By Hannah Grammer
February 25, 2020
Genesee Community College is introducing a new program designed to help students learn by simply playing board games.
Board (games) Meeting, which was funded through the College’s tutoring system, was developed by Loy Gross, an Academic Recovery Assistant at GCC. It is held on Wednesdays in the Library from 2 to 4 p.m.
Gross’ idea sparked when assisting with the program “Math Bash,” where students would play games and win prizes while also studying, which was a big help for students who struggled with math and preparing for finals. With this idea in mind, Gross was inspired to create Board Meeting. The goal of these meetings is to positively reinforce students to study and learn efficiently and effectively through the use of games. The games are used as a tool to help students brush up on their math, science, engineering, programming, English, and many other skills.
This can be a great opportunity for students to increase their grades if they are struggling in class and can actually act as a form of tutoring for some. There are currently 300 board games to choose from including Categories, Risk, and Boggle. Participants are even allowed to bring in their own games to play if they believe they are beneficial in helping them learn more effectively.
Because Board Meetings is such a new opportunity for GCC, Gross is trying to recruit more students. There are currently five students so far, but Gross has faith that more people will attend because this meeting is “still in the process of promotion,” and she believes there are “more people to come.”
These games are a way to get students to learn and “develop communication” as Gross stated. She wants students and faculty to understand that “learning happens in a variety of ways.”
Participants are taught easier more effective ways to learn while also opening up their critical thinking and problem-solving skills while having fun.
Students and even teachers are able to de-stress and “allow learning to become easier” while also being able to sit down in a relaxed environment,” Gross said.
Students are able to even learn from each other while playing. Gross has noticed a difference between students who were homeschooled and who were taught by the public-school system curriculum. She said that those who were homeschooled, often approached problems differently within the game and had an “out of the box way of thinking.”
These games allow students from different backgrounds to work as a team to develop a bond with one another and reach their goals while also learning. Gross said, “Board games are meant to create community and a sense of belonging. It brings in people who are shy and brings people together.”