Immersive & Game-Based Learning Grant

In the spring of 2012, the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education approved an initiative to support the application of immersive and game-based learning in an effort to increase student engagement and success throughout the Colorado Community College System. The Colorado Community College System recognized the growing educational uses of and interest in game‐based and immersive learning. The primary intent of the Faculty Challenge Grant Program was to identify, improve, and scale sustainable, collaborative solutions that improve student success. The funded projects are serving as “lighthouse programs” to illuminate the way for others to follow, and are available to faculty and students throughout the Colorado Community College System. The system’s colleges developed numerous projects which added elements of game‐based and immersive activities to their courses including which increased deeper learning and engagement and had the potential to scale across the college and community college system.


Projects and Contacts

Summary of Round 1 and 2 of the Immersive and Game-based Learning Projects and Contacts
Project Name Project Description Project Team to Contact for More Information
Access ACCESS is a web-based game modeled after the board game “Life” that will enable AAA 109 instructors to offer the course in a flipped format – allowing students to receive information that would traditionally be received through lecture in the classroom via online videos, podcasts, downloadable lectures, web-based articles, social
media, and out-of-class readings, while in classes time is spent applying this knowledge by playing the ACCESS game on a learning management system.
Community College of Denver
Naomi Wahls
HVA Gaming The HVA Gaming project was a collaborative effort between RRCC and PPCC designed to incorporate a first-person gaming simulation into the existing HVAC curriculum.  In order to deliver the gaming simulation to students, RRCC and Interplay Energy adapted an HVAC simulation program developed by Delmar/Cengage Learning.  The interactive gaming interface created a more engaging and exciting learning experience for students while sharpening HVAC troubleshooting skills. Red Rocks Community College
Larry Snyder
Linear Equations Battleship Battlelines for Linear Equations is an interactive game based on the game Battleship, where students “sink” lines by naming their equations given two points.
Students progress through stages of learning from graphing coordinate points, to naming slope and y-intercept, to naming the equation of a line given two points. Instructors can track their students’ progress through the game, enabling them to intervene if students are stuck. Thus the game can be played in class or assigned as homework
Community College of Denver
Linda Sue Hoops
Mobile Apps 4 Math Engaging students in developmental math classes presents many challenges to faculty. Learn how the RRCC math faculty implemented game-based learning in MAT 060: Pre-Algebra through a collaborative project with the RRCC Computer Science department. The goal of the project was to assess the impact of game-based
learning on student success in developmental math and identify the most effective game-based learning tools – custom or “off-the-shelf” gaming applications.
Red Rocks Community College
Julie Schneider
Post Apocalyptic Ethical Theory Adventure Game Online text-based adventure game designed to facilitate an immersive experience in learning ethical theories in PHI 112 Ethics courses. A compelling narrative, fascinating characters, and unique artwork will draw the student into a post-apocalyptic world to ultimately restore the once vibrant library containing that culture’s wisdom and knowledge. The student must journey to far-flung enclaves that now possess one of the wisdom books representing an ethical theory and upon which they have built an entire community. As cities in the game are drifting toward desperation and anarchy, students must demonstrate knowledge of core ethical theories from remnants left behind in the devastation (the student’s textbook) to restore order to chaos and successfully complete the game. Pikes Peak Community College
Richard Trussell
richard.trussell@ppcc.eduBruce McCluggage
World of Warcraft for Business This project is not about how well one plays the game, but about how well one applies the business concepts and principles learned in class inside the game. Having a high level character may help, but is not necessary. With tens of thousands of players in a realm, there are enough participants in the market to allow the market to fluctuate as a real market would. The economy of World of Warcraft is constantly in flux as prices rise and fall, guilds and individuals constantly compete to corner markets and maintain market share.
World of Warcraft allows students to experiment with tactics and strategies and receive immediate feedback. In addition to the rapid strategy prototyping and fail fast environment, World of Warcraft allows students to operate in a low stakes / low risk environment.
Chris Luchs
chris.luchs@cccs.eduFront Range Community College
Kae Novak
kae.novak@frontrange.eduJim Vernonjim.vernon@frontrange.eduPueblo Community College
Joe Easton
joe.easton@pueblocc.eduRita Frieberg
Games Based Learning MOOC-Lessons Learned The Games Based Learning MOOC or Games MOOC is a series of online open courses designed for educators who want to learn more about games, simulations and game-like environments for education.

