A Playful Class

Recently researchers of ‘gamified’ or ‘badgified’ classrooms are documenting promising increases in motivation and engagement using vocabulary swapping (Leach et. al, 2014), leaderboards (DeShutter & Abeele, 2014), and formative recognition strategies (Augilar, Homan & Fishman, 2013), yet these efforts retain core pedagogical designs of the traditional classroom. Gaming media leverages elements still foreign to classroom settings; like ‘questing’, ‘adjusting play-style’, ‘voluntary competition’, ‘repeatable content’, ’strategy guides’, and ‘cheats’. How much more can engagement be amplified by embedding these features as pedagogical changes to traditional course designs? We present qualitative design-based research and supporting evidence from one course iteration. Participants reported increased motivation and engagement supported by time on task data, ‘help desk’ data, and an increase in average task completion to 66.2 per student. We conclude game-like elements further increase student motivation, engagement, and investment of time on course tasks.


Case-Study Analysis of Gamified Course Design
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