According to a report on the CBC, video games are increasingly becoming part of required coursework at university level and beyond.

Video games are more often required coursework at all levels of education and complement traditional learning tools such as problem sets and books.

A game called Lemonade Stand is a central part of the new mandatory Discover Entrepreneurship course at Old College in Olds, Alberta; the college wanted to ensure all of its students were trained in entrepreneurial skills and professors thought the game could offer a hands-on approach.
“What we’ve done is take the things that make computer games so addictive and apply them to education.”
Toby Williams, the college’s director of entrepreneurship and international development, to the CBC


Learning through play

Around the world, educational environments are more often incorporating video games and digital learning tools. We’ve seen educational versions of popular video games being created for use in the classroom and educators being encouraged to make use of other games to meet classroom goals.

Outside the classroom, more video games and similar online games are being used to educate players about where their food comes from, how our planet is being affected by human activity, and challenges women face in different cultures.

And consumers are looking for more out of higher education. Many hiring executives felt as though college graduates were entering the workforce without the skills to succeed and many graduates are struggling to find jobs. Indeed, according to Mintel’s Educational Lending US April 2012 report, 65% of consumers who have student loans agree that it’s a hardship paying back their loans and just 23% say they’re currently employed in a job that is appropriate for their skill level. This addition to the curriculum is an example of the ways in which schools are doing more to boost the practicality of what students learn in hopes of increasing their chances of success after graduation.

How can brands and companies capitalize on this shift toward more hands-on learning? Developing games and learning tools that can be used in the classroom and the workplace can open up opportunities for companies to move into new spaces. Tech and software companies can create platforms and tools that help educators and students across cultures make the most of the tools and lessons available to them.

For a deep and complete analysis of the current situation of the educational landscape in the US, Mintel published the following market research: Educational Lending April 2012 in the US.