Posts from the “Higher Education” Category

“Plays Well with Others”: Can Games Achieve Learning Outcomes?

Posted on July 15, 2017

“Let’s kill Jesus!” Such words are not often heard from evangelical students at Christian colleges, and such playfulness is not usually associated with the sort of serious academic encounters that are expected in higher education. Yet, I listen to my devoutly religious students utter words like these every semester in the context of “The Jesus Game,” an elaborate role-playing game in which students encounter the familiar story of the Gospel of Matthew in a new light.

Higher Education and the Public

Posted on April 28, 2017

For the last several years, the Society for Values in Higher Education has sponsored a seminar session at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU). We have explored topics such as the role of higher education in the moral development of students, the implications of free college tuition, the pedagogy of “wicked problems,” and many more. At the 2017 AACU meeting, we facilitated a seminar entitled “An Unbridgeable Gap? Challenges and Opportunities in Restoring Public Trust.” Our proposal (co-authored along with D. Gregory Sapp) described the session this way: Skyrocketing tuition increases and a soft job market for college graduates have led to increasing public skepticism regarding higher education. Such skepticism has encouraged state legislators to continue to slash…


Posted on January 3, 2017

I live in a Republican state, but the campus of the University of Tennessee where I teach and the surrounding areas in the city of Knoxville are an island of blue in a sea of red. In the recent election, faculty here (like elsewhere in America) seemed to vote overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But the campus was hardly unanimous in its support of Clinton. Although there is no exact data available on the way various segments of the campus community voted, ample anecdotal evidence indicates that the split between Clinton and Trump voters followed familiar demographic lines. Many of the staff fit the well-publicized profile of the Trump voter: they are predominantly white members of the working class, some with salaries…