The Bear Cave: Using gamification to teach organizational communication


Organizational communication has concepts and processes that can be difficult to absorb. Using gamification as a pedagogical strategy, a semester-long project is developed to help students learn through application. The Bear Cave is a class-wide competition where students create an organization and seek a fictional investment of $1,000,000. In groups of three or four, students go through four checkpoints where they develop an organization from scratch. This allows students to receive instructor feedback, peer evaluation, and the opportunity to pitch their idea in the final part of the semester. Student feedback shows high satisfaction with the use of gamification strategies and an increase in retaining the material. Courses: Organizational Communication; any undergraduate communication course that centers on communication in organizations. Organizational communication courses offered in online formats can also benefit. Objectives: This semester-long project asks students to develop an organization from scratch using organizational communication theory and concepts. In groups of three for four, students are expected to (1) develop an idea and original logo for an organization, (2) explain how their organization operates according to communication concepts and principles, and (3) competitively present written and oral proposals.



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Communication Teacher