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DELTA Grant Creates New Opportunities for Student Success in PRT 266: Introduction to Sport Management

PRT 266 provides students with opportunities to explore careers in sport management.
PRT 266 provides students with opportunities to explore careers in sport management.

PRT 266: Introduction to Sport Management provides students with opportunities to explore a career in sport management. During the 2019-2020 DELTA Grants cycle, Teaching Associate Professor Edwin Lindsay used his online and distance education grant to create a more organized course progression for his students in PRT 266. With the help of his team, Lindsay was able to provide this for his students while simultaneously working toward a Quality Matters (QM) certification for the course.

A History with DELTA Grants

This is not the first time PRT 266 has been the focus of a DELTA Grants project. During the 2013-2014 DELTA Grants cycle, DELTA staff and faculty created a gamification module for the course, which is now used for many courses at NC State.

DELTA provides regular workshops and a user guide for faculty that wish to use the Moodle gamification module.

“We tried to build the module by asking, ‘what is something that can help this course but also help a lot of other courses with gamification?’” says Lead Interaction Designer and Developer Benjamin Huckaby.

The Moodle page for PRT 266 guides students through their course work.
The Moodle page for PRT 266 guides students through their course work.

The challenges and limitations of the gamification module and course design in this project were inspirations for the second DELTA Grants project for PRT 266.

“This project was the reason and the pilot for the second grants project. [Lindsay] had been teaching with this grant for several years and wanted to update it, make some changes and make it better for his students, so that is why this grant came about,” Huckaby says.

This wasn’t Lindsay’s first go-around with a DELTA Grants project either. From being involved with about five DELTA Grants projects, Lindsay has realized how impactful DELTA can be on students and faculty.

“I can’t say enough about the impact that DELTA and my work with them has had on my teaching, and I think the ultimate benefit is the students,” Lindsay says. “When I am a part of a DELTA Grant, it’s not just impacting that class. I am able to take what I learned and transfer it to my other classes and my colleagues in the department as well.”

Making Improvements

While the first DELTA Grant project for PRT 266 developed innovative content design, specifically the gamification module, the second project required improvements to the course design.

The most pressing problem that the second grant project aimed to solve was the need for a more organized Moodle structure and schedule for students to follow.

“The first grant really gave the instructor the challenge of providing students guidance because every student played the game at a different pace,” Instructional Designer Yan Shen says.

The course Moodle page provides visually engaging content blocks for students.
The course Moodle page provides visually engaging content blocks for students.

To provide students with more guidance, the team reorganized the Moodle structure of the course using weekly modules to guide students as they navigated through course content. They incorporated both content learning blocks and game blocks in the Moodle structure to provide opportunities to learn concepts, actively practice concepts and explore new careers.

The team also utilized a course roadmap, which was developed in previous DELTA Grants projects, to give students a visual representation of the progression of their course work. This organized structure allowed students to work toward specific milestones and feel rewarded when they maintained the learning schedule.

The team also developed a way for students to track their own progress.

“To have students think more critically during games activities, we developed something called a game scaffolding journal,” Shen says. “It provides a lot of prompts and guidance aligned with the milestones in the course.”

A Rewarding Process

Students have given overwhelmingly positive feedback on the improvements made to PRT 266.

“We’re seeing really positive results,” Assistant Director of DELTA Planning and Assessment Chris Willis says. “Students appreciate the organization of the course, and they understand how it works together. They think it’s well designed.”

Lindsay had even bigger goals for PRT 266. He wanted to not only guide students through their course work but guide them through their career choices as well.

“I am tasked with exposing students to as many of the jobs we can in sport management, and I wanted them to be excited about those jobs earlier so that they can make a more informed decision about their own careers,” Lindsay says.

He feels that the DELTA Grants project helped him achieve just that.

“When I work with students, and I see the lightbulb come on when they first understand, ‘this is the path that might be the way for me,’ it’s rewarding to me,” Lindsay says.

Lindsay has been approached by several of his former students informing him that they have found jobs and internships in the sport management field. He considers this to be the “ultimate success” of his work.

Lindsay learned a lot about himself through his participation in this DELTA Grants project.

“I gained the confidence to try and experiment on my own,” Lindsay says. “I’ve been less dependent upon DELTA, and [this project] has allowed me the comfortability and confidence to go out and try different things [that] Moodle is capable of.”

By learning to experiment with learning technologies, Lindsay was able to combat his fear of “breaking” what his DELTA colleagues had done. Overall, the project has helped him see limitations as opportunities.

Lindsay feels grateful for his DELTA colleagues, his project team and Business and Technology Applications Analyst Stephen Bader, who has been a partner and mentor for Lindsay throughout his DELTA Grants projects.

“None of this would be possible without my DELTA colleagues’ expertise,” Lindsay says. “Without their abilities, I am not able to share with my students.”

Advice for Faculty

Lindsay believes that offering his skills and time to DELTA was important for DELTA, and it proved to be important for himself as well. He hopes to use his story to inspire others to do the same.

“When I talk to young faculty members on campus, one of the first things out of my mouth is DELTA because there are resources that are available to them that they often don’t know about,” Lindsay says.

His biggest piece of advice to instructors is to take risks. After seeing his strict philosophy on teaching change to a more flexible, curious approach, Lindsay hopes that other instructors will experience the same.

Lindsay hopes faculty at NC State will reach out to DELTA and participate in their own projects to experience the same fulfillment from their work that he has.

“Around 2012 and 2013 when we started working on this project, it all came into focus that I am doing what I should be doing, and there are resources and tools that allow me to do this in different ways than I ever imagined,” Lindsay says.

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