We had four offerings that were taught over an eighteen month period.

Front Range Community College
Kae Novak
rgMOOC: Rhetoric and Game-based MOOC rgMOOC, or “Rhetoric and Composition: The Persuasive Power of Video Games as Paratexts,” is a massive open online course that approaches game studies through the lens of rhetoric and composition. The design of rgMOOC is one of the first of its kind, where elements of cMOOC is combined with game-based learning, on top of which a hybrid course is associated. rgMOOC’s UX design and pedagogy is based on the theories of connectivism, gamification, and digital game-based learning. This is a massive undertaking of teaching Advanced English Composition (ENG 122) with assigning only video games and open access resources as texts. Arapahoe Community College
Kate Guthrie Caruso
kate.caruso@arapahoe.eduSherry Jones
CSI Aurora CSI: Aurora captures the popularity of forensics and teaches the reality of forensic work through an immersive learning exercise involving a mock crime scene and mock criminal trial, with student participation from archaeology, forensic anthropology, criminal justice, paralegal, and science departments at the Community College of Aurora. Students in each department gain practice in specific methodologies as they relate to real-world applications in a simulated criminal case. Community College of Aurora
Elizabeth Hirsh
Model United Nations The Model United Nations is an interdisciplinary immersive learning project embedded in the Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, and English departments at the Community College of Aurora (CCA). This project involves a simulated session of the United Nations open to all CCA students to engage in the process of global politics, diplomacy and cultural engagement as an opportunity to apply their academic skill set with critical engagement to understand the mechanics of globalization. Community College of Aurora
Hackathon A Hackathon (portmanteau of hack and marathon) is typically an intensive two day event where computer programmers, graphic designers, webmasters and others compete to develop applications (APIs or Mobile Apps) for a specific platform or organization. “Hack” means that there is a problem to be solved in an unconventional way and the “thon” highlights the competitive and challenge based nature of the event. Some popular examples of Hackathons are: Code for AmericaTechCrunch DisruptRandom Hacks of KindnessHackNY among many others. CCCOnline
Chris Luchs
chris.luchs@cccs.eduKate Hagerty
katherine.hagerty@cccs.eduFront Range Community College
Kae Novak
kae.novak@frontrange.eduVictoria Eisele
Outbreak! Project Outbreak is a series of augmented reality scenarios where biology students track the global connections and implications of a case that has happened in their geographic location. Inspired
by the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, instructors have taken what was to be a geolocated augmented reality simulation and made it global. MedTag has biology students testing out new pedagogical methods and new technologies to investigate medical incidents in their geographic area that have global connections. The cases assigned have been chosen because of the results found with the MedTag algorithm. Students are given scenarios where a high MedTag algorithmic value indicates a high probability of misdiagnosis coupled with a high probability of the incident area originating outside the United States. Faculty developed five scenarios that have allowed them to flip their biology classes and take students outside to investigate a medical incident that may have a global origin or have global implications.
Farah Bennani
farah.bennani@cccs.eduChris Luchschris.luchs@cccs.eduFront Range Community College
Kae Novak
kae.novak@frontrange.eduAnjali Vaidya
Apprentice/Tank Business Simulation In the fall of 2013, Community College of Aurora (CCA) started developing a pilot, The Apprentice, and during the early stages of the pilot, included elements of The Shark Tank Show. Classes used for the pilot spanned four departments (Film; Art and Design; Business; and Computer Science/Information Technology [IT]). Schools collaborated on a real-life project over the course of the spring 2013 semester and provided at least one instructor (full-time and/or adjunct) from each school to serve as the point of contact and on the curriculum development team. The curriculum development team selected the Colorado Film School as the ‘pilot’ project/lead to bring these schools together to compete for the top three film prizes. Film School students served as the lead and presented a script to their teams. Community College of Aurora
Victor Vialpando
Business Simulation PCC’s IGBL Grant Project created a collaborative effort between PCC’s 3 campuses to design and develop a simulation based teaching opportunity in the Introduction to Business class. Our Big Idea was to introduce the commercial “CEO” simulation into the entry level business class. The CEO simulation is designed to give students the opportunity to make the decisions necessary to start and manage a business by embedding the simulation into their class. Pueblo Community College
Rita Frieberg
