Gamifying a higher education course : design guidelines for increasing students’ motivation and engagement
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
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Games have become popular in today’s media. Along with games, gamification has become popular in many contexts, such as education and businesses, to motivate and engage people. The goal for this study was to study how gamification can improve the motivation and engagement of the students in higher education studies and to provide a set of guidelines for designing a gamified higher education course. There was a practical need for a gamified higher education course, and a research and development project was conducted for the need in September 2016. At the start, preliminary literature review was done to look for guidelines regarding the design of gamifying a higher education course. Unfortunately, design guidelines as such were hard to find from the literature but the development of the gamified solution for the course had to be started. A gamification platform for a higher education course was constructed during the project, but it was not evaluated. After the project, it became even more clear that there was a gap in the literature which is trying to be filled with this study. More thorough literature review was conducted on gamification literature to find constructs and purposes of gamification. Since the gamified course concept was created by teacher and designers, students’ point of view was lacking. Therefore, qualitative interview was considered as valuable next step in the iterative process for the design guidelines. Interviews were used to find matching game elements and purposes of gamification as students saw them. Additionally, concept of the created gamification platform was evaluated with qualitative interviews. As a result of this study, design guidelines were primarily done to help teachers to choose right elements for their higher education course and secondarily to help designer to design the gamification platform. A four-part guideline was built to guide teachers in their choices on gamifying a higher education course.
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