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The Basis for the Big Question

Chapman, J. & Rich, P. (2018). Does educational gamification improve student motivation? If so, which game elements work best? Journal of Education for Business, 93:7, 314-321.


Chapman and Rich, in their 2014 study of gamification elements, determined that overall, 67.7% of students reported being more motivated in a gamified learning environment rather than in a traditional environment. They reported the most effective game elements to be related to tracking one’s own progress, tracking the progress of others (for comparison), and elements of the game that provided the player with feedback These authors chose to use Self-Determination Theory as a starting point for their research, A need for competence was translated into a feeling of effectiveness in one’s environment, relatedness evolved into feeling connected to the players, students, or characters around you, and autonomy is the ability of players or students to make their own choices regarding their learning.


This article is well written and specifically aims to present research where "questions and methods are grounded in rigorous theory, relevant literature, and practical experience" (p. 315). One would think that all research would attempt to encapsulate these three elements, but in many articles that is not the case. They thoroughly examined the flaws in current educational research for gamification, addressed them, and attempted to use these learnings to design the most impactful study possible.


For me, this article brought together much of the relevant research I have read concerning gamification and cited many seminal articles in the field. SDT was the motivational theory that I most identified with at the beginning of the semester when we thoroughly evaluated and compared theories of motivation. Additionally, thier findings are generalizable enough to apply to different forms of gamified content and for different levels of students. This article helped me bring together concepts from several articles I had already read and brought my attention to a bigger picture for research on gamified learning.



Four other articles that are relevant to what I would like to study:

Songer, R. & Miyata, K. (2014). A playful affordances model for gameful learning. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on technological ecosystems for enhancing multiculturality, 01 October 2014, 205-213.

Strobach, T., Frensch, P., & Schubert, T. (2012). Video game practice optimizes executive control skills in dual-task and task switching situations. Acta Psychologica, 140 (1), 13-24.

Kocadere, S. A., & Çağlar, S. (2018). Gamification from Player Type Perspective: A Case Study. Educational Technology & Society, 21 (3), 12–22.

Deci, E. & Ryan, R. (2015). Self-Determination Theory. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 486-491.

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