Call for Proposals: CUNY Games Festival

Hello colleagues,

Hope you’re having a good summer! Just wanted to share the CFP for a conference that the CUNY Games Network is organizing for January 17, 2014. Details are below and at our conference site: Please consider submitting a proposal to present! Proposals are due October 1, 2013. Feel free to spread the word, too.


CFP: The CUNY Games Festival

The City University of New York (CUNY) will be holding a one-day conference and festival dedicated to game-based learning pedagogies in higher education on January 17, 2014. We aim to bring together faculty, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, game designers, and domain experts from various disciplines. Both CUNY and non-CUNY participation is welcome.

We are offering three general types of session formats: full-length presentations, short presentations, and more interactive demonstrations, including playtests of games-in-progress and post-mortems of completed projects. Proposals are due October 1st, 2013.

Topics addressed may include but are not limited to:

– Creating and using digital or non-digital games and simulations in higher education

– Working with students as they create games inside or outside the classroom

– Badges and in-game assessment

– Prototyping and/or playtesting

– Skill and drill games vs. deeper learning

– Comparisons of game-based learning to other pedagogies

– Discipline-specific games in higher education

– Critical thinking and social justice games

– Play-based learning

– The impact of games on the student and classroom experience

More information about the conference and the full call for proposals can be found at

Please cross-post as appropriate.

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One more meeting this semester?

Hi everyone, seems like so long ago now, but hope your Spring Break was restful and restorative. I’m wondering if we’d like to try and have one more F2F meeting this semester? I can bring Girl Scout cookies, if that’s any incentive.

If you’re interested in another meeting this semester, please vote for your best dates/times:

And if it’s not in the cards for us to have another meeting this semester, that’s no problem at all: we can keep up the conversation and collaboration here on the OpenLab (and during the summer, too).

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Recommended Readings from the CUNY Games Network

Over at the CUNY Games Network website we’ve put together a short, annotated list of recommended readings, many of which are good starting places for research into games-based learning.

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Collaborative Bibliography on Games-Based Learning

Here’s a list of resources collected by our members on the research and scholarship of games-based learning. Please contribute by writing a post with the citation of the source and a brief annotation, then using “Bibliography” for the Category. Your post about the resource you suggest will then automatically appear on this page. Thanks!

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Meeting Minutes: Tuesday March 19, 2013

City Tech Games & Learning Faculty and Staff Interest Group
Tuesday, March 19, 2012

Attendees: Maura Smale (Library), David Barthold (Restorative Dentistry), Karen Goodlad (Hospitality Management), Carol Stanger (Learning Centers), Jonas Reitz (Math), Reneta Lansiquot (English), Ezra Halleck (Math), John Driscoll (ADGA)

Thanks to everyone for coming to our second meeting, especially at this very busy time of the semester. Below are some notes on our discussion.

– We began with a quick recap of our last meeting, since many folks in attendance hadn’t been able to join us last semester.

– While the goal of our group is to facilitate discussion of using games in our classes, there are a wide range of activities the group could engage in. We’re still fleshing things out so suggestions and ideas are very welcome!

– David reported on his use of Quizlet (, creates flashcard-like content as well as quizzes and games), suggested by Damon in our last meeting, in his Restorative Dentistry classes. Some students really took to it, and one even took it upon herself to create her own content sets and quizzes. It was interesting to see the peer group dynamic at work in the class, which of course, as Carol pointed out, can be a motivator.

– David is also experimenting with the idea of rewards, even points (without prizes) can sometime be a motivator. He’s also considering ways to meet the students where they are and create games that they can access on their mobile devices, etc.

– Karen notes that her department has a grant to provide ipads to all second semester Hospitality students for the time their enrolled in the course.

– David notes that Quizlet’s limitation is that it focused on mastering a body of factual knowledge, doesn’t really give an opportunity to synthesize or integrate it. Interesting to see that students from outside of the class and even outside of City Tech joined into the Quizlet groups, is there a way to award students points for bringing a friend?

– Maura mentions a plugin on the OpenLab called Cube Points that can be used in courses to award students points for certain activities: writing a post, commenting on a post, friending a fellow student, etc. She hasn’t played around with it much yet but it seems promising. Can be activated from the Plugins screen on the Site Dashboard in an OpenLab course (which is available to all faculty and staff to create a course).

– Carol wonders whether we can think about games for different levels of competencies, back to David’s thought: memorization, interpretation, evaluation, etc. These are the competencies that employers want.

