July 25, 2015 – Columbia, MD – A new online course titled, “Introduction to Video Game Design and Development” was recently created by Columbia-based firm A P Ventures for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The new course was successfully piloted this past spring and will be available statewide for public high school students this fall.
The 120-hour course is a STEM-related course (Science Technology Engineering & Math) that aligns to both art standards and STEM standards, no small feat in the field of academics. Students taking the course engage in a variety of learning experiences that include collaborative activities, custom video tutorials, independent research, videos, and interactive games. The course focuses on real-world problem-solving as students build, test, and refine a custom video game using the Unity 3D game engine. Students create custom digital art that they integrate into their game design. The course also introduces students to career paths in the fields of video game design and digital media.
A P Ventures, a Columbia-based IT firm, has recently completed development of several STEM-related online courses for MSDE’s Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunity program, which enables public high school students across the state to take online high school courses for credit through their local school system. According to data from MSDE, student participation in online courses in Maryland has increased from fewer than 1,000 students five years ago to more than 4,800 in 2014.