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Studio uses gaming, media to teach - Technician: News

Studio uses gaming, media to teach

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Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 12:12 am

It will be crucial for members of future generations to have more extensive education in various forms of multimedia, including gaming, according to one communication professor.

Nicholas Taylor, an assistant professor of communication, talked about the incorporation of video-game production in education Monday in Ricks Hall.

“Kids are already playing games,” Taylor said “So why shouldn’t they understand how they work too?”

Taylor said he believes the population needs more “producers than consumers” when it comes to technology in response to the increasing gap between the general public’s understanding of technology and the complexity of the material consumed.  

Taylor addressed ways instructors can implement game building and coding into their curriculum, with little to no prior experience with the technology required.  This form of education could be implemented as early as second or third grade within the curriculums already present in school systems, Taylor said.

Taylor said game-based education would not replace traditional forms of teaching and evaluation, such as long-form writing or presentations, but said the implementation of more multimedia in education would help reach more students. 

For instance, in creative literature courses, students would have the opportunity to make interactive story lines instead of being confined to one concrete piece, Taylor said.  This type of expression could help more creatively inclined students to express themselves, according to Taylor.

Taylor also said this would help members of younger generations become more tech-savvy, but it would also introduce coding knowledge to current instructors.

The general population should understand more about technology and coding in general as technology has become a major part of everyday life, according to Taylor. 

“Code is the new language,” Taylor said.

Some problems that may arise with implementing these education methods would be the difficulty of grading the projects due to the subjective nature of creativity, Taylor said. Another issue is that students may choose not to try these methods of presenting their understanding of material due to the level of time commitment required for these types of assignments if they are given the option.

Educators may not be willing to change curriculums from traditional styles to more tech-based or tech-dependent methods, Taylor said. Taylor said this innovation will have to be applied slowly to the education system, starting with the much higher levels of education.

Taylor said he is currently teaching Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels.  

In his courses, Taylor said he heavily, if not entirely, incorporates and teaches students to code and build games.

Taylor also supervises graduate students in the CRDM program and the Masters of Science in Communication.