The New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering is a comprehensive university of engineering, applied science, and technology. Its 150 year history of education makes it one of the oldest engineering schools in the United States. With campuses in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai it is also a multi-cultural, global institution.
When the NYU Polytechnic changed their course registration procedure to a more self-service approach, they hoped it would lead students to take more ownership of their course of studies. Whereas before the students would be presented with a schedule and entered into courses by university staff, students would find and register for classes themselves through the new gamified tutorial system.
The Need For Training
Of course, students needed to be brought up to speed on the new paradigm. At first, the school created webinar sessions where a staff member would present the new steps for class registration. These were informative, but because the training sessions were held at set times certain students were unable to view any of the scheduled sessions. The school also wanted to ease the anxiety of new students enrolling in classes for the first time.
To meet this need, the Academic Advisement Center worked with the Faculty Innovations Teaching and Learning Center in February 2014 to develop a gamified system for course registration. In this system, the student logs in and completes a series of missions. Missions are scored and each mission must be completed in order to move on to the next level.
Because the new system is asynchronous, students can log on and complete the training at their own pace. Also because the new gamified tutorial use gamification to keep students motivated and engaged. As a result, the university saw a higher percentage of students completing enrollment requirements ahead of schedule. The development team received an Innovators Award for 2015 from Campus Technology Magazine.
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