University of Oulu

Korkealehto, K., & Siklander, P. (2018). Enhancing engagement, enjoyment and learning experiences through gamification on an English course for health care students. Seminar.Net, 14(1), 13-30. Retrieved from

Enhancing engagement, enjoyment and learning experiences through gamification on an English course for health care students

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Author: Korkealehto, Kirsi1; Siklander, Pirkko1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Lillehammer University College, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-09-11


Student engagement in traditional learning environments is in decline resulting in decreased learning results and lack of engagement. Gamification is one option to trigger interest and enhance engagement in learning activities. Aim of this study was to investigate the potential of gamified course design in language learning from students’ perspective. Particularly, we explored students’ experiences of engagement, enjoyability and language learning. Theoretical framework consists of process of interest and engagement, and gamification in language learning. Language learning is understood through socio-cultural and ecological approaches.

The research was conducted and data were collected at a 3-credit field-specific English course. The participants (N = 23) were 1st-year healthcare students conducting their studies with a blended learning approach. The used applications were Seppo, Kahoot, Padlet and Quizlet. The data includes students’ learning diaries and a post-course on-line questionnaire. The diaries and the open questions of the questionnaire were analysed according to content analysis method.

The results suggest that gamified course design and related applications can enhance student engagement, foster language learning, and offer positive learning experiences. However, there are differences between gamified applications. Supporting collaboration and creating positive atmosphere are important in gamified learning process. Implications for teachers are discussed.

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Series: International journal of media, technology & lifelong learning
ISSN: 1504-4831
ISSN-E: 1504-4831
ISSN-L: 1504-4831
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Pages: 13 - 30
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 518 Media and communications
515 Psychology
516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2018 Kirsi Korkealehto & Pirkko Siklander. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.