Gameful Design in an Online Business Degree Program

Concurrent Session 5

Brief Abstract

Over the last year, Ellucian instructional designers have partnered with faculty to develope an online business degree in which all courses integrated gameful design elements.  Ranging from accounting to economics to marketing, the courses help learners move toward competence through establishing individualized goals, clear rules, interesting challenges, and relevant feedback.  This presentation will showcase the elements common to the courses in addition to the more unique ways in which the instructors incorporated game elements and game-based learning.  As a result of the presentation, participants be able to define and appropriately implement gameful design in their own courses or programs.

Extended Abstract

Over the last year, Ellucian instructional designers have partnered with faculty to develope an online business degree in which all courses integrated gameful design elements.  Ranging from accounting to economics to marketing, the courses help learners move toward competence through establishing individualized goals, clear rules, interesting challenges, and relevant feedback.  This presentation will showcase the elements common to the courses in addition to the more unique ways in which the instructors incorporated game elements and game-based learning.   

Although initially hesitant at moving outside of their comfort zone, most faculty members embraced these gameful design principles.  Departing from the high-stakes assessments typical across their discipline, faculty members designed innovative ways of motivating learners through infusing competition and role-play into class asynchronous discussions and group projects.   Students competed in teams in one discussion forum and addressed case studies in the roles of lawyer, judge, and appeals court in another, with the “winning” argument being voted on by the class.  One group project involved students playing a marketing game while another allowed learners to craft and award their own badges.  The similarities as well as the variation in techniques showcases how gameful design works on a wider, programmatic level.

Acknowledging that the real test of gameful learning is determined by experience of the players, this presentation concludes by sharing the lessons learned from the Fall Semester.  Participants will be engaged throughout as they not only interact with the courses from the perspective of learners but also debate how the techniques could be applied to the courses they work with or teach.