Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Chair

Andrew Tawfik

Committee Member

Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Committee Member

Craig Shepherd

Committee Member

Vicki Murrell


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine online faculty perceptions of engagement within a gamified professional development course at a large urban research university. Over the last decade, gamification has been a trending topic in education because it allows learners an opportunity for contextualized and engaged learning by applying game-thinking to solve problems. Research has shown a direct link between increased levels of engagement when gamification elements such as badging, leaderboards, leveling, etc. are introduced into online learning environments. Currently, literature on the use of gamification is focused on learners in secondary and post-secondary learning institutions and private corporations. As a result, a research gap exists on gamified professional development and its potential to increase engagement in online faculty professional development. While previous research is promising, faculty have unique considerations related to effective teaching, student engagement, and research development; therefore, it is unclear the degree to which this literature can be applied. The case study was conducted with ten online faculty members with diverse backgrounds. This study examined the perceptions of online faculty who had participated in a gamified online professional development course. One-on-one interviews were conducted to learn more about the participants perceptions of engagement and gamification within the professional development. This study revealed online faculty perceptions related to the following four themes: increased perceived engagement through self-directed learning, gamification features activate external motivation to engage, competition and the role of flow, and the role of effective segmentation and cognitive load in flow. Although the six participants that were interviewed all had unique perspectives of the course, all shared positive perceptions of increased engagement related to the gamification design of the professional development. Findings indicated that gamification may increase online facultys engagement within professional development courses. The engagement of online faculty with professional development is imperative for institutions to optimally prepare online faculty for instruction and contribute to the overall educational goals of the institution. The results of this study will be used to inform faculty professional development design practices at the researchers institution, as well as faculty professional development at large.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest