Learning methods have come a long way from students just sitting in class and writing down notes while a lecturer reads off his/her notes. It has come to the point where students can learn from their lecturers via the internet, such as accessing course materials on “Blackboard” websites, and even online classes (heck, there are even online degrees for those interested!), but conducting a class through Minecraft? Well that admittedly takes the cake as far as interactive learning is concerned! This was made possible thanks to a lecturer at the Bond University in Australia who decided to conduct his class through Minecraft as the university was closed due to the recent bout of floods experienced in Australia’s east coast. Professor Jeffrey Brand launched the MinecraftUni project after hearing about how the game was used as part of the United Nation’s Block by Block program.
According to Brand, “I decided that it was time for an Australian university to be modelled and even re-imagined in Minecraft and I had hoped that we could embed educational content in that world,” and together with the help of his sons, he managed to model the Bond University’s main campus within the game. Students later helped contribute to the project by designing the rest of the university, both its exterior and interior and even created a classroom where Brand’s class was held. The class was conducted by using Prezi slides and relied on the game’s chat feature for communication. Brand is currently seeking for more partners at other universities and at the same time seeking for funding from the Australia Office of Learning and Teaching. More information about MinecraftUni can be found on its website. Pretty cool, huh?