College Using StarCraft to Teach Complex Management Skills

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

College Using StarCraft to Teach Complex Management Skills

image

The University of Florida has added an honors class to its roster that applies the skills learned in StarCraft to the real world.

Sorry curmudgeonly old professors that think videogames only rot children's brains: You can't keep videogames out of the classroom. They've been invading schools regularly over the past year, with the University of Florida the latest educational institution to implement a class based on a videogame. This time, it's one focused on StarCraft.

Whereas Wabash College has students study Portal as an example of an author's literary analysis of a sociological aspect, the University of Florida's StarCraft class, called 21st Century Skills in StarCraft, focuses on the skills learned in the game and what value they present in the real world.

The class's description justifies itself by saying it's "important for professionals to be highly proficient in skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, resource management, and adaptive decision making." These are skills that every good StarCraft player needs, and that workers in real life management situations need as well. Just like having to manage a counter-measure to a rush of Zerg attacking your base, an employee at a bank might have to quickly manage what's possible and what's not when a crisis arises.

Nate Poling is a Ph.D. candidate at the University and came up with the idea for the course. Poling told Technology Review: "My problem-solving skills in StarCraft are the same problem-solving skills learned in school or the real world," and that StarCraft is simply a "tool" in the class's case just like a textbook. "In StarCraft you're managing a lot of different units and groups of different capacities," he continued. "It's not a stretch to think of that in the business world or in the work of a healthcare administrator."

It's all about learning to manage the resources at hand in the workplace, and StarCraft has plenty of resource management and hectic predicaments. While StarCraft isn't going to teach anyone how to manage a hospital, the theory is that it could wire the brain of someone educated as a hospital manager to think about situations and what's at hand more clearly. The train of thought is mirrored by others like Jane McGonigal that believe learning to problem solve in online games can save the world. It's certainly an interesting theory.

Source: GamePolitics

Permalink

...Management skills?

You can learn how to manage your troops in the face of a zerg rush!

"In StarCraft you're managing a lot of different units and groups of different capacities," he continued. "It's not a stretch to think of that in the business world or in the work of a healthcare administrator."

kekekekekekekkekekkekekeke...

Yes, actually that is quite a stretch.

image
Zerg Rush the market, guys!

Not big surprise... thanks to it's remarkable balance, the micromanagement and resource management in Starcraft are absolutely brutal. I can play through the campaign, sure - but if i went up against a player who actually uses them, i'd lose in two minutes and thirty seven seconds.

wish I went to this school

I like how people are accepting video games as part of life, and even using them to teach people. Take that Roger Ebert!

But StarCraft? What about C&C... (remembers Tiberian Twilight)... actually, forget what I just said.

That's awesome. I wish I had classes where I got to play video games.

I am waiting for the day when video game classes come to my college.

Still waiting.

In the same a way a comb can be a lethal weapon, anything at all can be used as a teaching tool if utilized properly. Video games just happen to make it fun.

...I wish my school hade these kind of classes. I am so jealous.

There's nothing really managed in SC :|.

You spam harvesters until your mineral field is saturated (typically 3 harvesters per node) and you put 3 harvesters per gas geyser.

So...?

It's one thing to pick the right unit to counter what the enemy has. In the real world, it's not as simple as building infestors to counter MMM.

God help them if they ever get Zerg Rushed. In all seriousness, this is freaking awesome. Props to them. I wonder if other schools will follow suit and employ different games to teach certain concepts. Using Bioshock to teach philosophy, perhaps?

Nice choice of game! It really is the best one for managing resources.

Well thats certainly one way to apply games to real life. Not sure if I would choose SC for ir, but, intrestgn still

I support Portal being studied as art, but I don't think there is much educational value to Starcraft, Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that game, but I don't think it has real world value.

It's like writing off an air hockey table as a tax deduction because it "helps your hand eye coordination" and you're a surgeon. It's a load of crap.

Is it only me who can't see the line of thought in a future hospital adminstrator here:
"We are seeing an increase in heart-patients and most of our nursing staff isn't experienced with heart diseases. So, we imagine that the heart-patients are Mutalisks and the Heart Specialist nurses are Goliaths while normal nurses are Marines, right? So what we need to do is that we need to invest in weapon ugrades for our marines, that is to say we need to give our nurses more education in how to treat heart diseases."

It is an interesting prospect for sure. But just because the two are similar it doesn't necessarily mean you can lift out experience from one and use it in the other. StarCraft, unlike management, also has a lot to do being extremly good at mouse/keyboard-microing and knowing every single design, flaw and quirk of StarCraft.

danpascooch:
I support Portal being studied as art, but I don't think there is much educational value to Starcraft, Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that game, but I don't think it has real world value.