Checking In: Business Behind the Scenes The Community College of Aurora’s Checking In:  Business Behind the Scenes project built off CCA’s successful pilot in 2008 of a business simulation program in one section of BUS 115, Introduction to Business.   At CCA, BUS 115 serves as a gateway course for business students and enrolls a significant number of students who have not yet declared a course of study.  Many students take BUS115 to get general exposure to key business concepts and to feel out potential interest in a business career.  Through the 2008 pilot project, CCA found that integrating a game-based, competitive business simulation into BUS115 made business concepts come alive for students, making the course feel more relevant and generating increased interest in business careers. Community College of Aurora
Victor Vialpando
CO2 Car Design Challenge The CO2 Car Design Challenge is an immersive learning experience that combines Lean Manufacturing and rapid prototyping with gaming and immersive instructional design. Students in the Machining program team up in pairs to compete in a CO2 car challenge. Teams start by designing a car in Solidworks CAD system that will be used in several competitions. Competitions range from CO2 drag race to non-powered gravity race, kind of like a pinewood derby car. Trinidad State Junior College
Diesel Fundamentals The Diesel Fundamentals Competition area a collaborative effort that incorporates virtual simulation as well as real world applications to encourage students in technological development. Students compete on computer based virtual reality programs that teach fundamentals in Diesel Mechanics using an immersive simulation, game based platform. Trinidad State Junior College
Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Simulator This project was focused on incorporating simulation equipment for use in the automotive curricula to better  student understanding of vehicle systems and in particular hybrid automobiles. Morgan Community College
Brad Parker
In Their Virtual Shoes: A Domestic Violence Simulation In Their Virtual Shoes: A Domestic Violence Simulation Domestic violence is a challenging and sensitive topic. An effective paper-based simulation from WSCADV called “In Her Shoes” promotes a deeper understanding of this topic. This grant proposal supports taking this tool and creating an electronic, immersive environment for students to ultimately experience the reality of domestic violence. Arapahoe Community College
Law and Order: EDU Law & Order: EDU, was designed and constructed to replicate a fully functioning courtroom. Almost any real or simulated court hearing can be held in this room. It functions as a learning environment for individual classes and for larger interdisciplinary activities. Participants range from Paralegal, Criminal Justice, the Police Academy, Anthropology, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Science, Theatre, History, Language, Interpretation, American Sign Language and Political Science. It can also be used by law firms in preparation for real court presentations. Community College of Aurora
Margaret Uchner
Psychology Gaming Lab The Psychology Game Lab is a free, downloadable game for PSY 101 students. It walks students through 12 topics pertinent to PSY 101. Each of the 12 labs is broken into three stages, 1) reading mastery quiz, 2) instructional interactions and 3) mastery game. Students are put in the role of a football player being instructed by various FRCC coaches. After making their way to the stadium by passing the reading quiz, students interact with coaches, players and fans to learn the labs’ material. Students practice their knowledge of the material by answering questions presented by the other characters before going to the “Big Game” to test their overall mastery. Front Range Community College
Jessica Mahoney
Sim Spray Virtual Paint System The SIMSpray is a 3D experience which will train a student how to use proper paint gun techniques while avoiding hazardous fumes and costly materials. This training aid can be used to prepare a student with the basics of paint gun techniques prior to spraying paint in a paint booth. It is an engaging training aid geared toward the students who are playing video games. Morgan Community College
Tim Grauberger
tim.grauberger@morgancc.eduJayleen Evans
Colorado Virtual Studio Systems: TheiSys The Colorado Virtual Studio System incorporates gated and monitored access to valued tools (production and post production equipment) in the creation of original student work. In order to access production equipment, students must present written work (outlines, then treatments, then screenplays) that serve as the blueprint to the final project (completed film). The student project leader assembles a team of specialists (actors, producers and/or directors, art directors, directors of photography, production managers, lighting and sound technicians, makeup, wardrobe, and set design trainees, logistical coordinators, production assistants, camera operators, location managers, etc.) required for successful project completion. However, within this system, project completion is not the mere lensing and editing of the proposed project. It is the delivery of the project to the consumer (audience) through a variety of venues. Consequently, the gated access to desired resources is contingent on market focus, just as it is in the real world. Community College of Aurora
Frederic Lahey
frederic.lahey@ccaurora.eduEdgar Meyersieck
