Toolwire Reports Acceleration in Game-based Learning Interest and Adoptions

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Recent product enhancements and business model changes attract community colleges and public universities

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I want all of my students to be successful – both in school and their careers. Mastering foundational writing skills will be a cornerstone to this success.

Toolwire, a leading game-based learning provider, has experienced a surge of interest in game-based learning and an upswing in adoptions for its writing and environmental science games. In addition to several recent pilots at Arizona State University, Toolwire is seeing a growing interest in game-based learning among community colleges and public universities seeking to engage and retain students in foundational first-year courses. Among others, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Mesa Community College, Austin Community College, and Utah Valley University (formerly Utah Valley Community College) are the most recent institutions to lead the way through this immersive, personalized learning approach.

With its list of partners continuing to expand as institutions plan ahead for the fall, Toolwire currently estimates that it will provide game-based learning to more than 250,000 students this year.

“Games or Role-based Experiences” are at the forefront of innovation in the evolution of digital courseware offerings according to the whitepaper, Time for Class: Lessons for the Future of Digital Courseware in Higher Education, recently released by Tyton Partners. Toolwire, one of the game-based learning leaders referenced in this report, will be among the select group of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and private equity investors, company and foundation executives, and institutional leaders attending the Tyton Education Summit next week (June 1-2, New York City).

“In our experience, the early adopters of game-based learning were the for-profit and career schools. For these institutions, engaging and retaining students in foundational first-year courses, in which the majority of student attrition occurs, has always been a mission critical priority,” said John Valencia, CEO at Toolwire, which has delivered more than 540 million minutes of game-based learning since 2011. “This year Toolwire modified its games and business model in order to meet the needs of an even broader audience across the education market. We credit these changes to the upswing in the adoption of our writing and environmental science games.”

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) is among the growing number of colleges that have recently adopted Toolwire games. CGCC is part of Arizona’s Maricopa Community College District, the largest community college district in the United States, serving more than 260,000 students.

On why he championed game-based learning in his first-year writing and developmental English courses at CGCC, Dr. Patrick Williams, Residential Faculty in English Composition, Creative Writing, and Literature Division and Dual Enrollment Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction said, “I want all of my students to be successful – both in school and their careers. Mastering foundational writing skills will be a cornerstone to this success. Writing, by nature, requires practice; what I like about the Toolwire writing games is that they provide a fun and engaging way for my students to practice at their own speed. Also, I liked how Toolwire’s high-fidelity approach enables my students to apply writing skills in authentic ‘virtual internship’ scenarios. Frankly, when we finally started to discuss cost, I was surprised by how affordable these games are. I think that affordability will be an important factor for other community college professors who are currently evaluating game-based learning.”

“Few high-quality, interactive games are designed for college writing students, even though such games are a great way for students to become truly engaged with self-paced, exploratory learning. I'm excited to integrate these games into my hybrid course; they'll fit well into my lab day lesson plans and offer students a fun way to practice skills in interesting and relevant ways,” said Marie Knowlton-Davis an Adjunct Instructor of English and Basic Composition at Utah Valley University (UVU). Formerly Utah Valley Community College, UVU changed its name in 2008 upon adding several master’s degrees and is now the largest publicly funded university in Utah.

To learn more about the acceleration in game-based learning interest and adoptions and how Toolwire is responding to the demand, visit http://www.toolwire.com/writinggames/users/.

About Toolwire
Toolwire is a leading provider of immersive learning tools for online and blended learning courses. Our game-based learning and virtual desktop products and solutions help educators and institutions prepare students with the essential skills needed to succeed in school and the workplace. We believe that "learning by doing" provides the quickest, most effective way to develop skills, improve knowledge retention, and enhance student success. For more information, visit http://www.toolwire.com.

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Peyton Williams
Toolwire
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