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

Abstract:
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

Gamification research: Surprising results

This article is reposted via Gamification Research Network (link). The corresponding author of the research paper, Juho Hamari (University of Tampere, Finland) states his experiment as follows:

gamification-badges

“I conducted a 1.5-year-long field experiment on whether badges, which have been one of the main mechanics in gamification, had an effect on the usage activity, quality and social interaction within an eCommerce website. The data, gathered between December 2010 to the end of July 2012, consisted of the usage data of 3,234 users. The field experiment especially focused on whether providing users with clear goals and enabling social features (in form of enabling comparing badges) (2×2 design) affected the individual numbers of posted trade proposals, accepted transactions, comments and overall use activity. The users received badges for different beneficial activities, such as posting trade proposals, accepting transactions and posting comments.

Surprisingly, the results showed that merely enabling these features did not have any significant effect on use. However, those users who actively followed up on the accumulation of their own badges posted and accepted more trades as well as commented more. Comparing badges was also positively associated with making more trade proposals. The paper discusses in more length possible reasons for these results, such as context of use, nature of the gamified service, intentions of the users and the sporadic nature of use of such services.”

The research is published in Electronic Commerce Research and Applications journal and you can find a pre-print of the paper here.
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