the first initiatives of the college's new Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning.

"Games have shown the potential to transform learners from passive, disinterested knowledge consumers into intrinsically motivated knowledge producers," said David Seelow, director of the Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning.

The new game-based initiative will be used in a required course in the master of public administration program and electives in business and technology, health sciences and liberal arts.

As an example of what can be done when integrating gaming into the courses, students taking a course in World War I history will be able to work through major decision points themselves and take part in strategy sessions that helped define the war.

"This could be the model for most e-learning capstone experiences," said Jennifer McVay-Dyche, assistant vice president for online education at Excelsior. "What better way to make sure learners have acquired the essential skills and knowledge from a degree program than to place them in real-world scenarios within a 'safe' environment?"

Excelsior is a distance learning institution that primarily targets older students, many of which are in the military. The average age of its 38,000 students is 37 and more than 14,000 are on active military duty or veterans.

Earlier this year, Muzzy Lane was awarded a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation research grant to explore its game-based learning applications for nontraditional students.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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