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Conference Recap/Guest Blogger: Dave Eng – Experiential GBL

…and just like that, CUNY Games Conference 2019 has come to a close.

From my observations, it seemed like everyone learned something worthwhile during the conference – I certainly did! Now, how do we each keep the momentum going as the semester begins?

Here are some quick ideas:

  1. I could write about the conference here, but hearing the perspective of attendees is preferable. While it’s fresh in your mind, consider sending a few sentences (or a full post) about your conference experience. What did you learn? What new ideas will you implement in your classroom or related profession? In the coming weeks I will compile any conference-related submissions  into a special CGC 2019 blog entry. Stay tuned.
  2. As the semester begins, remember that it’s okay to “fail.” Each time I introduce a new game, I tell my students that this is an experiment and their input is appreciated, then we debrief and share suggestions for improvement after playing. As we learned at the conference, even a “bad” game is appreciated by students.
  3. Remember to keep things simple. As Joe Bisz shared, even having students roll dice to determine which questions to answer can be exciting.
  4. Document your journey with game-based learning. A record of what you do can be great to reflect on later. Plus, we’d love to hear about your process if you’d like to share it!

To keep the energy of GBL fresh, we’ll end today’s entry with a guest post from conference attendee Dave Eng, Ed. D. Read a summary of Dave’s post below, or click here to read the whole entry. 

Dave Eng, Ed.D. is an intellectual and creative educator, designer, and researcher who combines, games, theory, and technology to define NEXT practice. He currently consults privately in design, training, research, and writing at University XP.  His research interests include learning theory, technology, and games. Find out more at www.davengdesign.com

Experiential Games Based Learning by Dave Eng, EdD

First, what is Experiential Education? “Experiential Education is an educational philosophy that describes the process occurring between a teacher and a student that infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content.” Sometimes that teacher-student relationship is traditional: like classroom lecture or one-on-one apprenticeship.

Experiential education can be summarized by the phrase: LEARNING BY DOING The best part is that Experiential Education is already out there.

All of these opportunities apply experiential education methods and directly infuse learning through the relationship between the student, teacher, content, and environment.

The process of experiential learning applies Kolb’s philosophy on learning beginning with experience and addresses a four stage cycle of experiential learning.

Kolb outlined four components of experiential learning: Abstract Conceptualization “The, Huh?”, Active Experimentation “The, Try”, Concrete Experience “The, Do”, and Reflective Observation “The, Think.”

But how does this all relate to games-based learning?

Let’s have a look at that definition: “Game-based learning is a type of game play that has defined learning outcomes. Generally, game-based learning is designed to balance subject matter with game play and the ability of the player to retain, and apply said subject matter to the real world.”

Let’s think, what do games have? Games have Abstract Conceptualization from players trying to discern objectives and what the goals of the game are.

Games-based learning’s strengths lie in its application to different learning styles by incorporating players abilities to see, hear, and touch content that they could not otherwise engage in.

Weaknesses in games-based learning lies in its ability to best support short term learning.

For more info check out: What is Games Based Experiential Learning? 


Are you interested in being featured on the CGN website? If so, submit a blog post on any topic related to GBL in higher ed., and/or send links/descriptions of your blogs to contactcunygames@gmail.com. Stay tuned for another guest contribution next week.