Gamification At Universities

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    NikosΝίκος
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    Gamification is the application of game mechanics and player incentives to non-game environments. When designed correctly, gamification has been found to increase engagement and encourage targeted behaviors among users. This paper presents the gamification of a university course in Computer Games Development using an online learning management tool, including how this might generalize to other courses. Our goal with gamification was to improve lecture attendance, content understanding, problem solving skills and general engagement. The success of this intervention was measured using course marks, lecturer evaluations, lecture attendance, and a questionnaire; all with strongly positive results. However, this must be balanced against the costs, both monetary and time, required to successfully implement gamification.

    There have been a few noteworthy implementations of gamification in education at a university level. One good example is the gamification of a undergraduate IT course at the University of Michigan with 200 participants. The author focused on the concepts of choice, community and quick feedback. Students could choose between academic and artistic assignments, take part in group “guild” learning activities and were given rapid, ongoing feedback. Students were given autonomy so that they would feel a greater sense of control over their academic performance. This was done so that students would become engaged with the material, as they were active participants in choosing what they were doing. In the end, students reported that they remembered more from the gamified course than their other courses.

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