The virtual classroom can be a challenging learning environment for students. But Villanova professors are making extraordinary efforts to assure it’s an engaging one. Sunny Hallowell, PhD, PPCNP-BC, IBCLC, Assistant Professor of Nursing, looked for solutions using game theory.
Dr. Hallowell teaches Nursing and Health Policy, a senior level nursing course which aims to give nursing students fundamental knowledge of how health care policy is designed, structured, and implemented. Nursing students learn how health policy influences both their clinical practice and the potential health outcomes experienced by their patients. In this course, Dr. Hallowell is implementing game style activities to engage students with the subject matter on a deeper level while teaching online.
Throughout the course, readings are accompanied by a game-style narrative, which varies by week. In one example, students are on a mission to survive an escape room. To complete this mission, students must answer questions related to course readings of their choice.
“The games are designed to allow students to navigate their way to their own learning destination,” said Dr. Hallowell. “Various types of multi-media (e.g. readings, lay-literature, video) are used to engage students with the subject matter while at the same time encouraging them to making informed choices based on what they have just learned. Each choice provides an unfolding story-line that determines their learning destination, which is not typical of most reading assignments.”