New Book From Course Technology PTR Helps to Boost Classroom Engagement Through Gaming

‘The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game’ provides a creative, highly engaging method of teaching both gamers and non-gamers alike

BOSTON, MA – August 23, 2011 – Course Technology PTR, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of professional, technical and reference materials, today announced the publication of The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game. This revolutionary new book, authored by Lee Sheldon, delivers a unique and highly engaging way to design any structured learning experience as a game. Written for professional educators, or those studying to become educators, The Multiplayer Classroom provides the tools necessary to engage and excite students through principles learned in the development of popular video games.  

The unique concepts within the book teach readers how to structure any learning environment – ranging from elementary school to graduate school and spanning almost all disciplines – and turn it into a game, without having to buy software or use a computer.  Just as in a video game, students begin the “game” (course) with zero “points” and gradually win points and achievements as the course progresses, earning them their final “score” (grade). This concept aims to engage students through methods that inspire their interest outside of the classroom.

“Today’s students have been immersed in technology their whole lives and their worlds tend to revolve around various smartphones, computers, social media, video games and other technologies. This generational culture change means that we, as instructors, must change our style of teaching in order to continue being relatable to our students,” said Lee Sheldon.  “Instructors must search for ways to re-vamp classrooms so that we can better engage our students and keep them interested in the topic at hand. The Multiplayer Classroom does just that, by allowing learners to apply the information in a format that they understand and enjoy. As has been proven in my own classroom, the methods outlined in this book can help to significantly raise grades, increase classroom attendance and promote student engagement.”

The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game is written in a reader-friendly style that logically introduces game concepts and vocabulary and assumes that both the instructor and the student have no prior gaming experience.  Intended for anyone seeking to captivate and engage students, the book uses detailed experiences from the author’s own multi-player classroom, and the classrooms of colleagues, to demonstrate the effectiveness of this method. Through these personal examples, readers will learn first-hand of successes and possible failures, and how to overcome the latter. It includes specific blueprints on how to construct various types of games, explores ways to approach grading as attrition, rather than focusing on letter grades, and how to tap into social networking and similar tools already used by students.

For more information or to purchase The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game, please visit www.courseptr.cengage.com.


About the Author
Lee Sheldon, author of The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game, has written and designed 20 commercial video games and Massively Multiplayer Online’s (MMO). Sheldon is a contributor to several books on video games including, is cited in many publications and is a regular lecturer and consultant on game design and writing. Before his career in video games, Sheldon wrote and produced over 200 popular television shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Charlie’s Angels, and Cagney and Lacey. Sheldon began his academic career in 2006 as a professor at Indiana University (IU) where he taught game design and screenwriting and began to institute the practice of designing classes as multiplayer games. One of Sheldon’s other books, Character Development and Storytelling for Games, is required reading for many game developer and game design programs at some of the world’s most distinguished universities.

About Cengage Learning and Course Technology PTR
Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. Course Technology PTR (Professional – Technical – Reference) was formed in 2001 as the retail division of Course Technology. The Course Technology PTR imprint provides learning solutions for hobbyists and professionals interested in learning more about digital photography, business, music technology, game development, animation, graphic design, programming, certification and a variety of other how-to and technology topics. For more information please visit www.cengage.com or www.courseptr.cengage.com.  

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