Sharing What I Find

Instructional Design and Technology in Education

Bb Exemplary Course Program Part II

Following are my notes based on the second part of a series that Blackboard is giving showing off some of their Exemplary Courses. (note: you have to register for the entire series to watch the recording.) This week we looked at COMM 3500: Technical Communications taught by Dr. Han Nee Chong from Hawaii Pacific University.   This session looked specifically at Interaction and Collaboration which is the second part of the Exemplary Course Rubric.

Interaction —   what happens in each of these three groups

  1. student-to-student
  2. student-to-content
  3. student-to-instructor

Collaboration — subset of interaction where groups are working on a shared result

This is the instructor’s  presentation.

Dr Chong has gamified her course and has created weekly quests that take students through the research process, which is one of the objectives of her class.

Discussion – creating characters personas as well as avatars — all based on Dungeons and Dragons for the class

  • fights
  • wizards
  • clerics
  • rogues
  • rangers

In the introductory post students introduced themselves and their persona and what special powers they might have.

The instructor carried the theme of the game through her tone and changing (or renaming) names of common Bb tools and features.

Librarians are the wizards, instructor was the Game master and students are Adventurers; Procrastination Monster, First Draft Dragon, etc.

Groups (Safe Haven) were formed as a place for peer review to share papers   (hide tools that weren’t available to cut down on choices) 5-6 members.

Structured weekly forums in Discussion Forum (The Tavern)

  • extra credit for answering each others questions

Announcement Tool (The Oracle)

  • weekly announcements including anticipated questions for the week

Badges for successful quest completions – didn’t base on merit but only on submission and participation

It sounds like once the introductory discussion was over, students who didn’t like the theme could following the syllabus and move forward through the assignments.

It wasn’t clear that these persona’s were actually used later on in the class or if it was just a one-time thing. Did doesn’t sound like the student user their “special powers” later on in assignments or discussions nor did the persona’s come back into how students answered discussion questions? For example – like the Rogue character taking on the devil’s advocate?

Shared resources:

Welcome video


Course Blueprint (xls)


Author: Heidi Olson

Heidi enjoys working with content experts in developing eCampus courses to provide alternatives for students. Her other interests include faculty training in best practices for eCampus and researching eCampus tools to help fulfill learning outcomes. Having worked in the distance education arena for over 20 years, she has a wide range of experiences in supporting students and faculty as technology and pedagogy evolve.

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