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Meeting Minutes 5-25-17

Game Based Learning (GBL) Faculty Interest Group (FIG) – Notes from Third Meeting

Thursday, May 25, 2017, 12:40pm, M378

Grace Axler-DiPerte, Facilitator


Participants:    Grace Axler-DiPerte, Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Mary Ortiz, Shoshana Marcus

  1. We will continue this FIG on GBL in the Fall (2017).
  2. In the Fall we will take a different game format (ex. cards, boards, etc.) at each meeting and see how it can be adapted to each subject area.
  3. Loretta suggested providing the topic for each meeting; people are more inclined to come when they know the topic.
  4. Grace tried the game she and Mary created in her BIO51 class.
    1. The best 2 of 3 rounds won.
    2. Grace realized the sheet should be made larger.
    3. Grace asked students if the game was fun; if it was a good way to review. They said it was for both.
    4. Grace gave out pens as prizes (shaped like bones for BIO11 and Shaped like syringes for BIO51, respectively) as opposed to giving points so that there wouldn’t be unwarranted feelings about not getting points.
  5. There are many articles on using smart games.
  6. Shoshana said a friend of hers from Brooklyn College had a review article on serious games. She was going to look into getting it for us.
  7. Loretta tried a game in BIO50 on the topic of Fungi classification.
    1. Loretta gave out mechanical pencils as prizes to the winners.
    2. Loretta gave the students a completed sheet to study from when they were done.
    3. Loretta reported the students were too busy collecting cards to take notes.
    4. Grace mentioned a card game where students trade cards and talk using a work sheet.
    5. Mary said she might try something like this in Biostatistics next year.
  8. Grace: during summer 2017 she plans to play with Goose Chase and Taleblazer.
  9. Our next meeting will be in Fall 2017. Grace will send out a Doodle to determine availability.
  10. Meeting ended at 1:25pm.

Notes respectfully submitted by Mary Theresa Ortiz

Meeting Minutes 4-27-2017

Kingsborough Community College

The City University of New York


Game Based Learning (GBL) Faculty Interest Group (FIG) – Notes from Second Meeting

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 12:40pm, M391

Grace Axler-DiPerte, Facilitator


Participants:    Grace Axler-DiPerte, Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Janine Graziano-King, Mary Ortiz,

Dawn Taitt

  1. Grace reviewed what this FIG is about – using educational games in the classroom; in or out of class activities; game must have a goal. A good game has: goals, an end, a way to keep score, motivation is important.
  2. We discussed flipping the classroom and games.
  3. Janine tried a game in her classroom focusing on “Morals are innate”. She wants students to see two sides of an issue. In her game, there were two student volunteers and each had a side. The object was to find the underlying moral (ex. “Fairness” for affirmative action). The students were engaged, saw different points of view, and figured out the moral. Janine is also using film in her course. She wants the students to see the both sides of an issue.
  4. Grace shared experience with someone cleared of murder by DNA evidence.
  5. Grace explained for any game, we need a well-ordered problem; then design the game with choices. The game doesn’t have to end; it could have a theme. Ex. “What would be your choices out of prison?” What do we want students to get out of the game? How do we accomplish this?
  6. Mary related the activity one College Now teacher did on the Pros and Cons of Fracking using a sheet with a group of 4 students where they have to pass the sheet around and write pro and con arguments on the issue, followed by class discussion of the issue.
  7. Dawn teaches World Music and has her students in the modules present music from their culture. Many students find they have more in common than differences. Students make friends; the lines blur. In Music Appreciation Dawn gives the students a map and tells them they are going on a trip. She has them listen to music. They have to go to a concert out of their comfort zone and write a paper using guided questions.
  8. Grace distributed a list of resources and recommended Tale Blazer.
  9. Grace explained how the game she and Mary made worked. It involves deductive reasoning. We then played the game. We discussed how to get students to thinkDawn suggested giving each person a part of the disease. Grace suggested giving students bacterial parts. Dawn suggested using a Smart Board to display the game.
  10. Grace went over the analog games website.
  11. We discussed a bingo-like game for world music.
  12. Grace shared that Sat, Apr 29, 2017 is National Table Top game Day.
  13. Grace shared what the CUNY Gaming Conference was about and what was learned:
    1. Joe Biszs web site; “What’s your game plan?”
  14. Our next meeting: Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 12:40pm in M391.

