Interactive learning: ASU Online to pilot environmental science games


March 31, 2015

Continuing to lead innovation in online education, Arizona State University is piloting a series of environmental science games at ASU Online.

Within each of the five story-based games, students will take on several leadership roles, with increasing responsibility, to help a community address challenging environmental and sustainability issues. Download Full Image

Tahnja Wilson, senior manager for EdPlus at ASU, will guide the project. Wilson has taught online for more than 10 years. Her instructional design interests include gaming best practices and student/instructor engagement.

“I’m excited by how these authentic experiences will add a ‘human element’ to the learning process,” said Wilson. “The interactive features will be a great complement to the other course components.”

Developed by Toolwire, which has delivered more than 540 million minutes of games and simulations across 100 colleges and universities, these game-based simulations contain a variety of interactive features including the ability to download informational Digital Learning Objects, take notes and respond to reflection questions using “day-in-the-life” tools in the game, such as mobile phones and emails.

These interactive games use a sophisticated software that was co-created with ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to challenge students to think critically about a series of real-life environmental dilemmas. As in real life, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers, so students must make choices that balance what’s best for the environment and the community.

At the end of each module, students and instructors receive a “performance summary” dashboard with a “resources viewed” metric. These indicators show both students and their instructors the quality of student decisions based on how they impacted environmental, economic and social sustainability, as well as how motivated students were to explore and find resources to inform their decisions.

“We put a great deal of consideration into our online courses to ensure they’re interesting and engaging for online learners,” said Frank Timmes, professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. “ASU is committed to integrating experiential learning opportunities into our online programs through game-based learning and simulation tools that provide students with real-world, hands-on skills.”

Game-based learning, among the top developments in education technology, involves immersing students in games where content and curricula are experienced in contextual simulations. Benefits of game-based learning include providing scalable, engaging and personalized student experiences; holistic interdisciplinary learning; real time assessment; dynamic remediation; and performance analytics.

ASU’s Ashish Amresh, who worked on these games, will be sharing his thoughts about game-based learning at the ASU+GSV Summit from 4 to 5 p.m., April 6 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Media contact:

Carrie Lingenfelter, Carrie.Lingenfelter@asu.edu
ASU Online
480.884.1541

Logan Clark

Media Relations Officer, Department of Media Relations and Strategic Communications

ASU facility to offer language-based summer programs for toddlers, preschoolers


March 31, 2015

ASU Infant Child Research Programs is offering several language-based programs for toddlers and preschoolers this summer, May 26-June 26.

The programs include: Download Full Image

• toddler playgroups
• language acquisition preschool
• articulation boot camp
• individual speech-language therapy

ASU Infant Child Research Programs is located at 200 E. Curry Road, suite 146, Tempe 85281. For additional information about the programs, registration forms and rates, contact Kathie Smith at 480-727-4011, kathiesm@asu.edu or visit icrp.asu.edu.

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

480-965-9370