In response to President Barack Obama’s national initiative to focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the Games for Learning Institute (G4LI), a joint research endeavor of Microsoft Research, New York University, and other universities, has launched a Game-of-the-Week feature on its web site - http://g4li.org.
With research showing that computer games can be valuable learning tools, the G4LI will post a new mini-game each weekday on its home page, with a highlighted Game-of-the-Week viewed by G4LI researchers as the week’s exemplary incorporation of one of the preliminary design patterns for effective educational games. Website visitors can download, play, rate, and comment on the games-a process that will aid in G4LI’s development of educational games.
The Game of the Week adds to the G4LI’s existing features, which include: profiles of participating collaborators as well as up-to-date information on their research, lectures, publications, and white papers; and, a news and events section listing upcoming lectures, press releases, and research findings on the design and development of educational games.
The G4LI is a joint research endeavor of Microsoft Research and a consortium of universities. The partners include Columbia University, the City University of New York (CUNY), Dartmouth College, Parsons, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Chile’s Pontifical Catholic University, and Teachers College as well as NYU. The Institute’s aim is to identify which qualities of computer games engage students and develop relevant, personalized teaching strategies that can be applied to the learning process.
Microsoft Research is providing $1.5 million to the Institute. NYU and its consortium of partners are matching Microsoft’s investment, for a combined $3 million. Funding covers the first three years of the G4LI’s research, which will focus on evaluating computer games as potential learning tools for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at the middle-school years (grades 6-8). Motorola, Inc. became the most recent funding sponsor as the institute works with a range of student populations, yet focus on underrepresented middle-school students, such as girls and minorities.
About Games for Learning Institute:
The multi-institutional Games for Learning Institute studies the educational use of digital games, and investigates their socio-cultural, cognitive, and emotional impact. It develops design patterns for effective educational games that industry partners can draw on to assure high quality when designing their own games for learning. G4LI’s current focus is on games that teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to middle-school students. For more on the G4LI, go to: http://g4li.org.