Meet Researcher Chad Habel

Chad Habel is the University Preparatory Programme (UPP) Program Coordinator at the University of Adelaide. He also lectures in higher education at the University’s School of Education and researches into game based learning. Before working for the University, Chad obtained his PhD in English Literature at Flinders University. During this time he worked in a number of areas at Flinders: teaching English and cultural studies, coordinating the Flinders University Foundation Program (a preparatory program for future Flinders University students), and various other positions providing academic support to students. Chad found that he had a strong interest in helping students and a real passion for student learning. In 2009, Chad left Flinders to work at the University of Adelaide as the coordinator of the Student Development Program. This involved managing the University’s Writing Centre as well as contributing to the Introductory Academic Program for International Students. In 2012, Chad was offered the position of the UPP Coordinator in the University’s School of Education. The UPP is a program available to people wishing to enter university, but who may not have the requisite secondary education or academic background to undertake university studies. The program is free and of one year duration, full-time. As Program Coordinator Chad oversees all 12 UPP courses, interviews potential students and offers placements into the program. He also teaches, delivering ‘University Research’, a UPP course that involves a major research essay, and provides students with the necessary academic skills to undertake research tasks at university. Enabling students’ entry into university and helping them achieve academic success is highly rewarding for Chad. Chad is also interested in course and curriculum design. Chad is currently undertaking research with a view to improving the UPP. He’s looking at how students experience the program, their academic progress and improvement and their self-efficacy (i.e. the students’ confidence in their own ability to study and learn). Chad’s other interest is video games – the role of video games in society and culture and how our attitudes towards video games have changed over time. In particular, Chad is interested in gamebased learning; the potential for students to learn through the use of game design principles and game elements, as well as through games themselves. For example, Chad is considering how multiplayer games might provide a higher level of social learning (i.e. students learning from each other) and how effective this interdependency is in a learning environment. He has also used games such as Angry Birds and Little Big Planet as an interactive way of analysing and teaching classical mechanics and physics. Chad’s passion is education, and building students’ capacity to achieve highly at the University of Adelaide.

This article looks at Chad Habel and his research into game-based learning, and how elements of game design can be effectively integrated into learning environments and curriculum design. For more information about Chad Habel’s research, the University Preparatory Programme (UPP) and the School of Education, please visit The University of Adelaide.

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