Air University exploring gamification teaching model

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Greydon Furstenau
  • Air University Public Affairs

Air University is moving into gamification to help improve the standards of learning and modernize the teaching environment

Gamification’s goal is to reinforce topics or concepts in curriculum while simulating practical-use scenarios.

The Air University Teaching and Learning Center has been spearheading the teaching side of gamification. Dr. Megan Hennessey, Director of TLC, is partnering with the U.S. Army War College and the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education to continue development of a card-based game teaching Socratic-method facilitation techniques as a faculty developmental tool. The game uses argumentation mechanics to simulate the facilitation of a graduate-level seminar.

"Game-based learning brings students to the intersection of cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains to great effect,” Hennessey explains. “This assists in solidifying knowledge in their minds in a unique way for better future recall and practical use."

Dr. Kelly Jewell-Glasscock, a TLC instructor, led a special session of the AETC Learning Professionals Consortium on May 19, 2022, focusing on using strategy-based games to learn.

The Air University library supports the TLC to bring war gaming and gamification to the updated Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy curriculum. The library brings resources to support the teachers and units, like TLC, with gamification.

The library also supports gamification through resources available for anyone, including gaming laptops, game-based learning guides, flight simulator, virtual reality equipment and board games.

John Hansen, Gunter Annex library chief said, “When you're proactively doing things as a group, or demonstrating some concepts that you might have just learned in the classroom, I think that you often get a better awareness of those sorts of abstract and philosophical concepts, and they become a little bit more concrete.”

Air University continues to be at the forefront of innovation in learning. The implementation of gamification at AU highlights the recent collaboration with the recent DOD guidance on military education, which calls for military professionals to remain intellectually agile through new methodologies.

“The Air University Academic Services team is being proactive in its research and practices to provide great support to the entire university,” said Dr. Mehmed Ali, Director of Academic Services.