It’s been a while since the blog has been updated, but there is much to report. First, I am excited to say that I will be acting as the new Director of Undergraduate Research at York College starting in the Fall of 2013. I will be succeeding Dr. Rishi Nath from Mathematics and Computer Sciences, who did an outstanding job of launching the program and increasing the student participation in our annual research day to nearly 300. Undergraduate research is really taking off at York College, and those involved are looking forward to attracting attention to the college, pursuing new funding mechanisms to support this work, developing productive student-faculty relationships, and learning as much as we can from each other.
Second, Transformative Games has a new website in development that offers many features for students and faculty. TransformativeGames.org has been launched and content is being added rapidly to provide students and faculty at York College with the latest in games-based learning. The site also hosts a games gallery, a mirror of this blog, opportunities for student-faculty collaborations, and a discussion board for members to debate topics and provide feedback. An external site was developed primarily to host the games themselves, which is easier than hosting the site at the official York College website or the CUNY Academic Commons. While the website currently resides at a private URL, the blog will still be hosted in the Academic Commons. There are also plans to mirror the essential components of this site on the official York College website.
Finally, there are many dates coming up that I’m going to discuss in future posts:
November 6th – I will be attending the 2012 CUNY Honors Opportunities Conference at the Macaulay Honors College. This year’s theme is “Undergraduate Research: The Opportunities and the Challenges.” I hope to report many interesting developments that will affect undergraduate research and games-based learning.
November 13th – Former student Rasha Alsaidi and I will be presenting at the York College Research Conversations lecture series. Our talk, “Transformative Games: Undergraduate Research by Design,” will describe the process of creating game-based learning systems for undergraduates. The conversation will focus on productive mentor-mentee relationships and building a framework to accommodate students with widely varying research interests.
November 29th and 30th – I will be presenting two talks at the CUNY IT Conference. The first talk will be with the CUNY Games Network, and the second will be with the York College Center for Interdisciplinary Health Practice. Both talks will discuss games-based learning and are described in detail in previous posts.
Members of the York College Center for Interdisciplinary Health Practice will present at the 11th annual CUNY IT Conference November 29th and 30th. The talk will describe recent work to create simulations for students in the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences. The project utilized Second Life to create scenarios for the students to role-play. Digital technology allows students to simulate activities that would otherwise be expensive or dangerous to perform in real life. Students could play the role of doctor, patient, caregiver, occupational therapist, and more. The simulations could also be viewed passively to occasion a discussion in the classroom. Vignettes were designed to be useful to students in a variety of disciplines including but not limited to nursing, physician’s assistant, occupational therapy, social work, and psychology.
The York College Center for Interdisciplinary Health Practice (YCCIHP) was started by then Acting Dean of Health Sciences, Dana Fusco, and is currently under the leadership of Professor Joanne Lavin in Nursing. The committee is composed of faculty from Psychology, Education Technology, Nursing, the Physician’s Assistant Program, and the Occupational Therapy Program. The objective of the committee is to provide students in the health practices with opportunities for learning that would be too costly or risky to perform in the clinic. There is a vast literature supporting the efficacy and efficiency of simulations in education for the health practices. We have adopted Second Life as a platform to generate several life-like scenarios for students to explore. In these scenarios, students interact with each other and domain experts to solve a problem. In our first scenario, occupational therapy students explore the home of a patient with limited mobility. While the scenario was designed with occupational therapy students in mind, each scenario is flexible enough to be of value to other disciplines in the health sciences. A second scenario exposed students to the complications of working with an alcoholic patient suffering from delirium tremens. Scenarios in Second Life are presented in a social networking platform, which allows students to comment on the scenarios. Students and domain experts can also role-play various characters in real time to learn the lesson from different perspectives. Several conference abstracts and three formal studies of the learning environment have been published:
- Bai, X., Duncan, R.O., Horowitz, B., Glodstein, S., Graffeo, J., Lavin, J. (2012). The added value of 3D simulations in healthcare education. International Journal of Nursing Education. [IN PRESS]
- Bai, X., Lavin, J., Duncan, R.O. (2012). Are we there yet? Lessons learned through promoting 3D learning in higher education. The International Journal of Learning. 18(6):1-14.
- Bai, X., Horowitz, B., Duncan, R.O., Glodstein, S., Graffeo, J., Lavin, J. (2011) Designing Case Studies through 3D Simulations for the Health Professions. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 907-910). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
- Horowitz, B., Bai, X., Duncan, R.O., Glodstein, S., Graffeo, J., Lavin, J. (2012). “Infusing Gerontology across Academic Disciplines through Virtual and Service Learning Pedagogies.” Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s 38th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference.