Acton MBA Sims & Games: A Discussion With Clark Aldrich

Acton MBA Sims & Games: A Discussion with Clark Aldrich

Web Courseworks’ game developer, Joe Rheaume, and I recently interviewed author Clark Aldrich about his impressions of the Acton MBA School’s use of simulation games to teach business concepts. For complete disclosure purposes, my company Web Courseworks is one of the vendors for the Acton Foundation, and Clark Aldrich has provided consulting services for Acton in the past. What intrigues me about Acton is the intersection of two of my favorite subjects: Entrepreneurs and game-based learning.

In this video we talk briefly about Clark’s new book, The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games, and Clark shows us the aspects he likes about Acton’s game “Robo Rush: Can you make a profit and meet customer demands?”

Read More
ELearning Blogs Contribute To Industry Dialogue

eLearning Blogs Contribute to Industry Dialogue

Since I started writing a blog in early January, I have been surprised and impressed with the effect it has had on my own education. First of all, you can imagine the sheer number of eLearning blogs out there is pretty daunting to keep up with on a regular basis.

Then comes the issue of focusing my own blog—I’m interested in serious games, learning management, and self-paced eCourse development. Not to mention the ACTUAL theme of my blog is supposed to be the management of eLearning and being an eLearning entrepreneur. On one hand, I know I need to focus more, but then again I feel I could do more in the eLearning blogosphere to stimulate conversation and garner more comments if I broadened the scope.

Read More
Definitions: Serious Games & Game Based Learning

Definitions: Serious Games & Game Based Learning

A quick search of Wikipedia finds that we need to do some work documenting and updating the definition of “serious game” and “game-based learning” — at least in Wikipedia. Consider this post a call for “all hands on deck!”

The number of groups, institutions and individuals working on the subject of games and learning is growing. Academia has been studying video games and learning for the better part of two decades. Most academics would agree with Wikipedia’s definition of “serious games.” I also like the cryptic “game-based learning” definition that currently exists in Wikipedia: “Game-based learning is a branch of serious games”. My understanding of a geeky separation factor between the two has been that video games are built with complex “game engines” usually costing millions, while casual games or “edutainment” games have been built in Shockwave, Flash, and Java (to mention a few programming languages) sometimes at no real monetary cost. According to Jim Gee, the commercial video game by its very need to competitively succeed in the marketplace has evolved into a strong pedagogical machine. The video game must be challenging and that requires continuous learning (“keep the gamer at the edge of his/her competency level”). I am personally more interested in “game-based learning” (a definition that needs the most work on Wikipedia) since as a subset of the “serious game,” it generally refers to games built for the purpose of teaching a body of knowledge. The eLearning Guild in its research document, “Immersive Learning Simulations”, attempts to group both games and simulations. The guild audience primarily consists of corporate eLearning employees. Here is a brief listing of what might be included in a Wikipedia definition of “game-based learning” throwing a wide net of potential constituents involved in teaching something using games or simulation, however “casual”:

Read More
Search