Timothy Bryant, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the English Department has received the President's Professional Development Award. Dr. Bryant will receive $500.00 towards his attendance to the "Reacting to the Past" Winter Conference, "Engaging the Future: Purposeful Teaching for Real World Learning," from January 18-19th in Athens, GA.
"Reacting to the Past is a higher-education consortium dedicated to high-impact instruction through modular games featuring historical research and role-play. For example, one of the modules to be offered at the Winter Conference is Professor Mary Jane Treacy’s "Paterson, 1913: The Silk Strike," in which students explore economic justice and social change by researching issues surrounding the Paterson mill’s famous strike and assuming the roles of representative figures from that historical moment. As a member of the consortium, I will participate in all conference meetings and featured games, including the Friday pre-conference on best practices for effectively integrating Reacting pedagogy with course assessment. This event will mark the beginning of my participation in events hosted by the consortium. My involvement is necessary for design and development of new curriculum using high-impact instructional models such as those used in Reacting modules. Buffalo State students will have new courses that use this model and, likewise, I plan to infuse techniques from Reacting into my instruction overall. My hope is to inspire others on campus, through the Teaching and Learning Center and other available assistance, to consider the value of implementing similar approaches. As I design my own modules, I want to consider which histories and stories would be of most use and interest to our diverse student body.
This course, which I think of as ENG 4xx Experiential Literacy, is one of four courses exploring the interplay of games, literature, and multimodal literacy that I outlined in my approved sabbatical proposal and plan to design during my Spring 2020 sabbatical. I hope to make this the first of several courses that enhance my teaching, complement my research on the cultural significance of play, and serve as a potential model of effective Humanities education on our campus. The other three courses would be: HUM 1xx Cultures of Play (an introductory survey of play across cultures, for which I recently won a 2019 MLA Humanities Innovation Course Development Grant); ENG 2xx Literary Games (a literary survey based upon my past English seminars on ergodic and ludic literature); and ENG 3xx Digital Literature (a hybrid reading and advanced composition course). Course development will supplement my research on the cultural significance of play in the U.S. since the Revolutionary era, which I plan to publish as a single-author monograph entitled, "American at Play: A Cultural History." Lastly, this work should allow me to connect with like-minded scholars and practitioners of game-based learning and culture, on campus and beyond. If successful, my efforts should contribute to the ongoing work of rethinking and re-defining who we are at Buffalo State and how we come together."
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