Using Game Elements to Increase Student Engagement in Course Assignments


Gamification incorporates game-elements in non-gaming situations to enhance student engagement and desired behavior. This study examined participant's willingness to take part in gamified activities where reward systems were not directly tied to course grades. Participants enrolled in a technology integration course for preservice teachers, were grouped on subject-specific interests, and designed 30-minute presentations on technology integration. Over two semesters, an optional gaming activity was included in five course sections acting as the treatment group, and four sections acted as non-blind control groups. Data was collected from pre-, mid-, and post-surveys that investigated previous gaming experience, game motivations, group project perceptions, and perceived willingness to participate in the game. The treatment group indicated their perceptions of game play during mid- and post-surveys. Participants in all sections completed meeting history worksheets to describe weekly group and individual meetings. The results indicated significant differences between mid- and post-surveys regarding individual participation, group pursuits, individual work, frequency of group meetings, group preparation, and purchased items. The findings indicated a significant difference between treatment and control groups regarding hours spent in groups. Recommendations were provided for the practice of gamification in educational settings.

Publication Title

College Teaching