Alexander Nagurney & Patrick Smith
Sakai 2015 Award Winning Team Uses Game-Based Elements in Teaching
Millions of people all over the world play online or other screen-based games and find them highly engaging and exciting. What if we were to take game-based elements and design them into a course? Dr. Alex Nagurney and Instructional Designer Patrick Smith developed a freshman level Psychology course that uses simple game-based elements to help engage and challenge students, all without requiring a complete overhaul of Dr. Nagurney's teaching methodology.
The Faculty Showcase in November featured Nagurney,a former Texas State instructor in Psychology, now a faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Smith, an Instructional Designer from ITS. Dr. Nagurney joined the session via video-conferencing technology.
Nagurney and Smith share details of the course design, the research behind the choices made in the development of the plan, and specific data gathered from students regarding their perceptions of the learning experience, both before and after the game based elements were introduced. They discuss further research planned in this area and implications for using similar techniques in other disciplines and distance learning environments.