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A gamification design for the classroom

Michael Hitchens (Department of Computing, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Rowan Tulloch (Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 12 March 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The research described here presents an approach to gamification for the classroom. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether students would perceive the gamification activities in a positive light. Previous research has contended that students need a positive mental attitude for effective learning. The core question was to examine student attitudes to gamification, not the success of the gamification itself.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a survey of the gamification literature, and particularly drawing on the work of Groh (2012), this system is designed with three key principles in mind: relatedness, competence and autonomy. Classroom activities and associated software were designed and implemented. Almost 200 students were surveyed to determine their attitude to the gamification. The survey included both Likert-scale and qualitative responses.

Findings

A majority of the students reported that they found the gamification useful and enjoyable, only a minority of students (around 15 per cent) disagreeing with such statements. However, only a minority of students perceived a relationship between the gamification activities and games. The authors conclude that well-designed gamification systems can be well-received by students and suggest that the success of gamification projects may not lie in their ability to recreate the experience of a video game, but in the strength of the relatedness, competence and autonomy of the student experience.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by the nature of the participants, who were drawn from videogame and media units and who may be predisposed to game-like activities.

Originality/value

This research demonstrates that students are able to perceive value in gamification in the classroom.

Keywords

Citation

Hitchens, M. and Tulloch, R. (2018), "A gamification design for the classroom", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 28-45. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-05-2017-0028

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited