Gamification in Adaptive Courseware, and their Impact on the Whole Learner Experience

Concurrent Session 6

Brief Abstract

Kevin Bell, Executive Director for Online Curriculum Development and Deployment at Northeastern University, will kick this session off by exploring how gamification is used in adaptive courseware, and its effect on intrinsic motivation and student agency. For the remainder of the session, Jim Thompson, CEO of CogBooks, will focus on the other aspects of students’ learning experience and how they are improved by adaptive courseware.

The presentation includes several case studies of faculty experiences with adaptive courseware, which gives attendees a unique opportunity to gain understanding of the changes they can expect to see in their students and how they can use the information provided by adaptive courseware to inform their interaction with students. Through all its functionalities, adaptive courseware provides the instructor with the tool set necessary to improve every part of a student's learning experience.

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Kevin Bell serves Northeastern University as the Executive Director for Curriculum Development and Deployment and as Senior Fellow for the Lowell Institute Innovation Incubator. Prior to his Northeastern appointment, Kevin served as Chief Academic Officer for the College of Online and Continuing Education at Southern New Hampshire University where he also led the academic development of the SNHU Innovation Lab’s College for America project. Bell holds a BSc. in Analysis of Science and Technology from Manchester University in the UK, an M.A.T. from Marlboro College, and graduated from the executive doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent research centers on elements of course design that affect persistence and retention in online classes, with a focus on cognitive science, adaptive learning and gamification. He was awarded a double distinction for his dissertation at Penn.
Jim Thompson is the CEO of CogBooks. He and the company are passionate about applying science-based methods to education delivery. It is believed that this scientific approach will allow educators to revolutionize the effectiveness of learning over the next decade. Jim began his career as a researcher in physics. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, and continued there as a Research Fellow. His work has been published in international scientific journals and conferences. In 1998, Jim left academia for the high-tech sector, initially working in the US and Europe for Thermo Electron’s Semiconductor Division. He then relocated to Silicon Valley to take up a role as global product manager with a leading semiconductor company. While there, he moved into a corporate-wide role, helping to develop the company’s marketing and sales organizations globally. His responsibilities covered Europe, Israel, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and the US.