Amsterdam, Here I Come: An Interview About Game Based Learning with Rhonda Newton By Allie Alayan for AACE Review, May 13th 2019 The upcoming EdMedia conference will be held from June 24-28 in Amsterdam. The program contains six workshops as part of the conference. Workshops are a great way to explore a concept, technology or practice in depth, network with other participants and receive a mix of scholarly overview and practical advice. To highlight why you should attend a workshop or consider organizing one yourself, AACE Review features selected presenters in a series of interviews. Rhonda Newton works as an Instructional Designer in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M where she conducts numerous faculty workshops to enhance teaching practices within the college. She has experience as an instructional designer at an educational gaming company where she collaborated with different game design units and SMEs to create interactive educational games for higher education and K-12. Rhonda has a keen interest in leveraging technology to enhance authentic, contextual learning. Rhonda Newton is hosting a workshop on the use of different game formats to enhance learning experiences. Her workshop will take place on Monday, June 24 from 9:30AM-1:00PM. We talked to her about reasons for attending EdMedia and the concept of her workshop entitled ‘Creating Your Epic Win- Using Games to Engage’. In the interview for AACE Review, Rhonda Newton talks about why she is part of the AACE conference community, what participants will learn in her workshop, and what methods she is planning on using. What makes the AACE conference community special in your opinion? This is actually my second year attending an AACE conference. I have found that these conferences provide a great opportunity to network with experts across various fields. The people who attend have been so friendly and open to forming partnerships when there are overlapping research interests. Do you have a favorite conference experience or anecdote to share? Last year during E-Learn, I was able to interact with a diverse group of people at an empathy round table. These people have since then formed a research group and we are currently investigating using games as a tool for empathic development. What are you most looking forward to at this conference? I am looking forward to learning how diverse forms of technology have been implemented in a variety of fields, lessons learned, and overall research on best practices and emerging tools. Why did you decide to submit a workshop proposal? I believe that this workshop would provide attendees with not only theoretical knowledge on how games can be used to engage, but also hands-on practice in creating a game aligned to an educational context. It should be a fun and informative experience. What key insights do you hope your participants will take away from your workshop? I hope that participants will be able to articulate why games could be used to engage their learners as well as be able to source various games to accomplish different learning objectives. Moreover, I expect that participants will leave with a game concept or prototype that incorporates the formal and dramatic elements of game design. What methods will you use during the workshop? Play! Attendees will play games as they work to create their own. There will be group debriefings. Who should be coming to your workshop and why? This workshop is open to faculty, instructional designers, and really anyone who has an immediate interest in making learning fun and engaging.