Incorporating meaningful gamification in a blended learning research methods class: Examining student learning, engagement, and affective outcomes
In this study, we investigated how the use of meaningful gamification affects student learning, engagement, and affective outcomes in a short, 3-day blended learning research methods class using a combination of experimental and qualitative research methods. Twenty-two postgraduates were randomly split into two groups taught by the same instructor. The experimental group attended a course that incorporated the notion of meaningful gamification – that is, utilising the game mechanics of points, badges, and a leader board, as well as activities based on self-determination theory. The control group attended the same course and activities taught by the same instructor but without the game mechanics. Data sources included students’ pre-and post-tests scores, group artefact scores, discussion forum posts, students’ questionnaire survey, students’ interviews, and the teacher’s self-reflections. Results suggest that students in the experimental group posted more messages in the discussion forums than the control group. Furthermore, the quality of group artefacts produced by the participants in the experimental group was overall higher than those in the control group. All students in the experimental group strongly agreed or agreed that they found the course motivating. However, only about half the participants in the control group found the course motivating.
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