You can major in Game Boy if you know how to bullshit.
Hey a local story. The University of Florida has an honors course in Starcraft. The class is for honors students only and is run by Nate Poling who is an educational technology doctoral student at the College of Education. He studies the potential of computer/video games and virtual worlds in teaching, training, and learning.

“A student who gets a normal education, gets an MBA, and is in the business world, he could realize that something he learned in his StarCraft course helps him think outside of the box. You synthesize this with an MBA program and voila – you have an innovative business practice,” says Poling.

I wish I had these courses in college.

IDS2935
21st Century Skills in Starcraft

Credits: 2
Writing or Math Req: None
Gen Ed: None

Section Instructor Times Locations
9982 Nathaniel Poling
Online

21st Century Skills in Starcraft is an 8 week entirely online course that uses the popular real time strategy (RTS) game Starcraft to teach valuable 21st Century Skills through a hands-on approach. With society becoming increasingly technology-based and fast-paced, it is important for professionals to be highly proficient in skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, resource management, and adaptive decision making. These skills are fundamental in Starcraft and therefore make the game a highly effective environment for students to analyze and take action in complex situations. Computer and video games of all types have become a major part of today’s entertainment and technology worlds. Also, online education is an area of intense growth with many employers and professions using online courses and workshops for career development. This course synthesizes the three threads of 21st Century skill development, gaming, and online education into an innovative and experiential approach that encourages students to identify, learn, and practice crucial skills and apply and relate them to real-world situations. It does not teach about Starcraft, but rather aims to utilize the game and the complex situations that arise within it to present and develop the important skills professionals will undoubtedly need in the 21st Century workplace.

This course includes required weekly game play, viewing and analysis of recorded matches, written assignments which emphasize analysis and synthesis of real/game-world concepts, and collaboration with other students. Due to the unique and innovative nature of this course, there are several requirements that students must meet. Students taking this course must have access to computer (PC or Mac) and Internet resources outside of UF labs since it requires the installation and playing of a computer game. Students must also have at least basic knowledge of and experience playing Starcraft. Students must also be independent, self-motivated, and able and willing to learn in an entirely online environment. Enrollment is limited to 20.

Nate Poling is a UF educational technology doctoral student at the College of Education. He teaches EME2040 Introduction to Educational Technology and his research interests revolve around the implications and potential of using computer/video games and virtual worlds in teaching, training, and learning.

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3 Comments

  • Congratulation Nate, you have a good feeling about our contemporaneus time with students and so on. We have worked in the similar way in the University here, for two years, and I will apreciate to discuss with you (and your colleagues) about methodologies, games and cognition, applied to education.

    cheers
    Don

    Donizetti Louro, Professor and Researcher
    Centre of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Technologies
    Education and Technology Group at Computer Department
    Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo – PUC-SP – São Paulo – Brazil
    Rua Marques de Paranagua, 111, Consolação, São Paulo, SP, CEP 01303-050
    Phone.: 55 11 3124-5819 and Mobile Phone.: 55 11 75573114

  • Amanda E.

    Hi Greg! Do you happen to have Nate’s e-mail? I am a student at UF and want to talk to him about the class.

  • Sorry Amanda, I don’t and he doesn’t seem to have it published on UF’s website. Best I can find is an empty profile on the education departments website. The general style for UF emails would be npoling@ufl.edu. If that doesn’t work the course number for Spring 2011 is EME2040. You can call the College of Education or the Honors College (it’s technically an honors course) and ask for more information.

    I hope this helps. 🙂

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