December 8, 2022
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Teaching and Learning Collaboratory has awarded seed grants to teams developing innovative initiatives in Gameful Learning and Immersive and Embodied Learning.
Gameful learning utilizes the principles of game design to increase student motivation, engagement, and joy in learning. Rather than the gamification typified by levels and badges, gameful learning seeks to generate a game-like engagement within an educational environment. The initiative will be conducted by a team consisting of Christopher Jeansonne, lecturer in Communications and Media; Victoria Bennett, assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Michael Hughes, senior lecturer and director of faculty development for Rensselaer at Work; Brian Clark, assistant professor of Finance; Nicholas Mizer, lecturer in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences; and Amy Svirsky, student learning assessment specialist. Together, they plan to develop and assess gameful activities and courses during the 2022-2023 academic year.
Immersive learning uses virtual environments, typically involving large visual and acoustic displays that surround the learner, to transform the educational experience. These environments enable students to learn new material in an embodied way at a human scale. Jonas Braasch, professor of Architecture; Mei Si, associate professor of Cognitive Science and Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences; Carla Leitao, assistant professor of Architecture; Emily Liu, professor of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics; Alexander Ma, senior lecturer in Chemistry and Chemical Biology; Rhett Russo, assistant professor and undergraduate chair of Architecture; and Amy Svirsky, student learning assessment specialist, will collaborate on the initiative. They will develop a toolkit for adapting course materials to immersive environments and develop and assess pilot immersive learning experiences.
The teams will host a combined symposium addressing their experiences and results in spring 2023.