Francesco Crocco, PhD.

Associate Director, Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Dr. Crocco currently serves as the associate director of the Online Writing Lab (OWL) for Excelsior College. He is developing a new online reading lab as well as collaborating with the Grants Office to pursue funding for research and expansion. Dr. Crocco also conducts evaluations of the online reading and writing labs and provides leadership on college committees (Writing Across the Curriculum, Open Education Resources, and so forth). He develops instructional games and gamification techniques to improve engagement with the site.

Graduating summa cum laude from CUNY Graduate Center with a PhD. inFrank retouched English, Dr. Crocco received an alumni and faculty prize for most distinguished dissertation of the year. Dr. Crocco worked for several CUNY schools and other universities teaching courses in literature while tutoring and advising students to help improve their reading and writing skills. Before working for Excelsior College, Dr. Crocco developed and taught online and face-to-face English courses at CUNY Graduate Center. He also published a dozen peer-reviewed books and articles and awarded federal and local grants for research and development including a National Science Foundation grant to develop a video-game-based curriculum for STEM majors.

Dr. Crocco is a convention delegate for the American Federation of Teachers as well as the New York State United Teachers. He is a member of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance and co-founder of the CUNY Games Network. Dr. Crocco was also the conference organizer for The CUNY Games Festival and Conference on Game-based Learning in Higher Education two years in a row.

Expertise

  • Literature
  • Grant writing
  • Game-based learning in higher education
  • Teaching and tutoring in reading and writing

Education

  • Doctorate of English, concentration in British Romanticism, 18th Century Literature, and Nationalism, CUNY Graduate Center, 2008
  • Master of English, Rutgers University, 2001
  • Bachelor of English, Montclair State University, 1999

Selected Presentations

  • “Gamification: An Ambiguous Utopia.” Society for Utopian Studies Annual Conference. Montreal, CA (October 2014).
  • “Levelfly: Redesigning Learning Management Systems with Game-based Learning.” Invited Speaker. Library Literacy Series: Knowledge in the Digital Age. LaGuardia Community College (May 2014).
  • “Playing to Learn: Games, Engagement, and Deep Learning in Higher Education.” Co-presented with Kathleen Offenholley. CUNY Games Festival & Conference on Game-based Learning in Higher Education. CUNY Graduate Center (January 2014).
  • Levelfly (formerly College Quest): An Achievement-based LMS.” Co-presented with Joe Bisz. CUNY Games Festival & Conference on Game-based Learning in Higher Education. CUNY Graduate Center (January 2014).
  • “All Work and No Play: The Absence of Play in Utopia.” Society for Utopian Studies Annual Conference. Charleston, SC (November 2013).
  • College Quest: A Game-based LMS and Academic Social Network.” Games, Learning, and Society Conference. Madison, WI (June 2013).
  • “It’s Your Turn: A Study of the Effects of Game-based Learning in Higher Education.” Invited Speaker. Mercy College. Dobbs Ferry, NY (March 2013).
  • College Quest: A Game-based LMS and Academic Social Network.” CUNY IT Conference. New York, NY (November 2012).
  • “Gaming Across the Curriculum.” CUNY IT Conference. New York, NY (November 2012).
  • “The Theory and Practice of Game-based Learning.” Invited Speaker. Instructional Technology Program. CUNY Graduate Center. New York, NY (October 2012).
  • The Hunger Games and the Instrumentalization of Play.” Society for Utopian Studies Annual Conference. Toronto, CA (October 2012).
  • The Hunger Games and the Instrumentalization of Play.” Invited Speaker. Seminars in the Humanities: Possible Worlds, Alternative Futures Seminar. CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY (September 2012).
  • Book Launch for New Edition of the Dystopian Novel Voyage to Kazohinia. Invited Speaker. Hungarian Consulate, New York, NY (June 2012).
  • “What’s Your Game Plan?” Workshop Co-Presenter. The Humanities and Technology Camp, Games Edition. University of Maryland, College Park, MD (January 2012).
  • “Just Playing?: The Utopian Function of Serious Games and Simulations.” Society for Utopian Studies Annual Conference. State College, PA (October 2011).
  • “Reports from the Field: Protesting Higher Education Cutbacks.” Panelist, Modern Language Association Annual Conference. Los Angeles, CA (January 2011).

