Digital Games & Game-based Learning
The Center For Scientific Communication & Outreach within the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease (IMMID) is committed to innovating science instruction in higher education by developing and implementing emerging learning technologies in academic programs offered by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (M&I) and IMMID.
About game-based learning (GBL)
Game-based learning is the use of games to teach a particular skill or to reach a specific learning outcome, rather than being a complete pedagogical system. Digital GBL uses computer-based technology to offer an interactive and enriching experience to learner. These games are often referred to as "serious games", because they were not initially designed for the purpose of entertainment. Games used for GBL are specifically designed so they align with the overall learning goals of a curriculum.
The positive impact of and support for the use of games in higher education, including for STEM subjects, has been widely documented. However, graduate programs in the biomedical sciences are still primarily taught in a traditional face-to-face lecture-based format, with extensive reading of textbooks and primary literature. Generally, integration of existing and emerging e-learning technologies, such as GBL, is seldom encountered. In an effort to change this, the IMMID is developing digital games (apps) to use as supplementary pedagogical tools in graduate biomedical courses and programs it develops and supports.
In-house Development of Digital Games for Biomedical Education
The first mini-game developed in-house by the IMMID is based on the mechanism of binding and attachment of HIV to target cells. Users play as HIV to locate, bind and infect as many specific target cells before being overcome by immune system (view the game tutorial). A prototype mini-game has been developed and it can be played on PC and touch screen devices including tablets, iPads and smartphones.
HIV was selected as the topic for the first game app because HIV infection is extensively discussed in several courses in the plans of study of different MS programs offered by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (M&I) which the IMMID helped develop and supports. HIV is also one of the major areas of research in M&I and IMMID.
Following the success of CD4 Hunter, IMMID released its second game, Malaria Invasion, which is a supplementary tool to teach university students, in particular graduate students and research trainees in infectious disease, about the molecular mechanisms of disease in malaria.
Producing these digital mini-games provides the IMMID a robust model for development and implementation of educational vehicles for microbiology at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate level as well as in medical microbiological pathways in medicine and other medically related fields. The IMMID plans to expand development of educational digital games to include other topics relevant to the academic programs it supports and to research conducted by faculty in M&I and IMMID.
Last updated: March 19, 2020
Drexel University ("we" or "us" or "our") respects the privacy of our users.
- CD4 Hunter™
- Malaria Invasion™
What data do we collect?
- We do not collect any user data other than what the app stores (App Store and Google Play) collects to share with the us as the app developer.
- The app stores share the aggregated data with the developers without providing any identification about individual users.
Why are we collecting the data and what will we do with the information?
- To monitor performance of the app in the stores and user engagement with the app, such as number of installations and uninstallations.
- To assess and address problems such as app crashes.
Do we share the information with others?
- This anonymous information is used internally, but it may be shared with others through reports and presentations about app or their performance (e.g., scientific presentations, grants, publications).
- None of the data is shared with third party services or advertisers.
What rights users have regarding its management.
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