Firstly, this is *not* just a video/computer/electronic game focussed course -- we 've got lectures in card games, board games, D&D style role playing ... everything from Tiddlywinks to Tetris.
Presumably you've already got down a load of general games-design books on your reading list already? There's about 3-5 generic games-desing (non-computer) that computer games designers tend to recommend (can't recall off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure you've already got them
), and of course there are a few by computer games people such as Chris Crawford (founder of the thing that became GDC) which are generally recommended to beginner computer games-designers...
IDEs -- Eclipse / NetBeans / jEdit
What are you teaching them for *modelling* game-designs?
Obviously, UML would be an excellent thing for them to learn if they are to do *any* programming, but I've seen some game-design languages (non-computer-focussed) before...and some of these can largely do away with the need for UML and/or be easier or harder to integrate with a UML design process. (although the langs I've seen are usually more about modelling plots for general fiction etc rather than generic gameplay).
Game Programming (fre)e-Books -- ?
Not free, I'm afraid, but the Game Programming Gems series (1,2,3 & 4) are an excellent resource. They cater for everything from newbie game devs right through to hardcore 3D graphics engines - the format (a bit like a FAQ in paper form) makes them work well for all audiences BUT for non-specialist games devs you really want a library / shared copy that you can leaf through since only 30% max (maybe as little as 3%) will be relevant to you on any one game.
Humbly suggest the NIO articles on this page (sorry, no unique permanent link of their own yet):http://grexengine.com/sections/people/adam/
What do you think a student starting Java Game Development from scratch should have?
. Specifically (in no particular order):