312 The Past, Present, and Future of Games and Learning

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Wednesday, September 30

Instructional Design


Games are a hot topic in the learning industry right now. At the same time, few people truly understand the differences between games and gamification or their applications to learning. Learning professionals interested in gaming need to understand how games work and how technology can be used to bring games to life.

In this panel discussion you will explore how games have been used in learning in the past, how they are being used today, and the opportunities that exist for games and learning in the future. You will hear examples from industry experts who have applied games in their own work and examine what works and what doesn’t when it comes to games and learning. You will leave this session with context that will help you better execute your own games-based learning programs.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How games have been used in learning programs in the past
  • How games are being used today
  • What works for games and learning and what doesn’t
  • Tips for applying game-based learning
  • What the opportunities for games-based learning are today and in the future

Novice to advanced designers, developers, project managers, and managers.

Technology discussed in this session:

Julie Dirksen (Host)

Learning Strategist

Usable Learning

Julie Dirksen, a learning strategist with Usable Learning, is a consultant and instructional designer with more than 15 years' experience creating highly interactive eLearning experiences for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to technology startups to grant-funded research initiatives. She's interested in using neuroscience, change management, and persuasive technology to promote sustainable long-term learning and behavior change. Her MS degree in instructional systems technology is from Indiana University, and she's been an adjunct faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is the author of Design For How People Learn.

Sharon Boller

President and Chief Product Officer

Bottom-Line Performance

Sharon Boller is president and chief product officer of Bottom-Line Performance (BLP), a learning-solutions firm she founded in 1995. Sharon has grown BLP from a single-woman sole proprietorship to a $3 million+ company with 30 team members. Under her direction, BLP created the Knowledge Guru learning game platform, a platform that has received numerous industry awards, including the coveted Brandon Hall Gold award for best innovation in gaming and technology (2014). Sharon co-teaches Guild Academy’s Game Design live online course.

Koreen Pagano

Group Vice President, Product Management


Koreen Pagano, group vice president, product management for Wiley, is an internationally recognized writer and speaker who is passionate about learning, technology, and changing the world. Koreen founded Tandem Learning, where she pioneered immersive learning in organizations by leveraging virtual worlds, games, and simulations, led Enterprise Product at lynda.com and LinkedIn, led corporate product strategy at D2L, and was head of product for Degreed. She has taught graduate courses at Harrisburg University and is on the advisory board for emerging tech companies in the VR and education markets. Koreen authored the book Immersive Learning.

Bianca Woods

Customer Advocacy Manager


Bianca Woods is a customer advocacy manager at Articulate. Her past experience includes working on the community and event programming for the Learning Guild, learning and communications roles at BMO Financial Group, and teaching art. Bianca is passionate about how visual design and multimedia can help people learn, loves test-driving new technology, and collects photos of bizarre warning signs.

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