Challenge-based Gamification in Education

Teaching Judgement with Scenarios

Challenge-based Gamification in Education

October 03 2020
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In the open access article "The effect of challenge-based gamification on learning: An experiment in the context of statistics education" the authors find challenge-based gamification had a positive impact on student learning compared to traditional teaching methods

teaching methods in statistics and forecasting more engaging

Gamification is increasingly employed in learning environments as a way to increase student motivation and consequent learning outcomes. However, while the research on the effectiveness of gamification in the context of education has been growing, there are blind spots regarding which types of gamification may be suitable for different educational contexts. This study investigates the effects of the challenge-based gamification on learning in the area of statistics education. We developed a gamification approach, called Horses for Courses, which is composed of main game design patterns related to the challenge-based gamification; points, levels, challenges and a leaderboard. Having conducted a 2 (read: yes vs. no) x 2 (gamification: yes vs. no) between-subject experiment, we present a quantitative analysis of the performance of 365 students from two different academic majors: Electrical and Computer Engineering (n=279), and Business Administration (n=86). The results of our experiments show that the challenge-based gamification had a positive impact on student learning compared to traditional teaching methods (compared to having no treatment and treatment involving reading exercises). The effect was larger for females or for students at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

One clear oversight in the study's method with their Group Read and Play is that group received 30 minutes in the study vs 15 minutes for each of the other groups, in addition the reading activity serves as a primer for the activity itself.

Each group had 15 minutes to complete the respective task. As described above, Group Control did not have an extra task, Group Read had 15 minutes to read the paper (task Read), Group Play had 15 minutes to fulfill a full round in the gamified application (task Play). Group Read&Play had 30 (15 + 15) minutes to fulfill the task Read and then the task Play. Finally, all groups had to complete the evaluation form within 15 minutes, which measured their performance (see Materials 3.3.2).

One challenge is usability for gamification platforms because the barrier of the account will drive students away.  The platform/system should integrate and the student profile should be held centrally and tied to gamified activities with xAPI.

Challenge-based gamification (i.e. points, levels, challenges and leaderboard), can be effectively combined with traditional teaching methods such as lectures and reading in order to improve the learning outcomes in a variety of educational fields related to statistics and stem education. Finally, gamification designers should take into account students’ profiles, since our results show that benefits differ across students’ characteristics.

DOI Link: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2020.102496

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