Teaching Video Games: Student Research Team (for CTLB03 Service Learning, Winter 2018)
Dr. Sonja Nikkila is considering the feasibility of proposing a course on video games as narrative and literary experiences, and she is looking for a team of students to explore the problems and practical concerns of such an endeavor, as well as help develop a set of learning goals for such a course.
During the semester, the students will research potential video game "texts" and assess different interfaces for experiencing the games (including consoles or platforms, online walkthroughs, online and print communities, etc.). They will develop presentations on their research to be workshopped among the team and ultimately presented to a small set of interested faculty.
Students will also be assigned research on student learning (in varying formats, including published works, informal and formal faculty and student surveys, and possibly focus groups).
The final project for the semester will involve an overall feasibility assessment including goals, foreseen problems, and suggested directions.
The three members of the student team will have the following qualifications:
- Currently undertaking a Specialist, Major, or Minor in English (including the Creative Writing and Literature & Film minors), and showing a strong academic record in the discipline
- A sincere interest in how courses and classrooms actually work, and how we can investigate and improve the learning experience
- Mindfulness about diversity concerns, including potential limitations in terms of accessing and playing video games
- The ability to work in a team, including solid communication skills, strict attention to deadlines, and careful time management
- A curious and critical mind, with a tendency toward inquiry, brainstorming, and problem solving
The composition of the ideal team will be:
- One member who is an experienced gamer
- One member who is also an experienced gamer, but of a different genre or style of games
- One member who has little or no direct experience gaming, but an interest in the subject
Therefore, applying students should clearly describe themselves in relation to their experiences and preferences with gaming.
Apply through the Centre for Teaching and Learning www.utsc.utoronto.ca/ctl/current-placement-opportunities
For more info, you can email Dr. Nikkila at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of English is strongly committed to diversity within its community and welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.