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Professor Michael Sutton “Designing” Ambitious Sabbatical To Work W/Like-Minded Edupreneurs

From August 2015 through the August 2016, Professor Michael Sutton has scheduled a Sabbatical “marathon” to work with like-minded educational entrepreneurs. His goal is to leverage his executive, teaching, and scholarly experience by combining these strengths with his higher education expertise in Serious Games & Simulations.

Professor Michael Sutton is an Associate Professor at Westminster College - Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, in Salt Lake City, UT, USA. His most extensive and impressive executive profile also reveals he is working with students at the University of Utah - Sorenson Center for Innovation, as a judge to create original Serious Games that address healthcare needs. In addition to a working game, teams in the Games4Health Competition must provide the business model for commercialization and develop a clinical trial design for proving the games’ effectiveness.

Michael is intensely devoted to CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT and passionate about SERIOUS GAMES in higher education. He has applied both physical artefacts and online apps within his courses to promote increased engagement, innovation, and creativity.

A recent article, Gaming for the Greater Good on p. 16-17 of Westminster Review – Spring 2015, describes his innovative use of games at Westminster College. The article highlights Michael as a fervent evangelist for Serious Games deployment because he knows they work: he has seen the results of the learning outcomes through the career advancement of former students.

“Research has shown that in a 2- to 3-hour lecture, if that information has not been applied within the next day, over 80 percent of it is lost, even if people were taking notes. If it’s not applied in the next month, 95 percent of the knowledge and information is lost,” says Michael.

By engaging students through the use of strategy-based games in the classroom, Michael increases retention: it comes as a result of students applying the information through interaction with each another in the gaming process.

“There are probably about 42 different learning strategies, of which games are only one,” Michael says. “What I have found is that Serious Games gives a better return on learning than any other tool.”

Sutton has described his personal journey, where gaming was a critical element in his personal and professional development. Michael realizes that not every professor is excited by the idea, but he hopes that opinions will change as educators work towards engaging generations of students who have grown up using the internet and playing video games.