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July 24, 2011

ISU prof wins award for game she helped develop

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State University professor Susan Moncada’s alternative to lecturing received more than merely her students’ attention.

Moncada, a professor of accounting, is one of two award recipients for “Processing Integrity Challenge,” a PowerPoint game similar to Jeopardy that Moncada plays with students in her accounting systems class as an alternative to lecturing. She adapted and enhanced the Financial Accounting Jeopardy Games application by Michael Seda, a professor at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C. Seda and Moncada contributed their creations to the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, or MERLOT. Moncada and Seda received the MERLOT Business Classics Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources for 2011 award earlier this month.

To play the game, Moncada divides her class into groups of four or five students. Teams are given note cards that correspond to the different categories and items displayed on the game board. A student picks a question, and the groups have 30 seconds to write down their responses on the note cards. After Moncada collects all the cards, she reveals the correct answer and discusses the concept addressed. The game teaches students about internal controls that improve system reliability, which can help prevent and detect irregularities, including fraud, in an organization, Moncada said. “This game is an entertaining way for students to learn about processing integrity controls,” she added.

Moncada originally submitted her game last August. Because of her involvement with MERLOT, she was contracted to create 10 teaching activities for inclusion in the Science Education Resource Center collection which was funded by the National Science Foundation and is maintained by Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. A requirement was to also contribute the materials to MERLOT and have them subjected to the MERLOT peer review process.

One of the reviewers classes tested the game with 100 students describing the activity as a “fast paced, high energy exercise …[that] made learning fun.” A link to the Processing Integrity Challenge game and the MERLOT review can be found at

Moncada received the award during the Emerging Technologies for Online Learning conference in San Jose, Calif., earlier this month. She also gave a presentation, during which she explained and demonstrated several game adaptations of “Tic-Tac-Toe,” “Connect Four” and “Hollywood Squares,” along with her award-winning initiative, all of which she developed using PowerPoint.

Moncada also plays a game she invented called Cribbingo with students in her accounting classes. It is a combination of bingo and the card game cribbage. The game cards contain pictures of normal playing cards instead of numbers. To start a round, Moncada asks an accounting question to her students. Every time a question is answered correctly, she flips a playing card from the deck. If students have the image on their Cribbingo card, they mark through it. When five cards in a row are marked, students call out “Cribbingo” and earn a quarter for laundry money. They also peg the point value of the cribbage hand on their card.

“These games are just alternative ways of covering course content,” she said, “but the students are answering questions instead of listening to a lecture. In fact, students readily volunteer to answer questions because we are learning under the guise of a competitive game.”


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