Troy University professor using games to teach historyHistorians in the News
Troy University students will have a chance this fall to learn about history in a rather unconventional manner: by playing games.
Dr. Scout Blum, a professor in the University’s Department of History and Philosophy, will teach History Through Games, a hands-on interactive course that marries popular board, roleplaying and video games with a history curriculum.
Blum debuted the course as a pilot in the spring, and the success has led to its place being secured in the fall semester.
“When students play games, they tend to be thinking a lot more in analytical ways,” Blum said. “They were thinking of things I hadn’t thought of. It was amazing. There was a much higher level of thought than I normally see, because they were interacting with these games.”
Blum got the idea from a method of teaching called “Reacting to the Past,” a form of role-playing aimed at getting students to identify with historical figures and situations.
“Students take on roles,” she said. “They’re given information about their roles and they’re placed into historical situations. They then have to play through those situations as that character. Students get really engrossed in it, because it actively engages this desire to play that we kind of squash when they’re in college. When they get that ability to be able to play, what we find is they get a lot more a lot more involved. They’ll read more and they’ll work more.”
Blum took that foundation and expanded it into a curriculum based around some of those roleplaying games, but also popular tabletop board games and even video games. ...
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