It's like writing off an air hockey table as a tax deduction because it "helps your hand eye coordination" and you're a surgeon. It's a load of crap.

Dont say that, they might stop using games in lessons!

Why is Judicator Aldaris showing up as the unit pic for a Terran structure?

But other than that, I think there might be something to this. I always used to suck at Starcraft, until I realized (basically) "Oh! I'm supposed to be THINKING when I play this game!".

Tommorow we gonna learn how to work in team in WoW.

RebellionXXI:
Why is Judicator Aldaris showing up as the unit pic for a Terran structure?

But other than that, I think there might be something to this. I always used to suck at Starcraft, until I realized (basically) "Oh! I'm supposed to be THINKING when I play this game!".

A terran player clicked on a nexus notice the lack of build options.

Huzzah go embracing this newfangled tech for learning purpose and what not.

danpascooch:
I support Portal being studied as art, but I don't think there is much educational value to Starcraft, Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that game, but I don't think it has real world value.

It's not about the content. You sure don't need to know about Zerglings to be a good manager.
It's about the thinking. Considering multiple ressources and making decisions in a short time.

danpascooch:
It's like writing off an air hockey table as a tax deduction because it "helps your hand eye coordination" and you're a surgeon. It's a load of crap.

That actually sounds useful. I mean, you need two things to be a surgeon: The knowledge about the human body and hand-eye coordination. The latter could trained playing air hockey (although there sure are better methods to train it).

lol wait. Is this is the -same exact- institution that's using Portal also?

Wow...Well that tops David Beckham studies as the most useless class I can think of. Managing resources in Starcraft is a hell of a lot simpler than having to balance the complexities of managing a departments resources. This is a very dark day for the education system.

What's also neat about this class is that it counts toward your GPA and doesn't have a final exam. However, the only catch--to quote the comments on the site where I originally saw this-- is that you have to attend school in Florida to take this class.

antipunt:
lol wait. Is this is the -same exact- institution that's using Portal also?

It's in the article. Wabash College (in Washington) has a class that incorporates Portal into the curriculum. This class--from the University of Florida--has the class that consists almost entirely of Starcraft. It's not the same institution, seeing as how they're on two separate sides of the country.

Too bad the class was limited to 20. I missed getting into it before I even knew it existed.

I'm sorry, I can't take this one too seriously.

It reminds me of the old "Magic: The Gathering" ad campaign that used to be run in comic books, showing complete nerds doing things like water skiing from the back of one of those old Russian military subs the were selling off years ago. With the claims that this dude made a fortune due to using skills he learned as one of the first MTG players to conquer whatever industry... followed by a rather funny disclaimer about the truth of the statement.

I'm probably one of the only nerds, nerdy enough to actually remember that.

The_root_of_all_evil:
kekekekekekekkekekkekekeke...

Yes, actually that is quite a stretch.

image
Zerg Rush the market, guys!

If those were Jovah's Witness', we could all be in grave danger.

I wish I could show this to my sisters' ex boyfriend who thought games caused brain-rotten zombies with no attention span.

Best part is, he said this after telling me he was a Nascar fan... -,-;

I like this post though, it enforces what I've been saying about video games for YEARS! There are so many things I've taken from video games that has helped me out in life.

From coordinating a group of people, multitasking more tasks at the same time that others would have deemed impossible, problem solving skills, and the general ability to even read peoples actions and predict what they would do next.

I understood the Portal one. But Starcraft is ridiculous.

Funny thing is i actually did something like this for a high school report on resource management. Built a custom map for it and everything. I even got a A on the project. XD

Funkiest Monkey:
I understood the Portal one. But Starcraft is ridiculous.

I understand the Starcraft one, but Portal, now that's just ridiculous.

Funnily enough, I've been managing an H&R Block office this (Australian) tax season and spending my spare time (ie the part of Sunday I'm not sleeping off my six day week) playing, watching, reading and/or otherwise thinking about StarCraft 2.

Many times now it has occurred to me just how pertinent the skills of one are to the other. Obviously doing tax returns requires much more of a human aspect, but the other side of management ultimately boils down to allocation of resources. My life for Auir!

This is great, although I don't think StarCraft is the best example because of Zerg Rush.

Interesting... but... I can definitely see how that would work...

I want to go to a class in which you have to play Expert Realism Left 4 Dead 2 with 3 classmates you don't like in order to boost communication skills. I can assure you that you'll be best friends if you get out alive.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.