Gamification Study about the use of Badges

A recent study from the Aalto School of Business investigates the effects of gamification and the implementation of badges on user activity.


During recent years, the addition of game mechanisms to non-game services has gained a relatively large amount of attention. Popular discussion connects gamification to successful marketing and increased profitability through higher customer engagement, however, there is a dearth of empirical studies that confirm such expectations. This paper reports the results of a field experiment, which gamifies a utilitarian peer-to-peer trading service by implementing the game mechanism of badges that users can earn from a variety of tasks. There were 3234 users who were randomly assigned to treatment groups and subjected to different versions of the badge system in a 2 x 2 design. The results show that the mere implementation of gamification mechanisms does not automatically lead to significant increases in user activity in the studied utilitarian service, however, those users who actively monitored their own badges and those of others in the study showed increased user activity.

The article to the study can be found here.

Gaming: The Future`s Language (Richard D. Duke, 1974)

Richard D. Duke, an American Professor and author of the book “Gaming: The Future`s Language” developed an an early model of game design. He states that “the prime purpose of gaming/simulation is to establish dialogue to increase communication among a group about a topic which is complex, future-oriented, of a systems nature, and which requires a vocabulary or vernacular which is not commonly shared by the group at the outset of the discussion.

Duke`s model is based on four phases: initiation, design, construction and use. The model can be found here.


Einsatz von Gamification zur Motivation in Crowdsourcing-Projekten

Hier eine interessante Masterarbeit von Mark Andrae von der Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, den aktuellen Forschungsstand in Bezug auf „Crowdsourcing“ und „Gamification“ abzubilden, und auf Basis dieses Stands ein allgemeines Konzept für den Einsatz von Gamification in Crowdsourcing-Projekten zu erstellen. Dieses Konzept soll mit einem konkreten Fallbeispiel unterstützt werden.
Die Arbeit findet sich hier.

Coursera: Video Games and Learning

Online course on Coursera about games and learning, held by Constance Steinkuehler and Kurt Squire. Started Oct 3rd 2013 and will run for 6 weeks.


The course teaches about video games and their potential value for learning, mainly focused on education for kids and teenagers (pre-university education). A large number of instructors contribute to the course and introduce valuable principles for designing concepts, narrations as well as visuals for immersive learning experiences.

They identify possibilities of learning that are strongly facilitated by games and show examples of how these can be used in a learning context.

Games and Learning Slide Screen Shot

Slide from week one lecture held by Kurt Squire

From the course description: Video games aren’t just fun, they can be powerful vehicles for learning as well. In this course, we discuss research on the kinds of thinking and learning that go into video games and gaming culture, benefits and drawbacks of digital gameplay, tensions between youth culture and traditional education, and new developments intended to bridge that growing divide.

Engaging Engineering Students with Gamification

Badges and Achivements
Abstract– Well-designed games are good motivators by nature, as they imbue players with clear goals and a sense of reward and fulfillment, thus encouraging them to persist and endure in their quests. Recently, this motivational power has started to be applied to non-game contexts, a practice known as Gamification. This adds gaming elements to non-game processes, motivating users to adopt new behaviors, such as improving their physical condition, working more, or learning something new. This paper describes an experiment in which game-like elements were used to improve the delivery of a Master’s level College course, including scoring, levels, leaderboards, challenges and badges. To assess how gamification impacted the learning experience, we compare the gamified course to its non-gamified version from the previous year, using different performance measures. We also assessed student satisfaction as compared to other regular courses in the same academic context. Results were very encouraging, showing significant increases ranging from lecture attendance to online participation, proactive behaviors and perusing the course reference materials. Moreover, students considered the gamified instance to be more motivating, interesting and easier to learn as compared to other courses. We finalize by discussing the implications of these results on the design of future gamified learning experiences.
Keywords—Gamification; Education; Student participation; Classroom learning; Evaluation

Engaging Engineering Students with Gamification (Full Paper in PDF format)

Improving student attitudes using Gamification in Education

Improving Student Attitudes Toward the Capstone Laboratory Course Using Gamification

Gamification, or the introduction of game-like mechanics into non-game contexts, has received increasing attention recently, largely for its perceived ability to motivate participants into desired courses of action by making mandatory or mundane tasks rewarding in some way. Examples of this in the business world include frequent flyer reward programs, social programs such as FourSquare or Facebook Check In, and app-type gamification of to-do lists, weight-loss programs, or exercise programs. Weiterlesen

Gamified education set in pilot by Kaplan University

Kaplan University, a well-known for-profit, predominantly distant-learning institution started this year to have a pilot course to motivate students by applying gamification. Kaplan is one of the first to become a gamified education offerring courses in their online programs with the aim of creating higher motivation for students. Weiterlesen

Our Princess Is in Another Castle : A Review of Trends in Serious Gaming for Education

This is a paper by Michael F. Young, Stephen Slota, Andrew B. Cutter, Gerard Jalette, Greg Mullin, Benedict Lai, Zeus Simeoni, Matthew Tran and Mariya Yukhymenko (2012) from the University of Connecticut.


Do video games show demonstrable relationships to academic achievement gains when used to support the K-12 curriculum? In a review of literature, we identified 300+ articles whose descriptions related to video games and academic achievement. We found some evidence for the effects of video games on language learning, history, and physical education (specifically exergames), but little support for the academic value of video games in science and math. We summarize the trends for each subject area and supply recommendations for the nascent field of video games research. Many educationally interesting games exist, yet evidence for their impact on student achievement is slim. We recommend separating simulations from games and refocusing the question onto the situated nature of game-player-context interactions, including meta-game social collaborative elements.

The paper can be found here.

Digital game-based learning: Impact of instructions and feedback on motivation and learning effectiveness

This is a study of S. Erhel and E. Jamet (2013) from the Experimental Psychology Laboratory, CRPCC of the University of Rennes-II Haute Bretagne.


Although many studies have investigated the effects of digital game-based learning (DGBL) on learning and motivation, its benefits have never been systematically demonstrated. In our first experiment, we sought to identify the conditions under which DGBL is most effective, by analyzing the effects of two different types of instructions (learning instruction vs. entertainment instruction). Results showed that the learning instruction elicited deeper learning than the entertainment one, without impacting negatively on motivation. In our second experiment, we showed that if learners are given regular feedback about their performance, the entertainment instruction results in deep learning. These two experiments demonstrate that a serious game environment can promote learning and motivation, providing it includes features that prompt learners to actively process the educational content.

The study can be found here.