Missouri Southern State University-header

Transforming Writing-Intensive Courses with Interactive Video

Missouri Southern State University (MSSU), in a move to enhance its online learning offerings, introduced new edtech tools. This initiative, funded by the CARES Act Emergency Relief funds, was part of a broader effort to improve the use of digital learning tools across MSSU. When considering options, instructional designer and adjunct history professor Diana Fordham became a key advocate for PlayPosit’s adoption after recognizing its potential for her classroom. She focused on the need for authentic assessment and the integration of open educational resources, ultimately choosing PlayPosit by WeVideo and Yellowdig to meet these goals.


Diana Fordham implemented PlayPosit in two courses: Western Civilization, a writing-intensive course for freshmen and sophomores, and Arab-Israeli Conflict, for juniors and seniors. Her primary objective was to improve upon traditional test bank assessments, addressing concerns of academic dishonesty while promoting authentic learning experiences. Integrating PlayPosit aimed to foster deeper understanding and engagement among students in both courses by implementing the interactive features of PlayPosit.


Fordham’s Western Civilization course initially used PlayPosit to enhance learning in the Fall 2020 semester. Students wrote short essays responding to documentary clips presented through PlayPosit bulbs (PlayPosit’s word for interactive videos) with embedded web interactions. This method eliminated the need for reading quizzes and traditional citations, instead encouraging students to reflect personally on the historical content of the course. The Arab-Israeli Conflict course adopted a similar approach, with fewer assignments, while focusing on engagement and reflection. 


The integration of PlayPosit in her courses was viewed positively by Fordham. She observed a noticeable difference in the online learning environment and in delivering authentic assessments. Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing appreciation for the engaging and challenging nature of the new assessment method. Here are some of the reflections shared by the students, which illustrate the positive change brought about by the integration of PlayPosit for teaching and assessment:

“The videos posted online each week where we have to answer the questions are great because they aren’t super long and exhausting. They get right to the point and cover some of the key points that are needed to know.”

“I like the format of the short videos with embedded quizzes in the weekly assignments.”

“Those bulbs are kind of neat. It definitely keeps me focused when watching. Kudos to the Professor for finding interesting tidbits on each section of the history chapters.”

This positive reception underscores the effectiveness of PlayPosit in achieving educational goals. 


The implementation of PlayPosit at MSSU led to several key takeaways. It effectively corrected academic dishonesty, encouraging genuine student responses and deeper engagement with course materials. Fordham’s experience highlighted the platform’s ability to transform traditional assessments into more meaningful and reflective learning experiences, a significant step forward in edtech use in higher education. 

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