Students ' Motivation And Engagement

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Students’ motivation and engagement are huge issues in the educational system because students often perceive education as boring (Lee & Hammer, 2011). In contrast, games can motivate people engage with them, usually without any kind of rewards, only for the sake of fun (Dicheva, Dichev, Agre, & Angelova, 2015). This work will examine the use of gamification, which may be defined as “the use of game design elements in non-game contexts” (Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, & Nacke, 2011, p. 10) in the context of education. If gamification is that closely related to games, it should create a fun environment, motivate students to increase their engagement with the topic and lead to overall better academic performances. This results in the hypothesis of this work: Gamification used in educational environments improves educational outcomes. Current research suggests that students have a positive attitude towards gamification in education (Cheong, Flilippou, & Cheong, 2014). Two literature reviews respectively mapping studies also indicate that most of the investigated papers see positive effects in gamification in an educational context (Dicheva et al., 2015; Hamari, Koivisto, & Sarsa, 2014). However, there are also studies that noted a negative effect on students motivation or written exams (Domínguez et al., 2013; Hanus & Fox, 2015). The following work will investigate previous research on gamification in the domain of education and will examine if there are indicators for an improvement in students’ academic performance. First, every reference in the following annotated bibliography will be summarized in the context of the research question. Afterwards, potential shortcomings of the respective work will be shown as well as a description how... ... middle of paper ... ...ast feedback, social engagement and the freedom to fail – the most common game mechanics contain points, badges and leaderboards. The analysis of the investigated studies shows that most of them suggest positive results in relation to the use of gamification, such as higher student engagement or more passing students. On the other hand, a few studies reported negative outcomes and argued that, for example, gamification is expensive and time intensive to implement. As the authors point out they excluded studies, similar to Hamari, Koivisto and Sarsa (2014), that researched on topics close to gamification and therefore explicitly focused on the area of gamification in education which is also the context of this work. Consequently, the findings of this mapping study support the argument of this paper, that gamification can have positive effects on educational outcomes.
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