Practomime: An Innovation in Learning Games

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The Chronicle's Wired Campus blog featured the work of Roger Travis, associate professor of classics and director of the video games and human values initiative at the University of Connecticut, in developing the learning games he has dubbed "practomime." Relying on roleplaying and narrative storytelling, practomime requires students to complete course tasks and fulfill course objectives by playing characters within an alternate reality classroom.

The advantages of adding practomime as a component of a course are:

  • Student engagement and investment; in creating a character or avatar who is solving problems and progessing through levels of the learning game, the students have an immediate stake in the course material from week to week
  • A healthy sense of competition, driving student achievement in the course
  • The demand for student creativity, originality, and problem-solving
  • Increased investment in individual research, as students apply what they learn directly to progressing through the practomime

We interviewed Travis this week to learn more about how practomime works and how interested faculty can get started.


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