She’s Got Game: Graduate Studies Professor Explores Games-Based Learning

Eda Sanchez-Persampieri, who teaches in LIM College’s Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in the Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management program, believes in mixing work and play.

Earlier this year, Eda gave a presentation titled “Nostalgic Childhood Puzzle Games Utilized as Learning Aids” at the CUNY Games Festival 3.0.  This annual academic conference explores and promotes the use of game-based pedagogies in higher education and brings together stakeholders in the field, including faculty, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and game designers.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Games-Based Learning (GBL) is maturing rapidly and there is an increased demand for evidence-based pedagogies.

“In developing and refining a puzzle game learning aid model, the purpose is to develop and reinforce student’s comprehension of the theoretical concepts and terminologies required by the curriculum,” states Eda.

The model that Eda presented, based on research in an undergraduate environment, utilizes a three-pronged approach. It is comprised of word search games, fortune teller (a folded origami-like children’s toy) matches, and crossword puzzles. Eda proposes that using familiar, and perhaps nostalgic, childhood puzzle games fosters a supportive learning environment. The method is intentionally minimalist and purposely avoids adding a layer of technological complexity to the learning process. 

According to Eda, “Technological complexity can become yet another barrier to overcome. With a model that is more simplistic, students can focus more fully on learning the content, as opposed to the technology.”  

Two of Eda’s goals are to make the classroom more engaging and fun and to make tests less intimidating. While she has not yet used GBL at LIM College, feedback from the undergraduates at Bramson ORT College and Saint Joseph’s College who participated in Eda’s research was primarily positive. Students reported that using games of this nature made for an all-around better learning experience and they would like to see these types of games continue to be integrated into their coursework.