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Getting in The Game

Colorado Colleges Develop Game-Based, Immersive Courses

By Paul Bradley | 3.3.2014

It was about two-and-a-half years ago that leaders of the Colorado Community College System peered over the demographic horizon and grew concerned over what they saw.

The educational pipeline that soon would be flooding their campuses was swelled with digital natives, born after the introduction of digital technologies and thoroughly comfortable with electronic gadgets and virtual worlds.

This generation grew up gaming and texting, watching YouTube videos and communicating with pals through Facebook. They get news not from a paper edition of the local newspaper but from their iPhones or laptop or tablet.

They also had radically different learning styles than the earlier generation. The Colorado colleges were confronting a conundrum: curriculum had been designed by digital immigrants, many of whom came of age when electric typewriters qualified as high tech. Faculty members had adapted to the constantly evolving digital age, but they weren’t on the same page as students, and they needed to get there.

“These students are immersed in digital technologies,” said CCCS Chancellor Nancy McCallin. “We needed to meet them where they are.”