Posts Tagged ‘gamification’

this disappeared but part 2 did post??? sorry

To download, right-click and select “Save link as…” DEC GAMEMINGFICATION PT.1


To download, right-click and select “Save link as…” DEC GAMEMINGFICATION PT.2

Andrea Schaumann, Jeffrey Kissinger, Shaheen Alhumaydhi, and Felix Balak


April 9, 2:00pm – 3:00pm

As zoologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and many educators know, playing games is at the heart of learning. Teachers have long used rhetorical games like debates or mind games such as Socratic elenchus to encourage critical thinking. But what about video and computer games? While readily accepted as play, games are increasingly being viewed as a teaching tool. What role might they play in fostering critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and complex decision-making skills in the liberal arts? (Times EDT)

Held online via desktop videoconferencing.

Ten years ago, Beni Balak, associate professor of economics at Rollins College, began using computer games in his classes. As a long-time computer gamer turned professor, he had observed that many of the best practices in pedagogical research were adopted by the electronic game industry. Today, the electronic game industry leads the entertainment sector economy with $70+ billion in annual sales, influencing the economy, culture, and learning. While some teachers remain skeptical about the value of video and computer games in education, over the past decade, a body of theoretical and applied pedagogical work on the use of games as teaching tools has emerged. Gamification in higher education generally refers to video and computer games and involves two related, but distinct approaches: using games as teaching tools and structuring entire courses as games.

In this seminar, Balak will identify the principles he employed and the specific structures of the courses he has gamified both using games (i.e., Civilization and World of Warcraft) as well as, more recently, gamifying the curriculum. Beyond the fundamental changes he made to the syllabi and the grading structure, he is beta-testing a learning management system (LMS) specifically designed for this purpose. Join us for this seminar and learn about his progress developing a gamified course structure, how it engages students and accelerates learning, as well as the difficulties he has encountered as he continues to explore the potential of games in the liberal arts.

Recommended Resources

Please review and explore these resources to prepare for active engagement with your fellow seminar participants.

Further Reading
  • Gee, J. P. (2013). The anti-education era: Creating smarter students through digital learning. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillian.
  • Gee, J. P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillian.
  • Sheldon, L. (2012). The multiplayer classroom: Designing coursework as a game. Boston, MA: Centage Learning.
  • Marczewski, A. (2013). Gamification: A simple introduction & a bit more.
Seminar Leader

Benjamin Balak is associate professor of economics at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He specializes in the history, methodology, and rhetoric of economics, and in comparative economic systems and cultures. He has presented in numerous conferences, published several journal articles and book chapters, written a book on the rhetoric of economics, and taught a wide variety of interdisciplinary and economics courses. His recent work is increasingly focused on the teaching of economics which he regards as highly problematic and adversely affecting the current economic conversation: Real-world economic literacy is singularly important for having functioning democracies at a time of epochal economic change. He has spent more than nine years experimenting with technologically-enhanced pedagogy to breathe life into the teaching of economics and to place it in historical perspective. A self-identified computer geek and gamer since the late 70s, he has been using computer games to teach economics and is researching the topic with the help of students. He earned his B.A. in international economics from the American University of Paris (France), continued his graduate work at the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK) and earned a Ph.D. in economics from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Event Hashtag

Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on Twitter via this event’s hashtag: #nitle.


Those interested in technologically-enhanced pedagogy, curricular design, and digital games and culture should attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Monday, April 7, 2014. Participation in NITLE Shared Academics is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


For more information about this event, please contact Georgianne Hewett at

NITLE Shared Academics logoNITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.

[to download right-click here and select “Save link as…” ]


This was the 1st day of the public school year and Kenny Goldman, Felix Balak, and Charlotte Trinquet came to help me rant about education — uncharacteristically positively and enthusiastically I might add!

We opened the show by discussing some positive developments in the Orange County Public School system’s curriculum and went on to talk about some of my ideas about technologically enhanced pedagogy, using video games in education, and gamifying my classes.



I’ve been using games to teach for over 8 years now mostly Civilization in my Economics in Historical Perspective but a little bit of WoW in my Freshmen Seminar (pompously titled Deus Ex Machina: Social Evolution in Virtual Worlds). I’ve been working in quasi isolation presenting papers to economists with little or no experience in gaming and/or teaching with them. I finally discovered 3DGameLab and used their tools to fully gamify my Economics, Media, and Propaganda this summer and am hard at work to gamify my other courses including a new freshmen seminar on WoW next week!

Yesterday I joined with Cognitive Dissonance as part of the WoW in schools teacher camp on 3DGamelab and it’s was uber-fun: sitting around at the Pig & Whistle inn in-world and talking about WoW in education…

We have discussed education on Punkonomics in the past both in posts as well as on the radio-show / podcast. I should invite some of these 3DGameLab and Cognitive Dissonance people as guests because unlike the overwhelming hype we hear about technology in education, THIS is where it’s really at!

So anyway, here’s my 3DGameLab badge to show off for XP in “The Academy” group (where teachers game to learn how to gamify):