Political Science Education and the Profession

The Power of Play: Game Creation to Enhance Student Learning

Andrea Kent West Virginia University Institute of Technology
Student engagement can be a constant challenge for faculty, and in recent years, there has been an explosion of recognition of the value of active-learning assignments. In my class, I have tried to take active learning a step further. Pulling on the work of entrepreneurship literature, I have introduced an assignment that not only has students play games but create them. Studies have shown the value of creation, play, failure and reevaluation in instilling students not only with substantive knowledge but also with soft and critical thinking skills that will serve them well in any discipline. In this paper, I shall examine the benefits of game creation for students, the requirements and administration costs of such a project for the supervising faculty, as well as assessment processes applicable to such creative endeavors.