2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
This research paper describes the investigation of the impact a gamified learning environment has on students’ motivation to complete course homework within a second semester freshman year design course. There are many benefits to including a gamified learning environment within a classroom including that it allows for students to learn through failure, and provides many different paths for student success.(1) Previous studies on gamified learning environments have shown improvement in student’s engagement in classrooms, as well as learning gains (2,3) although there has been little work done on the effect gamified learning environments can have on student motivation. In this study, two classes of freshman engineering students completed their homework through the use of a gamified homework platform. The gamified homework portal was designed around quests (or individual activities) allowing for students to select the quests that interested them the most in the pursuit of achieving a final point score. Quests were scaffolded to ensure that students were meeting the minimum learning objectives for the course and progressively being exposed to content of higher difficulty. Students were also not penalized for failure and given unlimited opportunities to resubmit quests to achieve the benchmarks set for the course. As additional incentive, students could earn badges, awards and achievements based off of the quality of their work, and the quests they selected to complete. To determine the impact that the gamified homework platform had on students’ motivation, students were asked to complete the Jones MUSIC Inventory (4,5) and participate in an end of semester focus group. The Jones MUSIC Inventory measures academic motivation and provides a perspective on students’ motivation towards completing course objectives. 4,5 Focus group results were analyzed using a grounded emergent qualitative analysis approach by two analysts. The categories were then cross-referenced with the Jones MUSIC model (4,5) to determine alignment of the categories observed with students’ academic motivation. Overall, the results have shown that the gamified learning environment had relatively neutral impact on students’ academic motivation towards homework.
Butler, B. L., & Bodnar, C. A. (2017). Establishing the Impact that Gamified Homework Portals Can Have on Students' Academic Motivation. Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio.