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)