Selected Publications

  • Crocco, Francesco and Andrew Byers, eds. The Role-Playing Society: Essays on The Cultural Influence of Role-Playing Games. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2016. Print.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “The RPG Classroom: Re-Purposing Role-Playing Game Mechanics for the Gamification of Education.” The Role-Playing Society: Essays on The Cultural Influence of Role-Playing Games. Ed. Andrew Byers and Francesco Crocco. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2016. Print.
  • Crocco, Francesco, Kathleen Offenholley, and Carlos Hernandez. “A Proof-of-Concept Study of Game-based Learning in Higher Education.” Simulation and Gaming (Published online before print: February 26, 2016). Print.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “Simulating Utopia: Critical Simulation and the Teaching of Utopia.” Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy 7 (10 May 2015). Web.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “The Paragraph Game: A Collaborative Game to Teach Paragraph Structure.” Practical Composition for the English Classroom from Working Instructors. Ed. Russell Brickey, Laura L. Beadling, and Evelyn Martens. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014. 132-134. Print.
  • Crocco, Francesco. Literature and the Growth of British Nationalism: The Influence of Romantic Poetry and Bardic Criticism. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014. Print.
  • Crocco, Francesco and Joe Bisz. “College Quest: A Game-based LMS and Academic Social Network.” GLS 9.0 Conference Proceedings. Ed. Caroline C. Williams, Amanda Ochsner, Jeremy Dietmeier, and Constance Steinkuehler. Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press, 2013. 499-502. Print.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “Critical Gaming Pedagogy.” Radical Teacher: A Socialist, Feminist, and Anti-Racist Journal on the Theory and Practice of Teaching 91 (Fall 2011): 26-41. Print.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “Contesting the Manufactured Crisis of Public Higher Education at CUNY.” Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences 20.1 (Fall/Winter 2011): 218-32. Print.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “The Colonial Subtext of Barbauld’s Eighteen Hundred and Eleven.” The Wordsworth Circle 41.2 (Spring 2010): 91-4. Print.

Selected Grant Proposals

  • Crocco, Francesco, Kathleen Offenholley, and Ching-Song Wei. “A Simulation-Based Curriculum to Accelerate Math Remediation and Improve Degree Completion for STEM Majors.” National Science Foundation Advancing Technological Education Grant (May 1, 2015 – April 30, 2018). $875,794.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “All Work and No Play: The Absence of Play in Representations of Utopia.” BMCC Faculty Development Grant (2014 – 2015). $3000.
  • Crocco, Francesco and Joe Bisz, “College Quest Implementation.” BMCC E-Learning Title V Mini-Grant (July 2013 – July 2014). $15,898.
  • Crocco, Francesco and Joe Bisz. “College Quest Pilot Study.” BMCC E-Learning Title V Mini-Grant (January 2013 – July 2013). $29,000.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “GAMES: Games to Advance Mathematics Education for STEM.” BMCC Presidential Scholars Program (2012 – 2013). $4500.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “The Hunger Games and the Instrumentalization of Play.” CUNY Faculty Fellowship Publication Program (2012 – 2013). $4000.
  • Crocco, Francesco and Joe Bisz. “College Quest: A Game-Enhanced Teaching and Learning Application.” BMCC E-Learning Title V Mini-Grant (June 2011 – June 2012). $91,535.
  • Crocco, Francesco, Kathleen Offenholley, and Carlos Hernandez. “Game-Based Learning: Evaluating a Twenty-First Century Pedagogy for CUNY Community Colleges.” CUNY Community College Collaborative Incentive Research Grant (2011 – 2012). $15,000.
  • Crocco, Francesco. “National Eyes: British Nationalism and Romantic Poetry.” PSC-CUNY Research Grant (2010 – 2011). $4,000.