Gamification Expert Joey Lee Receives TC's Strage Prize | Teachers College Columbia University

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Gamification Expert Joey Lee Receives TC's Strage Prize

Joey Lee, Assistant Professor of Communication, Computing and Technology in Education, is the recipient of the 2013 Strage Junior Faculty Prize.

Joey Lee, Assistant Professor of Communication, Computing and Technology in Education, is the recipient of the 2013 Strage Junior Faculty Prize. Created in 2009, the prize supports the production of a short video to highlight outstanding work by the recipient from the previous calendar year that best reflects innovative thinking in educational research and education.

Lee’s design-based research projects seek to apply the principles of games to address some of the most important challenges of the 21st century, including the development of skills such as creativity, collaboration and problem-solving. He has created teaching games that challenge players to combat the dangers posed by climate change and create solutions to promote sustainability. 

“There is an increasing interest in the concept of gamification, loosely defined as the application of game design concepts in non-game contexts,” Lee writes. “In the business world, gamification is primarily used as a way to increase customer engagement and loyalty. However, gamification has much to offer classrooms, where problems such as high school dropout rates and low test scores have been attributed to students’ lack of intrinsic motivation to learn. Gamification of the classroom can use active learning approaches to supplement traditional methods of classroom teaching, e.g., to help improve student motivation and engagement with learning.”

Lee’s projects have included:
  • Science City Heroes, a gamification of education project that creates a game layer for urban minority students to promote science-mindedness and active learning in underserved schools and classrooms;
  • Scholar’s Quest and the Gamified Classroom, a game layer to address the challenges of K12 and higher education using game mechanics and tools to promote creativity, collaboration and active learning in classrooms;
  • EcoChains: Arctic Crisis, a multiplayer card game to teach threats to Arctic species and how to protect ecosystems;
  • and Greenify, an online game and social network that uses game mechanics and peer-created missions to foster sustainable communities and climate change education.

The Strage Prize was made possible through generous funding by TC supporters Alberta G. and Henry M. Strage. Alberta Strage (M.A., 1962) is a member of TC President Susan Fuhrman’s Advisory Council and also served on the College’s first International Advisory Committee.

Previous Strage Prize winners include Christopher Emdin, Assistant Professor of Science Education, and Lalitha Vasudevan, Assistant Professor of Technology and Education.

Winning submissions for the Strage Prize are chosen by a College review committee led by Gary Natriello, the Ruth L. Gottesman Professor of Educational Research, for their originality, innovation and viability. Strage Prize winners are featured in a web video program, created by TC’s Gottesman Libraries’ EdLab division, highlighting and documenting the work of the Strage Prize recipient. The video about Lee’s work will be posted to the library web site later this fall.

Published Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2013


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