Cape Town – The application of gaming elements in online learning activities can motivate students to be more engaged with their work and ultimately help them to succeed in their studies, provided they enjoy the subject.
This is according to research findings by Dr Samantha Adams, a lecturer in the Department of Industrial Psychology at Stellenbosch University.
The aim of her research was to design an educational gamification platform to increase student engagement in learning activities.
The research found that when students are more engaged, they have a greater chance of being successful.
“The findings of my study suggest that game elements combined with thoughtfully designed learning activities can encourage and facilitate student engagement,” Adams said.
Using elements of games such as points, badges, leader boards, levels and competition to design a gamified platform on the university’s learning management system, the study looked at different dimensions of engagements that would help contribute to engagement created through participation in educational levels.
“My study showed that educational gamification influences students’ emotional, behavioural and cognitive engagement through the perceived motivational or rewarding influences of the game elements, relevance of the activities and enjoyment of the experiences,” Adams said.
She added that students who enjoyed the subject and the game described their experience of the gaming platform as creative, fun, appealing and interesting.
However, she said that the level of engagement was lower among students who did not enjoy the subject and that the gamification of the content did little to improve engagement for them.