Game On: Exploring Game-Based Methods for Asynchronous Instructional Delivery

Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

A faculty member and instructional designer share their collaboration to rethink the structure of a graduate course to enhance the learner experience and instructional capacity through gamification.  Come discover the game-based methods implemented throughout the course, as well as the student response and benefits they have seen as a result.


Anne is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the Curry School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. She serves as the Director of the fully online M.Ed. program in Curriculum and Instruction. Before coming to Curry, she served students and families as a teacher, athletic coach, assistant principal, ESL curriculum specialist, and community college instructor.

Extended Abstract

Gamification has been around for more than 100 years and has been utilized as a way to motivate learners or participants.  With the continuing advancements in technology and online education the concept of gamification has become of greater interest in higher education.  This concept along with the need to motivate online students in the midst of a pandemic sparked the collaboration between a faculty member and an instructional designer.  Wang (2021) writes “A gamified learning process has the potential to immerse your students in the curricular content and cultivates a positive attitude toward study” (para. 3).  During the extensive course redesign process, Malone’s Theory of Intrinsically Motivating Instruction and ARCs Theory of Motivation served as models on how to increase student motivation through game-based learning practices and strategies.  Creative storylines, levels, awards, graphics and characters are just some of the unique elements of fantasy, challenge and curiosity that were utilized within the course design and in turn enhanced student engagement, motivation and overall enjoyment of the course.  In this session, you'll hear from a faculty member and instructional designer who collaborated to rethink the structure of a graduate-level comprehensive course to enhance the learner experience and instructional capacity.  During this session will ask participants to pause and reflect on the methods that they currently employ and brainstorm emerging pedagogical strategies, such as gamification into their current course design and how collaboration among a faculty and an instructional designer can be mutually beneficial to expanding their instructional capacity.   Come discover how you can implement various game-based methods and strategies to create a positive and engaging learning environment for students and how effective collaboration and thoughtful design strategies can enhance the student experience. 


In this session, participants will engage in an interactive session by:


  • Exploring the concept of gamification, its elements, and how it can transform a traditional course

  • Learning the value of game-based methods within an online course and how to implement various strategies to enhance the student experience.

  • Examining  how the relationship and collaboration between faculty and an instructional designer can improve the course design experience.



Session Structure:


The structure of the session will mirror some game-based methods. The layout of our session is as follows:


  • Backstory & Choose Your Adventure (5 minutes)

  • Using Poll Everywhere, participants will vote for which adventure they’d like to go on first.

    • Adventure: Understanding Game-Based Methods (8 minutes)

      • Benefits of game-based methods

      • What is a game?

      • What is gamification?

      • What are some examples of game-based elements that can be added to a course to improve learner engagement?

      • What are the benefits of utilizing game-based methods?

    • Adventure: Course Redesign Process (8 minutes)

      • Initial consult and goal settings

      • The design and gamification brainstorming process

      • The design strategies and techniques implemented within the course

  • Student Feedback & Key Takeaways (4 minutes)

  • Playing an interactive game, participants will explore collaboration strategies among faculty and the instructional designer. (10 minutes)

  • Questions (5 minutes)


Takeaway #1: After attending this session, attendees will be able to brainstorm and share ideas of how game-based methods can enhance course design.

Takeaway #2: After attending this session, attendees will be able to evaluate how their courses can be enhanced through utilizing game-based methods. 

Takeaway #3: After attending this session, attendees will be able to share how collaborative instructional design efforts can lead to strong course design.