Lecturer explores using videogames as a teaching tool

A University of Wolverhampton lecturer has combined business with pleasure recently by contributing to a book which focuses on enhancing teaching methods for English and Media.

The book, Doing Text: Media After the Subject, is a collection of articles about learning and teaching strategies that weave together art works, films, social practices, creativity, viral media, theatre, TV, social media, videogames and literature.

Pritpal Sembi, Head of the School of Media in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wolverhampton, wrote a chapter on ‘Writing Text’ which focuses on using videogames as a teaching aid.  He used the role playing game franchise, ‘The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim’ to illustrate his approach to providing alternative ways of teaching.

He said: “I am a firm believer in inclusive and informal teaching methods that embrace all student interests. Engaging with students via their gaming habits allows us to re-think what education is and what it is for. It also explores expectations around the ‘expert’ and the ‘student’. It is unlikely that teachers will know more about certain games than their students and this inevitably challenges power relations in the classroom.

“"The RPG genre allows choice within gameplay, reflection upon which forms the basis of this approach to teaching."

The book was presented to Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students from Goldsmith’s College in London before its official launch.  Pritpal said: “The students were most receptive and intrigued by an approach that seriously embraces their informal gaming activity which is all too often dismissed as trivial, escapist, solitary and even socially unhealthy. Many of them agreed that they would take ideas from the book into their mandatory teaching practice.”

ENDS

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Date Issued: 12th January 2017

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