Barry Fishman, known for his gameful learning approach to teaching, has been named Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Michigan Association of State Universities. Fishman, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Learning Technologies, teaches in both the School of Information and the School of Education, and is director of the Undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Information Program.
Fishman’s work focuses on teaching that incorporates the concepts found in well-designed video games to create learning environments for undergraduate students. Together with doctoral student Caitlin Holman he co-created GradeCraft, a learning management system operating on a gameful design, which uses competence, autonomy and belongingness to foster intrinsic motivation.
“Ideally, I want to help my students become their best selves,” Fishman said. “To do this, they need to be empowered to explore the opportunities around them and take risks. I am working with great colleagues on a range of academic innovation projects at Michigan aimed at helping the broadest possible range of students gain access to higher education, engage deeply with the opportunities offered by a great public research university, and grow into lifelong learners.”