Harrisburg U. holds ‘serious games’ conference

Press Release: Serious Games are Effective Learning Solutions for ‘Soft’ and ‘Hard’ Skills

From leadership and program management, to emergency evacuation or electrical safety – games, simulations and virtual worlds provide an effective learning experience.

Through interactive case studies, attendees at the 2010 Learning and Entertainment Evolution Forum at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will learn how experts at IBM, DAU, Applied Research Associates, Forio, the US Naval Academy, Centrax, Novonics and others are overcoming challenges and implementing effective solutions with games, sims and virtual worlds.

The event is set for June 17-18 and its lineup will include more than a dozen case studies, including:

Forio Corporation Business Simulations: How do you teach leadership at your organization? Harvard Business Publishing and Forio offer a simulation on leadership styles and team dynamics. Working with subject matter experts, they created a storyline, embedded educational components, added game play challenges and built the online multi-player simulation. Now one of their most popular simulations, the team will share their design and development process.

Novonics Corporation: The Intact Team Training (ITT) simulation provides a virtual collaborative learning environment in support of the Program Management (PM) curricula at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). The simulation presents a role playing environment requiring learners to solve program management challenges. The simulation is designed to accelerate skill acquisition by allowing learners to experience a context-specific slice of reality within a “micro-world” and eventually transfer the acquired skills to real-life tasks.

Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership , US Naval Academy:
Blending innovative interactive simulation technology into traditional educational environments has been successfully achieved at the US Naval Academy and the Surface Warfare Officer School. Students joining the military expect greater degrees of activity and experiential learning. Teaching ethical decision making using computer-based interactive simulations over the last four years report positive quantitative and qualitative assessment results. Learn how simulations are used to teach ethical decision making and leadership development, and experience the content.

Centrax Corporation: ‘How do you stay always ready in case of disasters in a 24/7/365 facility, where shutting down for drill/practice is not an option?’ Children’s Memorial Hospital and Centrax Corp created an innovative learning solution to address a hospital training challenge – How to practice disaster preparedness training at a reasonable cost, without endangering the staff or putting patients at risk? Centrax created a virtual hospital in Second Life replicating the hospital.

Attendees will also gain first-hand experience using these new cutting edge technologies such as the  Microsoft Surface, Virtusphere and Criterion-HPS Augmented Reality Heads-Up Display.

Keynote speakers during the two-day event include Mike Cuffe, Vice President, Learning University of Farmers, Claims, and Jerry Heneghan, Managing Director, Virtual Heroes Division, Applied Research Associates.

Additionally, LEEF 2010 will feature focused instructional workshops, one-on-one time with innovators and entrepreneurs in the exhibitors’ area, and lots of opportunities for networking with a diverse array of attendees.

Organized by the 2010 Technology Educator of the Year and Harrisburg University faculty member, Andy Petroski, the University has become the ideal host for the forum since it is pursuing innovative approaches to games and learning for performance through its Learning Technologies Master of Science program and its Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies.

More information about LEEF is found online at www.LEEF2010.net, by calling 717.901.5167 or bye-mailing LEEF@HarrisburgU.edu

Founded in 2001 to address Central Pennsylvania’s need for increased opportunities for study leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields,  Harrisburg University is an innovative and ambitious private institution that produces graduates who provide increased competence and capacity in science and technology disciplines to Pennsylvania and the nation. Harrisburg University ensures institutional access for underrepresented students and links learning and research to practical outcomes. As a private University serving the public good, Harrisburg University remains the only STEM-focused comprehensive university located between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

For more information on the University’s demand-driven undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in applied science and technology fields, call 717.901.5146 or email Connect@HarrisburgU.edu.

Established in 2001 to address Central Pennsylvania’s need for increased opportunities for study leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, Harrisburg University is an innovative and ambitious private institution.