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Thinking interestingly: The use of game play to enhance learning and facilitate critical thinking within a Homeland Security curriculum


British Journal of Education StudiesJournal abstract

Students of homeland security need to grasp a diverse body of knowledge and have a keen understanding of the variety of events and issues that impact how they can apply that knowledge. The goal of higher education should not just be about imparting knowledge but also about giving students tools and skill sets to ‘think interestingly’ to be successful in their future career. These are critical thinking and problem-solving, agility and adaptability, accessing and analysing information, and curiosity and imagination. This study examines the pedagogical approach to incorporate game play, specifically the use of probability-based tabletop exercises, into course curriculums to enhance knowledge and develop these particular skill sets. Data were collected from students enrolled in courses with terrorism and homeland security as major themes. The goal of the study was to answer the questions: did students enrolled in a homeland security–related course perceive game-based learning as enhancing their comprehension of course material and did it allow them to think interestingly to apply the material to real-world situations? This study shows that these students perceived game play as enhancing their overall learning experience and improving these targeted skill sets.

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