[game_edu] game_edu Digest, Vol 61, Issue 5
ai864 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 30 12:56:47 EST 2009
That's a fair point, Bill. I have seen some schools that make their course catalog descriptions intentionally vague for this reason, so that the content can shift constantly without running into this kind of problem. So you'll have something like "Game Design I: introduction to the principles and practice of game design" and whatever that actually means is up to the instructor :-)
I can understand that for accreditation purposes, making major changes to a curriculum of study would require all kinds of auditing and review in order for the department to maintain its accreditation, so given the amount of work involved there would be some resistance.
But I still think that "we only change every 5 years" is a bit of an overstatement for these reasons, and any complaints that schools can't change fast enough to keep up with industry is being overly melodramatic about the whole thing.
From: Bill Crosbie <bill.crosbie at gmail.com>
To: game_edu at igda.org
Sent: Mon, November 30, 2009 12:36:11 PM
Subject: Re: [game_edu] game_edu Digest, Vol 61, Issue 5
I think there is a disconnect between changing content within a course and changing the complete focus of a course. I have been fortunate that I have been able to both change the content (expected) and to change the focus (rare) of several of the courses that I am teaching.
This resistance is very foreign to me. I come out of a continuing ed. background
from the dot-com era where we would propose a course to add to the
curriculum based on the changes in the industry and it would be up and
running in 'beta' within a month or two.
I recently proposed a course in developing apps and games for the iPhone. It seemed like a
no-brainer to me. I couldn't believe the resistance from within my own
In general, what I am learning is that once a course is 'on the books', which is to say, conceived of, outline created, sent to curriculum committee, sent to state, approved by state, placed in to the catalog and first offering being made as part of the standard curriculum that this is very much a 3-5 year period, depending on when in the cycle you initiate the process and the whims of... well I don't know what.
Institutionally this makes sense. It is important that should something happen to me (better job offer, drafted by foreign legion, eaten by a grue, etc.) that the program have continuity and not be shifted due to the change in instructor. On the other hand, this industry has experienced two radical shifts (iPhone and rise of social media gaming) since I took the position 3 years ago. I am continually adding materials in to my lectures and exercises to force my students to develop proposals for different platforms. The question becomes at what point does the amount of new material mature to the point that it belongs as a new course rather than a unit/lecture/jam in an existing course.
At least, that is my experience coming from CE at a major research university to a much smaller, two year college.
Anyone else able to shed light on their situations?
>>The other curious thing about the article was how it said it takes 5 years to change a course. I remember this coming up a few years ago on this list, and it sounded just as ridiculous then as it does now. I regularly change my courses in mid-semester, based on both the needs of the particular class and the current events in the industry. Is anyone here still telling their students that Della Rocca is head of IGDA, just because he was five years ago? Is anyone deliberately not mentioning social media games as the next big thing right now, just because they're waiting for the next 5-year review? Maybe that's how things are done in the UK, but it certainly doesn't work that way over here. Can anyone shed some light on this?
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