Tag Archives: Religion 101

Gamifying higher education: welcome to the World of Biblecraft

Here’s the elevator pitch: My Religion 101 course, also known as “World of Biblecraft,” functions like a cross between Farmville, Minecraft, and the World of Warcraft, where students earn XP and level up by exploring the Bible.

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Searching the scriptures (without Google’s help)

Bible+-by-Olive-Tree-app-iconMost of my students nowadays carry around tiny computers that afford them almost instant access to practically limitless information. Many of us now use Google (or similar search engines) as our starting point in any quest for existing data. Skill and good judgment in accessing and using data have outstripped memorization of data as core competencies for modern life. However, defaulting to Google or Wikipedia searches to find material within the Bible can actually distance users from the Bible, by placing the biblical text itself behind a nearly limitless wall of secondary sources. To help my students better appreciate the value of enaging primary sources and to help them develop more sophisticated searching habits, I switched a year or so ago to requiring students to use digital, searchable Bibes in my introductory courses. I’ll share some of my experiences using Olive Tree’s Bible Study App (a.k.a. BibleReader or Bible+) to teach this type of “searching the scriptures” at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Baltimore this November. I don’t yet know the specific schedule, but I’ll make this presentation in one of the sessions put on by the Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies unit.