University of Oulu

An experimental study on the effects of cooperation and competition in the game-based mobile language learning

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Author: Ren, Lei1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Pages: 60
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : L. Ren, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-04-16
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Järvenoja, Hanna
Dindar, Muhterem
Reviewer: Mertala, Pekka-Oskari
Dindar, Muhterem


As gamification gains popularity, it is a trend to implement gamified social features in the mobile language learning field based on Social Interdependence Theory (SIT), because the social interaction can positively affect learners. However, a detailed examination of how gamified cooperation and competition affect language learning process and outcome remains an open subject.

The current study was conducted among university students in China (N=75), and those students were randomly assigned either gamified cooperation or gamified competition setting. All students were asked to complete a daily task: learning 20 English words for 14 days with an app named Baicizhan. The study used a quantitative methodology and the data, related to task completion, learning achievement, social relatedness and intrinsic motivation, were collected to compare the difference.

In current study, firstly it confirmed that the cooperation outperformed competition in terms of promoting social relatedness; secondly, it identified that competition outperformed cooperation in terms of learning achievement; thirdly, it revealed that there was no significant difference in terms of task completion and intrinsic motivation between two settings. In a short, our study demonstrates that constructive competition can be as effective as cooperation in terms of motivating learners to put efforts and invoking intrinsic motivation; moreover, constructive competition was even more effective than cooperation in promoting learning achievement. Therefore, the constructive competition should be encouraged and taken into consideration when applying the gamified social features to learning activities.

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Copyright information: © Lei Ren, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.