Leveraging Gamification and PowerPoint to Design an Active and Authentic Online Course

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Brief Abstract

This presentation reveals my experience as an instructor, in helping a non-economics major student, become excited with the prospect of being an economic consultant. This was achieved by leveraging principles of gamification, active learning and authentic learning strategies elements, within the design and delivery of an online course.

Extended Abstract

Despite education is about learning, if the interest and attention of students are not captured, then student engagement and active participation becomes severely compromised. Additionally, in a world where online education has to compete with alternative applications and programs each time a student goes on their computer-based device, the challenge to keep them consistently motivated in an online class is a genuine concern. This presentation provides a reflective insight into the strategies that were utilized by the presenter to counteract the challenges that they traditionally faced as a lecturer delivering an online course which required a lot of reading, and with little available video resources in existence. Previous students despite having positive performances in the course in previous years, have indicated their disdain for the high proportion of reading resources for the course. Consequently, the presenter challenged themself to leverage select principles of gamification, active learning and authentic learning strategies to have a positive impact on the learning process.

This presentation ultimately reveals the process whereby the presenter redesigned their traditional online course, into a gamified course utilizing PowerPoint. PowerPoint is mainly adopted by instructors in the classroom for presentation styled activities, but it has the capacity to do much more. Therefore, participating in this presentation will give faculty the opportunity to reflect on their own practice and provide ideas on how to utilize a presentation tool, such as PowerPoint, to design an online gamified, active learning and authentically aligned course.

Throughout the discourse the presenter would give the opportunity to the audience to respond to poll-questions to get an idea of individuals’ own experience with gamification, in addition to their own use cases of PowerPoint. Individuals that comprise the audience for this presentation will get an opportunity to:

  • Share in the presenter’s reflection of their praxis
  • Reflect on how they too can apply the strategies highlighted by the presenter, in their own courses as instructors.
  • Gain new insights on how PowerPoint can be used as a low-level graphic-creation tool
  • Comprehend how to use interactive features in PowerPoint to engage students asynchronously
  • Understand the impact the instructional strategy adopted by the presenter, had on the students that participated in the class.

Ultimately, the unstructured qualitative feedback received by presenter reveals that there is opportunity to engage in more structured research to measure the impact of gamified learning principles and authentic strategies in economics courses that require a high-proportion of reading by students.