University of Oulu

Dindar, M., Ren, L. and Järvenoja, H. (2021), An experimental study on the effects of gamified cooperation and competition on English vocabulary learning. Br. J. Educ. Technol., 52: 142-159.

An experimental study on the effects of gamified cooperation and competition on English vocabulary learning

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Author: Dindar, Muhterem1; Ren, Lei; Järvenoja, Hanna1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, Oulun Yliopisto, Yliopistokatu 9, P.O. Box 2000, Oulu 90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-03-09


Gamification has become a popular approach to blending learning with fun and enjoyable experiences. However, gamification research has been criticized for mostly focusing on game mechanics and related outcomes while paying little attention to the psychological processes that mediate the relationship between these mechanics and outcomes. Furthermore, the majority of existing gamification studies have focused on competitive game features. Thus, the full potential of cooperative gamification has yet to be explored. Given this background, the current study compared how gamified cooperation and competition impact task effort, learning achievement, motivation and social relatedness in English vocabulary learning with a mobile application. The study utilized Social Interdependence Theory to explicate the psychological processes in gamified cooperation and competition. 75 participants were randomly assigned to either the gamified cooperation or the gamified competition condition and studied English vocabulary for 14 days. No difference was observed between the conditions regarding task effort, learning achievement and motivation. However, social relatedness in the gamified cooperation group was significantly higher than in the gamified competition group. The current findings emphasize that the positive influence of gamified cooperation on creating meaningful connections amongst learners should not be ignored, even though it facilitates similar learning and motivational outcomes as gamified competition.

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Series: British journal of educational technology
ISSN: 0007-1013
ISSN-E: 1467-8535
ISSN-L: 0007-1013
Volume: 52
Issue: 1
Pages: 142 - 159
DOI: 10.1111/bjet.12977
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland grants 275440, 297686, 24501165. The preliminary findings of this study have been presented as an abstract in EARLI2019 Conference. This study includes findings of the second author’s Master’s thesis.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 275440
Detailed Information: 275440 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
297686 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. British Journal of Educational Technology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Educational Research Association. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.