Considerable attention has been paid recently to the potential impact of games on learning. One difficulty for this work is in finding the appropriate games to support relevant learning objectives, or if one can't be found, the time and expense of building games from scratch. But what if one could take the elements of a game that make it fun and engaging, and integrate those into the classroom in a way that makes that class as engaging as a game (just without the actual game)? Is it possible that the qualities of games that cause people to become engrossed for hours at a time could also cause students to become engrossed in learning? This idea, often referred to as "gamification", is the focus of Sherry Robinson's faculty fellowship.
Our primary questions are:
- How can game-like elements improve student engagement and motivation in two Business courses: MGMT301: Basic Management Concepts, and BA321: Contemporary Skills for Business Professionals?
- How can we design these game-like elements so they are instructionally effective as well as easy to use by both faculty and students?
Our goals for this Summer and Fall are to:
- Design and implement a game-like system that encourages students to write high-quality blog reflections about current events.
- Assess the impact of that system on student attitudes about learning.
- Develop resources for other faculty who wish to gamify their courses.