Robot Technologies and Competition Project The Robot Technologies and Competition Program is an interactive program that uses immersive simulation and VEX robotic design systems to learn the fundamentals of robotics and compete in VEX robotics  competitions around the state and nation. It also includes industrial applications with curriculum that uses game based and immersive simulation as teaching fundamentals. Other applications include creating games and competitions for robots from entry level game play (VEX) robots to industrial welding, assembly line, work envelopes, sensors, manipulators and end effectors, object detection, programming, and many  other applications. Students will learn robotics from entry level to industrial applications. Trinidad State Junior College
Virtual Envirnoment for Instruction Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) is hosting a virtual lab environment through a collaborative project with Front Range Community College (FRCC), Larimer Campus, and Community College of Aurora (CCA). The goal of the Virtual Environment for Instruction Project (VEIP) is to develop immersive project approach curriculum for courses in mobile device security, computer science secure code modules, and computer and network security. As leaders in the use of virtual machines for instruction, FRCC, CCA and RRCC will engage computer science, cyber security, and computer networking students in hands-on-labs that will include writing secure code, implementing, managing and securing mobile devices, computers and networks. This project will act as a model for other Colorado Community Colleges. Red Rocks Community College
Christie Burton
Blended Learning The Best of Blended Learning for the 21st Century project is designed to serve as a faculty professional development opportunity around blended/hybrid/flipped classroom models of learning. The course will be taught to selected faculty from RRCC, ACC and CCA. While taking the course, the faculty members will build their own blended courses to be taught in the SP14 semester. Facilitators for the course will work individually at each of the colleges with the participating faculty. The courses will be made available to all of the CCCS colleges. Community College of Aurora
JoAnn Burkhart
Flipping Out in STEM The Shared Vision Shared Resource grant strives to enhance collaboration and resource sharing among the 13 colleges of the system.  Our primary outcome for this project is the development and implementation of the STEM specific Learning Online Repository (LOR) housed in D2L.  The STEM LOR catalogs STEM teaching resources so that faculty across CCCS can access these resources using LOR’s search engine capabilities.  The resources are scheduled to be searchable by a small pilot group with participants from the four partnering schools (ACC, CCA, CCA, RRCC) by end of February. A second outcome of this project is to provide venues for collaboration and professional development regarding best practices for Flipped Model classrooms and other non-traditional content delivery models. Arapahoe Community College
Amanda Schuster
amanda.schuster@arapahoe.eduHeidi Loshbaugh
Going Beyond the Book CCA has found over and over that simulation immerses students in experiences that dramatically increase their engagement, thus, promoting better learning outcomes. At the same time, CCA has recognized the instructional challenges in implementing simulation and other immersive approaches.  For example, faculty members are not always fully aware of the resources (facilities, technology, software) that are available to them and, more importantly, may be unable or unwilling to use such resources if they do not understand how to apply them to their teaching or lack the training to use them effectively in their classes. Likewise, many instructional departments and their faculty members are not likely to utilize even a well-equipped resource like the Center for Simulation when its design and equipment are oriented toward specific programs.  The Going Beyond the Book:  A Planning Project to Promote Immersive and Game-based Learning addressed these challenges through resource inventories, faculty surveys and professional development activities. Community College of Aurora
Janel Highfill
Knowledge Quest: A Journey to a Flipped and Accelerated Classroom “Knowledge Quest: A Journey to a Flipped and Accelerated Classroom” is an interactive game that is used to deliver a flipped and accelerated version of Reading 060 and 090 and English 060 and 090–four of the Community College of Denver’s Developmental Education core courses. “Knowledge Quest” is built using PowerPoint and iSpring software and is accessed by the students through a web portal using a personal tablet computer provided by the program. “Knowledge Quest” enables teachers to provide Reading 060 and
090 and English 060 and 090 as a single accelerated course using a flipped classroom model. This presentation will provide an overview of the program as well as highlights the problems encountered, the solutions created and the future anticipated
Community College of Denver
Kelly Zepp
Motivation and Engagement in the Game-based DevEd English Classroom Level 1: Similar to the opening sequence of your favorite RPG, this presentation begins last year when we set out to explore how motivation and engagement work in a game-based developmental English classroom.

