Teaching Associate Professor and Acting BS/IS Program Director Judith Pintar has been selected by the Office of the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs as the University of Illinois Distinguished Teacher-Scholar for the 2020-2021 academic year. The program offers faculty members an opportunity to engage in an in-depth analysis of the craft and art of teaching, consider new approaches, and put their insights to work in ways that will benefit their students and the campus community. Pintar will receive $7,500 for her project and an additional $7,500 for a research assistant.
Pintar's award will support her project, "Gameful Pedagogy: Instructional Design for Student Well-Being." As part of the project, faculty who serve as undergraduate program directors will be invited to attend a series of discussions, facilitated by the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), in order to identify specific factors in course design that foster student wellness and encourage their incorporation into undergraduate syllabi across campus. Student focus groups will be held in the fall semester to provide the program directors with insights to inform the instructional design process. Students will be asked to outline a Students’ Bill of Rights—similar to the Gamers' Bill of Rights—which emphasizes course design factors that have the greatest impact on their well-being.
"By viewing class design through a new vantage, assessing elements of syllabi as one would assess fairness in rules of play, faculty participants may empathize with how students feel about their courses, which we hope will lead to a recognition of the connection between teaching practices and students' well-being," Pintar said.
"The work that I do as a Teacher-Scholar will become part of the suite of resources that CITL offers to improve instructional design and transform teaching practice across our campus. Because my proposed work is also part of the pedagogical vision associated with Games@Illinois, it will be incorporated into that initiative as well."
Pintar serves as director of Games @ Illinois: Playful Design for Transformative Education, a project funded by the Provost's Investment for Growth program. Her research interests include digital storytelling, game studies, and the development of interactive and narrative AI. She earned her PhD in sociology from Illinois.