StarCraft class at UF

StarCraft II

At the University of Florida, honors students can now pick up two credits to get one step closer to graduation by playing “StarCraft.”

Nate Poling, an instructor for UF’s College of Education, said he designed the online course, 21st century skills in “StarCraft,” to use the game as a tool to facilitate learning in a way that no traditional classroom could.

”A real time strategy game puts a lot of emphasis on gathering information from a wide variety of sources, analyzing that information, synthesizing that information into plans of action and then actually acting on that information — all this within a highly complex constantly changing highly fluid environment,” Poling said.

Poling said he was inspired by a similar course at University of California, Berkeley. However, that class only focused on how to become a better “StarCraft” player, so Poling decided to adapt it to be a more educationally oriented experience.

According to Poling, the 25 students enrolled in this course will be using “StarCraft” I and II to hone skills like problem solving, decision making, critical thinking and collaboration.

One of the students, Fangzhou Hou, said when he initially found out about the course he couldn’t believe it.

”I saw the UC Berkeley “StarCraft” class online before, and I was really excited about that,” Hou said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, I want to go to UC Berkeley,’ and then I realized we have that at our own school, so I was super excited.”

Hou said he thinks the course will will help him play less instinctively and reflect consciously on what his gaming skills mean in a real-world context.

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