Level 2: Now participants will test what we learned through a short game-based learning simulation
(possibly including guilds, popsicle sticks, and role play).

Level 3: We’ll work together to connect the experience with the theory.

Pikes Peak Community College
Emily Forand
Reacting to the Past Who will lead the Second Crusade? Is the Crusade a Just War? Will Charles Darwin win the famed Copley Metal, given by the Royal Academy of Science? Is Galileo Galilee a heretic? How can a game-based and immersive curriculum, created by an elite Ivy League College, meet the needs of community students? This project explores how reacting curriculum has had a tremendous impact on students at community colleges across the nation. Topics investigated include examples of game-based curriculum that can motivate students to dig deeper into their readings, draw meaning from classical text, present cogent arguments, and REACTto the past in meaningful and scholarly ways. Faculty roles in the classroom are also discussed including the critical role faculty play in a flipped classroom environment. Community College of Aurora
Glenn Rohlfing

Awards and Final Reports Round 1 and Round 2

Final Reports

Final reports can be requested from the CCCS Academic Affairs/Special Projects office at 720.858.2867.  Additional information might be available in archive, contact Casey Sacks at

Awards Round 1

Round 1 Evaluation Progress
Immersive Learning Projects and Awards, Round 1
Accounting Issues for IGBL Round 1 Grant Recipients, Laura Speaker, Chief Accountant and Financial Data Analyst, CCCS

Awards Round 2

Deadline for Round 2 Submission: November 16, 2012
Request for Proposals
Immersive Learning Cover Sheet
Immersive Learning Project Budget Worksheet
IGBL Round 2 Abstracts and Funding Summary
IGBL Round 2 Webinar, Feb 15, 2013


Round 1 Final Report Fall 2013, JVA Consulting
Round 2 Project Update Fall 2013, JVA Consulting
CCCS Student Outcomes Survey for IGBL Programs, JVA Consulting
Evaluation of CCCS Immersive & Game-Based Learning Programs, Robert Jakubowski, PhD, Senior Research Consultant, JVA Consulting, LLC

In the News

Game-Based and Immersive Courses in a Community College System

March 10, 2014


The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is one of the leading community college systems in exploring new online technologies. I have already reported on their use of remote labs for teaching introductory science courses at a distance.



It was about two-and-a-half years ago that leaders of the Colorado Community College System peered over the demographic horizon and grew concerned over what they saw.

Model United Nations focuses partly on North Korea

April 5, 2013


AURORA, CO – Several months ago, Sherri Oakes signed up to be a part of a unique learning exercise at the Community College of Aurora. Little did she know that events over the past few days would cast her in a leading role – as the villain.

Grant transforms learning for history students at PPCC and UCCS


A grant from the Colorado Community College System will allow students studying history at Pikes Peak Community College and University of Colorado Colorado Springs to learn about history by assuming the roles of historic figures with no script or set outcome.