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Teacher Edition: Board Games in Higher Education feat. Dave Eng – 014

Teacher Edition- Episode 14: Board Games in Higher Education feat. Dave Eng!

Episode Overview

In this “Teacher Edition” episode of Board Gaming with English, Rich and Dustin talk to Dave Eng about his experience using board games in higher education and specifically how he has adapted games in his field. Dave Eng, Ed.D. is an intellectual and creative educator, designer, and researcher who combines, games, theory, and technology to define NEXT practice. He currently consults privately for colleges and universities on games-based learning, gamification, higher education administration, and instructional design. He loves the student affairs community and has helped many entry professionals get their foot in the door with their first position.  His research interests include learning theory, technology, and games. Find out more at http://www.davengdesign.com.
Thank you to Revolution Void for their wonderful contribution of a segment of their song “How Exciting” for our introduction. The song can be found in full on this music archive.
Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the song “Mumbai Mood” on our Desert Island Questionnaire Segment:
Music: http://www.purple-planet.com

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Sound Cloud

(Transcript coming soon- support our podcast and email us a transcript of episode 14)

Episode Topics

Dave Eng

Board Games in Higher Education feat. Dave Eng
Dave’s background is mostly in student affairs and co-curricular education. Dave runs a variety of programs at his university like student organization advising, student government advising, leading orientation leaders, and educating resident assistants. He uses his background and gaming experience as one of his many tools to help his students learn.
Current Favorite Game(s): Avalon and Two Rooms and a Boom
Board Game Style: Dave enjoys playing social deduction games because of the unique social interaction the games provide.

How Did Dave and Dustin Connect?

Dave and Dustin both listen to a podcast called Tuesday Knight Games. The podcast Tuesday Knight Games featured Dustin and Board Gaming with English on one of their episodes, and Dave wanted to reach out to Dustin since they both share a passion for board games and education. Tuesday Knight Games is a fun tabletop games podcast, and we recommend you check it out if you want to hear some light banter about board games and the board game industry.

Dave’s Research

Dave conducted research on game-based learning in an undergraduate liberal arts environment. We talk a bit about what games Dave decided to use in his research which includes a wide array of board games like competitive games, cooperative games, and social deduction games. Be sure to listen in to hear a little bit about Dave’s research.

Perfect Information Games

Dave talks about perfect information games, like Sagrada, Splendor, and Lattice. A perfect information game is a game where all the information is available and open to the players, like checkers or chess. We go into a short discussion on how these types of games can be very visceral and rewarding. How can these games be applied in education? This is a great topic for a future Teacher Edition episode of Board Gaming with English. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Positive Social Interactions in Board Games

Dave tells us how, in his research, he found that the game in and of itself becomes a structure for the social interaction, rather than an experience itself. He discusses how games provide a setting for others to interact with each other. Check it out!

Games Dave Has Used

Dave talks about a couple of games he has used with his students like Code Names and Pandemic. He used Code Names in his Communication Arts 101 Course. Code Names is a word association game that we talk about in Episode 6 of Board Gaming with English. He used this game because he wanted to give students a specific structural limitation on how they could interact with others. In the game, players can only say 1 word and 1 number to communicate with the other team. This was a great game and exercise in his class because the information was given to someone else, they understood it, and it becomes actionable through the interpretation of what is communicated.
Dave also talks about how he used a giant-sized Pandemic and Captain Sonar. Be sure to listen to the episode to learn how he used these games!

Board Games and Games as a Tools

Dave goes into some great detail about how games can be used as a tool in our teaching tool belt. Games are not the only thing, or tool, that should be used in teaching. It is not going to solve all of your teaching problems. One thing to consider when designing a lesson with games is how they can meet the learning outcomes or objectives of your lesson or course. 

Board Games and Distance Education

Can board games be used as a way to implement distance education? We dive into this topic a bit on the podcast and even talk about how VR is used through social interaction. Take a listen to hear our discussion on the topic.

Games in this Episode

Dustin and Rich talk about and mention several different games during this episode. If any of these games sound like something you might enjoy playing personally or in your class, you can help support our podcast by purchasing these games through our Amazon affiliate links. We will earn a small commission at no expense to you. Check out the games below:

Games We Talk about in This Episode




Code Names

Captain Sonar

Two Rooms and a Boom

Dave’s Desert Island Questionnaire Games


Risk 2210 A. D.


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