The agreement between Excelsior and Muzzy Lane, a recognized leader in the educational gaming space, is an outgrowth of the work of the Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning, which launched last fall, and is part of the College’s strategic effort to integrate game-based learning across the curriculum. Muzzy Lane’s game-based tools, funded in part by a Bill and Melinda Gates research grant, are designed to increase engagement among post-traditional learners and the course material.
“Through serious, but playful, interactive, and designed environments, games have shown the potential to transform learners from passive, disinterested knowledge consumers into intrinsically motivated, active, and engaged knowledge producers,” said David Seelow, PhD, director, Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning at Excelsior College.
Five courses have been targeted for initial integration in phase one of Excelsior’s game-based learning pilot project, including the School of Public Service’s Master of Public Administration capstone and individual electives within Business and Technology, Health Sciences, and the Liberal Arts.
“Muzzy Lane is honored to work with Excelsior College to serve a growing adult student population, many whom are accustomed to game and simulation-based learning as part of their training in the military, health, and other professions,” said Muzzy Lane President and CEO, Conall Ryan.
Excelsior is home to 38,000 adult students, average age 37 years, many balancing their academics with home, work, and civic responsibilities. More than 14,000 students are active duty or veteran status and 34 percent self-identify as minority.
“This could be the model for most eLearning capstone experiences,” said Jennifer McVay-Dyche, PhD, assistant vice president for online education at Excelsior. “What better way to make sure learners have acquired the essential skills and knowledge from a degree program than to place them in real-world scenarios within a 'safe' environment?”
Excelsior administrators anticipate one course, on the history of WWI, to prove quite popular once game-based integration is complete.
“These games and simulations will allow students to experience the major decision points and take part in the strategy sessions that helped define World War I as if they were actually there,” said Mary Berkery, PhD, a history faculty program director in the School of Liberal Arts.
Excelsior College: Mike Lesczinski, Chief Communications Officer, 518-608-8450
Muzzy Lane: Charlotte Andrist, Owner, Nickel Communications PR, 770-578-8007
About Excelsior College:
Excelsior College is a regionally accredited, nonprofit distance learning institution that focuses on removing obstacles to the educational goals of adult learners. Founded in 1971 and located in Albany, NY, Excelsior is a proven leader in the assessment and validation of student knowledge. It offers more efficient and affordable access to degree completion through multiple avenues: its own online courses and college-level proficiency examinations, and the acceptance in transfer of credit from other colleges and universities as well as recognized corporate and military training programs. Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
About Muzzy Lane Software:
Muzzy Lane Software is a technology company powering game-based learning. Muzzy Lane has developed award-winning products with McGraw-Hill Education, Cengage Learning, Pearson Education, and National Geographic. In 2015 Muzzy Lane was awarded a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation research grant to explore applications of game-based learning for nontraditional learners.
Mike Lesczinski, Chief Communications Officer, Excelsior College, http://www.excelsior.edu, +1 (518) 608-8450, [email protected]