Will gaming mechanics (gamification) in a classroom increase test scores?
H1: Students in a gamified classroom will show a statistically significant increase on end of instruction exam scores when compared to students in a traditional classroom. (IV: Gamification, DV: test scores)
H2: Teachers using a gamified class model will be able to cover more units of curriculum during the school year than teachers who use a more traditional classroom model. (IV: Gamification, DV: units curriculum)
Gamification is “applying game mechanics to nongame contexts” (Attali & Arieli-Attali, 2015)
Test Scores will use the definition as given by (Haladyna, Nolen, & Haas, 1991) “a generalized measure of accomplishment of school curricula” and their definition was informed by the paper, A Framework for Analyzing the Inference Structure of
Educational Achievement Tests (Wardrop et al., 1982).
Curriculum “is the study of any and all educational phenomena” (Egan, 1978).
Through library databases:
Assessing the effects of gamification in the classroom: A longitudinal study on intrinsic motivation, social comparison, satisfaction, effort, and academic performance (Hanus & Fox, 2015)
The researches in this article were interested in completing a study of gamification over a 16 week semester. This study used the gaming mechanics of badges, digital leaderboards, and incentive systems. The study involved 71 students who had enrolled in two communications courses at a Midwestern university. They were given an initial survey during the first week of class to get trait and personality metrics to compare the two different courses, these were followed by four more surveys. In the course that was gamified, there were 22 unique badges that students could earn, these were designed to “incentivize engagement with class material” (Hanus & Fox, 2015). Once students completed the requirements for a badge, they completed a form and submitted it to the instructors. Students could also earn coins by contributing to the class in some meaningful fashion. These coins could be used to earn small benefits. The leaderboard that was created showed the student’s pseudonyms instead of their actual names and listed coin totals and badges earned. Results from this study suggested that gamifying their class did not improve educational outcomes and students showed a decrease in intrinsic motivation. This is important for my study for two reasons. One of the most powerful things that gamification allows to happen, is that the player (student) has choice. The authors admitted that they forced their students to earn badges. The second reason is that there is more to gamifying a course than leaderboards and badges. Although these are important aspects, it does not account for the entire system.
Gamification in assessment: Do points affect test performance? (Attali & Arieli-Attali, 2015)
This study investigated the impact of adding a point counter onto a computer screen during a math test. The test was over basic math skills and had a 400 question test bank. For this study, there were two smaller studies that were completed: one with adults who work for Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing marketplace and one with students in a New Jersey middle school. The element of gamification that was tested was a point counter that was on the screen during the test. There were three different versions of the point counter: points for answering quickly and correctly, points for answering correctly, and no counter at all. Reviewing the data from both testing situations showed that there was a significant difference on the test that promoted speed. This is important to my study because one of the aspects of gamification is immediate feedback. By showing that immediate feedback, by itself does not make a difference, this shows me that it needs to be combined with other gaming elements. For this study, the only mechanic of gaming that was tested was immediate feedback, and there was a difference when speed was incorporated. In my study, using a system of immediate feedback would be part of a larger overall design.
Factors at play in tertiary curriculum gamification. (de Byl, 2013)
De Byl’s article was based on research performed in a university in Australia. Two courses were gamified using a large variety of gaming mechanics. The data generated by these two courses was compared to data from when both courses were last taught in a more traditional style. The students were given a survey instrument that contained 16 questions and was designed to assist in “benchmarking the efficacy of a gamified curriculum” (de Byl, 2013). She felt her results showed that gamification works because it addresses some basic desires related to rewards, achievement, status, and altruism (de Byl, 2013). Her research is important to my study because she used several different pieces of gamification in her study. Instead of just using one or two important elements, she used several. This gives me the opportunity to continue to build on what she has done and she shows that research can be completed with such a large undertaking.
Gamification in theory and action: A survey. (Seaborn & Fels, 2015)
Leaderboards in virtual a virtual classroom: A test of stereotype threat and social comparison explanations for women’s math performance. (Christy & Fox, 2014)
From peer-reviewed articles:
What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. (Gee, 2003)
Test motivation in the assessment of student skills: The effects of incentives on motivation and performance. (Baumert & Demmrich, 2001)
This study was about motivation of students as they prepare and take an international assessment. The authors used 9th grade students in and near Hanover, Germany. Students were given a math test under one of four different conditions: 1) they were preparing for an international student assessment, 2) they would get feedback from their teacher about questions that were correct or incorrect, 3) they would get a grade based on their performance on the test, 4) they would get a financial reward if they scored high enough. The tests were administered by a trained PISA test team and were given over two class periods. After the test was completed students were given several different survey instruments to determine motivation, effort, and demographics. The results from this study were interpreted as not showing any consistent effects in any of the different groups. This study is important to my research question because the gamification model uses motivation in its design. Reading a study about research in motivation can help me design my study in a way that tries to maximize the motivation of the student.
Demographic differences in perceived benefits from gamification. (Koivisto & Hamari, 2014)
Attali, Y., & Arieli-Attali, M. (2015). Gamification in assessment: Do points affect test performance? Computers & Education, 83, 57-63. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2014.12.012
Baumert, J., & Demmrich, A. (2001). Test motivation in the assessment of student skills: The effects of incentives on motivation and performance. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 16(3), 441-462.
Christy, K. R., & Fox, J. (2014). Leaderboards in a virtual classroom: A test of stereotype threat and social comparison explanations for women’s math performance. Computers & Education, 78, 66-77. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2014.05.005
de Byl, P. (2013). Factors at play in tertiary curriculum gamification. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 3(2), 1-21. doi: 10.1007/ BF02310555 doi:10.5861/ ijrse.2012.v1i1.19. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/ijgbl.2013040101
Egan, K. (1978). What Is Curriculum? Curriculum Inquiry, 8(1), 65-72. doi: 10.2307/1179791
Gee, J. P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. Comput. Entertain., 1(1), 20-20. doi: 10.1145/950566.950595
Haladyna, T. M., Nolen, S. B., & Haas, N. S. (1991). Raising Standardized Achievement Test Scores and the Origins of Test Score Pollution. Educational Researcher, 20(5), 2-7. doi: 10.2307/1176395
Hanus, M. D., & Fox, J. (2015). Assessing the effects of gamification in the classroom: A longitudinal study on intrinsic motivation, social comparison, satisfaction, effort, and academic performance. Computers & Education, 80, 152-161. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2014.08.019
Koivisto, J., & Hamari, J. (2014). Demographic differences in perceived benefits from gamification. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 179-188. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.007
Seaborn, K., & Fels, D. I. (2015). Gamification in theory and action: A survey. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 74, 14-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2014.09.006
Wardrop, J. L., Anderson, R. I., Anderson, T. H., Hively, W., Hastings, C. N., & Muller, K. E. (1982). A Framework for Analyzing the Inference Structure of Educational Achievement Tests. Journal of Educational Measurement, 19(1), 1-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-3984.1982.tb00110.x