Breakout Session

Game Design Can Improve Student Retention

Track: Gamification

Breakout V
Friday, 9:20 – 10:15 am


Well-designed games can create extraordinary levels of the kind of perseverance that college students need to succeed. This presentation a) reviews core principles of game design, b) demonstrates how higher education is already structured as a poorly designed game, c) describes a game-based degree audit system designed by undergraduates and a professional graphics designer, d) assesses student reactions to that system compared to Banner and DegreeWorks, and e) demonstrates how particular game mechanics suggest novel solutions to the problem of student retention.

Thomas Heinzen
Professor of Psychology
William Paterson University

Tom Heinzen is a social psychologist who is leading a group of game design students in applications to problems in higher education. He is author of a Statistics textbook, and five other books, many chapters and journal articles, and has mentored more than 60 student presentations and papers.