Notes respectfully submitted by Mary Theresa Ortiz

Meeting Minutes 3-30-2017

Kingsborough Community College

The City University of New York


Game Based Learning (GBL) Faculty Interest Group (FIG) – Notes from First Meeting

Thursday, March 30, 2017, 12:40pm, M391

Grace Axler-DiPerte, Facilitator


Participants:    Grace Axler-DiPerte, Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Mimi Fierle, Janine Graziano-King, Mary Ortiz, Shoshanna Marcus


  1. Grace gave background on how this GBL FIG came to be:
    1. Grace and Mary had attended the Game Conference at CUNY Graduate Center.
    2. Grace’s original idea for a computer game simulation.
    3. At the CUNY Graduate Center conference we saw analog games.
  2. Grace posed the question, “Have you used games before?”, and everyone contributed to the conversation:
    1. Janine – No, she teaches in an IS link and is focusing this semester on “Fairness, Justice, Forgiveness”. She wants to make the class engaging and creative.
    2. Loretta – has a friend in Wisconsin who has created a nitrogen cycle game, but it is too complex.
    3. Mimi – uses games a lot in every class. She has Recreation Therapy, Physical Education and Sports Management students. She uses applied learning and ice-breaking activities. She places course content questions on a beach ball and the students toss the ball and answer the questions. This can be used as an icebreaker. Think how you can fit course content in. Her classes are 1, 2 or 3 hours.
    4. Shoshanna – has never used games, but wants to incorporate them into her classes. How can you put course content into a game? She explained the game “Sets”.
    5. Grace – used games in BIO11 with nerves similar to the game, Sets.
  3. Grace shared a list of links with the group.
  4. Grace shared the Joe Bisz cards and explained how to use them to create a game.
    1. Mimi uses role-playing for “come to my camp”, a game where students have to convince parents to send their children to a particular camp.
    2. Grace shared that Carlton College gives prizes of geodes in the Geology Department.
    3. Janine uses team-based learning prizes (ex. pencils for last place team, pencils and erasers for next team, pencils and erasers and pen for the second place team and pencils and erasers and pen and post its for the first place team).
    4. Shoshanna wants to do a “reading programming” game.
    5. Janine talked about fairness (equity vs. equality). Maybe have two teams with opposite views and have a referee to score. Maybe have more than one referee. Give one person a scenario to act out and students guess the motivation. Needed: a well-ordered problem, how to score, how to end the game.
  5. Grace – games are and active learning tool. She explained how Apples-to-Apples works and went through how to use the cards.
  6. Mary – provided the clock-chiming problem and told about the game “Rush Hour”.
  7. Games – how long should they be? How complicated? They can be simple.
  8. Our next meeting: Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 12:40pm in M391. Bring a concept for a game.


Notes respectfully submitted by Mary Theresa Ortiz

Game Based Learning Resources to Explore

Background and Strategies

Gamification vs. Game-Based Learning

An article that reviews the difference between these two terms. This FIG focuses on the use of “serious games”, not necessarily “gamification” which incentivizes and provides feedback to students as if the entire course was a game.


The CUNY Games Network on CUNY Academic Commons:


This site provides a wealth of information on designing and effectively using games in the classroom. It also posts announcements for local Game Based Learning conferences and workshops.

Choosing the Right Game for your Lesson:


A great blog post by Joe Bisz, a CUNY professor and expert on Game Based Learning. This article is a great place to get started if you are interested in the pros and cons of a specific game type.


Joe Bisz’s Website:


Contains information on his game-designing game, “What’s your game plan?” You may also join his e-mail list to receive information about a game design course he plans to periodically offer.


Game Based Learning Applied to Geoscience


A website by the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College. Provides a nice overview of the basics of GBL, as well as some references.


Tools You Can Use

Goose Chase

An online scavenger hunt platform, that you can tailor to your class objectives. It lets your students use their smartphones to compete against each other in a scavenger hunt.




Create an augmented reality game (think Pokemon Go!) for your class.


StarLogo Nova


A tool to create 3D computer simulations.


Analog Games

There are many commercial websites that produce custom board games, widgets, cards and pieces. Simply google “Custom Board Games” and many such as Gamecrafter, and Board Games Maker will come up.