– Reneta notes that there’s a robust literature of the theory and practice of games-based learning, and suggests a spot on our OpenLab project where we can begin working on a collaborative bibliography. Could help us make sure we’re not reinventing the wheel or going down a path that’s unfruitful. Maura will add a page to the project site and start seeding it with some sources she has, please all contribute!

– John notes that he’s teaching a game design course right now and the most important learning for students is being involved in a collaborative design process. They are building a game, and by doing so they learn about this process. So it’s not necessarily about the content or even the functionality of the game. Could be used in other disciplines too – when you ask students to brainstorm or prototype a game about content they need to learn the content well before they can even outline the game. The game is the tool.

Again, we’’ like to remind everyone that we have a space on the City Tech OpenLab for this group that we can use for discussion, to share resources, etc. We can make any member of the group an administrator, so if you have ideas for the format and structure of the site please share. The project is here – please join us!

We’ll also think soon on planning one additional meeting this semester, perhaps in mid- May just before finals? We’ll send out a poll after we’re back from Spring Break to see if we can find a good date/time.

Please share widely with your interested colleagues, thanks!

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Next Meeting: Tuesday March 19, 1-2pm

Hi everyone, thanks for voting in the meeting poll. The most popular time for our next meeting is Tuesday, March 19 from 1-2pm, so let’s plan to meet then. I’ll post an update with a location soon.

And if you can’t meet on that date, never fear! We’ll aim for one more in-person meeting this semester, and of course can collaborate and converse virtually here on our OpenLab space.

UPDATED TO ADD: Here’s a flyer for the meeting, please feel free to share widely!

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Vote for our next meeting date!

The beginning of the semester has been a bit of a whirlwind, but it’d be great to see if we could meet once or twice before the semester is out. How about trying for one meeting in March, and perhaps another in early May?

Here’s a Doodle poll for a March meeting — please vote for all dates you’re available. We’ll close the poll and announce the winning date/time at the end of the week.

Happy voting!

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Spring 2013 meetings?

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope your holidays were restful and enjoyable.

I’ve just posted the meeting minutes from our inaugural meeting last November, which leads me to think about meeting during the Spring. Of course we have this space on the OpenLab to share resources and conversation, but would anyone be interested in meeting a couple of times during the semester? We could use the time to playtest games we’ve created, discuss new games or tools we’ve used, or even play some commercially-available games with an eye towards using them for teaching.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts!

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Meeting Minutes, November 19, 2012

City Tech Games & Learning Faculty Interest Group
Monday, November 19, 2012

Attendees: Maura Smale (Library), David Smith (Entertainment Tech), David Barthold (Restorative Dentistry), Virginia Curran (Nursing), John McCullough (Entertainment Tech), Damon Baker (Entertainment Tech), Karen Goodlad (Hospitality Management)

Thanks to everyone for coming to our inaugural meeting! Below are some notes on our discussion.

– Interest in apps or other easy-to-use programs for creating/coding educational games: they’re out there, we can all compile a list together to share

– When designing games for classes, start with the learning objectives (just like any other lesson)

– For memorization, jeopardy or flash cards might be appropriate

– Interest in creating a gaming environment(s) that could be customized (skinned) for different disciplines

– A social environment with badges, a leaderboard, also discussed

– Also possibility of creating a library of games (board, card) and/or game pieces/materials

– Would be nice to collect a list of game experiments, what have we all tried?

– Sometimes game can be tied to a reward, points, even candy

– Competition can be helpful for teambuilding in classes

We decided to begin the conversation/collecting information on our OpenLab project that David S. created (thanks David!). The project is here – please join us!

We’ll also think soon about meetings next semester, perhaps 1-2 times per semester will work? We can also think on more informal gatherings, perhaps brown bag lunches for gameplay/playtesting?

Please share widely with your interested colleagues, thanks!

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I downloaded Anki as introduced by Damon’s post here:

It appears to be based around a flashcard type interface. Flashcards are arranged into “decks”.  Operation is via display of a “question”. One then selects “show answer” and the answer is shown.  One then selects when to receive a review of that answer.

There are things that I think it is missing:

  • There seems to be no way to auto grade a question:  you simply imagine the answer in your head and then reveal the answer. At that point you indicate how long you want the card to wait until it is used again.
  • There is no way to do multiple choice.
  • I am not sure if there is a way to show a graphic and then ask the person to select the correct item on the graphic.
  • Anki seems best used for a positive-experience tool that is not used to directly assess the learning experience.  As such it will not be possible to use it to auto-assess.

Anki is open source and based on Python, so it is probably possible to set these components up as well.

More later

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