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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Implementing Gamification Into a Blended Course Design

#Twitter: 
#blended21097
Presenter(s)
Samuel Gedeborg (Utah Valley University, USA)
Session Information
July 9, 2014 - 11:20am
Track: 
Blended Models and Course Design
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Community Colleges
Audience Level: 
Novice
Session Type: 
Information Session
Location: 
Plaza Court 2
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Session: 
Information Session 6
Abstract

There are only winners as you discover ways to improve student motivation in designing a blended course using gamification.

Extended Abstract

One of the most common definitions of a game is given to us by Bernard Suits (2005): "Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles". The difference in the eyes of the gamer between a successful game with a seemingly similar unsuccessful one lies in their willingness to participate within the rules. The attitude of the student is important I share the philosophy of a wise teacher who once said: "What matters most in learning is attitude. The attitude of the teacher" (McCullough, 2009).

For the past couple of years my job description at Utah Valley University has included being the Instructional Designer over blended course design as well as faculty professional development of blended learning. In addition I have also taught professional workshops at our University on game-based learning and gamification.

Just recently, when designing an Intermediate Algebra course to contain flipped and blended instruction, I wanted to use concepts of gamification and design to maximize my face-to-face time with students.

As an Adjunct Instructor of Developmental Math courses, I consistently find that many of the students felt disconnected with the traditional model of lecture based learning with homework to practice. It seemed the preparation for an abstract test seemed repetitive and students were quick to disconnect with the process and content due to a dislike of the learning environment.

Through the presentation I plan on sharing my process of designing and developing my courses based upon ideas and research into gamification and improving student motivation.

My path started back in 2006 when I was reading an article by Karen Davis titled Survivor Algebra. She had developed her college courses to add a layer of gamification over the process of learning.

Later, when I came across a MOOC in Gamification through Coursera that was taught by Kevin Werbach from the University of Pennsylvania I began looking towards the design of my classroom to improve the desire to learn and the willingness of the students.

With the elements introduced by Kevin Werbach's work I have begun to design my course to develop a maximum use of my face-to-face time through some of the design principles and elements.

In my presentation I will discuss the 3 game design elements: Dynamics, Mechanics, and Components as well as Werbach's Gamification Design Framework when applied into course design:
1) Define Objectives
2) Delineate Target Behaviors
3) Describe Your Players
4) Devise Activity Loops
5) Don't Forget the Fun
6) Deploy the Appropriate Tools

Taking those elements and the basic gamification design framework, along with Karen's work in her Math courses, I built out my blended course design to contain the learning environment I wanted for my students. While there is a lot of work I still have to improve the quality of the course I have already been pleased by the attitudes and responses of my students in general.

The similarities between the gamification design framework and backwards course design are strikingly similar. The process of designing the game feeling and structure on top of the course adds another layer of sophistication to the design of a course.

Through the presentation I will demonstrate the process I went through to take the gamification design framework and design out my current hybrid course design for Intermediate Algebra. Throughout the presentation I will offer suggestions and advice to other participants who are planning on using gamification to improve motivation, willingness, and desire of the students in their classroom.

Works Cited:

Davis, Karen Lyn (2005). Survivor Algebra. Retrieved from http://www.coolmath.com/Survivor-Algebra/12-research-paper.html

McCullough, David. (May 9, 2009) Teach Them What You Love (address given in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah).

Suits, B. (2005). The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia. Buffalo, NY: Broadview Press.

Werbach, Kevin (2014). Gamification. Coursera Course. Retrieved from https://www.coursera.org/course/gamification

Lead Presenter

I graduated with my B.S. in Mathematics, Secondary Education and minors in Spanish and Computer Science in May 2006 from Boise State University in Boise, ID. I then later completed my Master of Educational Technology Degree from Boise State in May 2011.
For six years between 2006 - 2012 I taught a combination of Mathematics, Spanish, and Computer Technology courses for high schools and middle schools located in the Treasure Valley in Idaho.
In October of 2012 I was hired on as an Instructional Designer at Utah Valley University working for the Innovation Center unit of the Distance Education division focusing particularly in hybrid courses at the University.
I married my sweetheart in June 2006 and we have 3 wonderful kids - Kathryn (age 6), Matthew (age 5), and Emily (age 3).
Personal passions include Running (coached Track and Cross-Country for 4 years), Gardening, Ballroom Dancing, and spending time with family.