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Wednesday, June 11 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Gameful Approaches to Course Design

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Discussant:  Seann Dikkers

Multiple Paths, Same Goal: Exploring the Motivational Pathways of Two Distinct Game-Inspired University Course Designs
Stephen Aguilar, Caitlin Holman, Barry Fishman
We explore gameful design in two large university courses: one offered within a social science discipline, and another offered within a school of information. Each course was designed by its instructor to mirror the motivational affordances found in video games, and while the foci of the gameful elements within each course’s grading system were distinct, both systems align with some or all of the three pillars of Self-Determination Theory (SDT): support for autonomy, belonging, and competence. We employ path analysis to understand the direct and mediated relationships among variables that measured students’ perceptions of the grading system’s features, and the adaptive outcomes associated with gameful course designs. Results indicate that both courses have similar path structures defined by positive relationships between grading system features, the perceptions of those features, and the adaptive outcomes. We conclude with design implications for would-be gameful course designers.

Gamification for Online Engagement in Higher Education: A Randomized Controlled Trial
David Leach, Brandon Laur, Tina Bebbington, Jilliane Code, David Broome
A randomized controlled trial was used to test if gamification tools can increase engagement and improve learning outcomes in a blended (online and in-class) second-year university course. Students divided into control and experimental groups accessed separate course management systems (CMS). On the gamified site, students earned badges and points for online activity and showed increases (versus control) in the personalization of online avatars; a doubling of visits to the CMS; and a reduction by 1.3 days in the time before deadline to complete weekly blog assignments. Female students used the gamified site more than males. In a post-class survey, 82% of students believed gamification was an effective motivation tool. However, there was no evidence of improved learning outcomes on graded assignments. This trial provides evidence that gamification can offer incentives for online activity and socializing but, on its own, may have little impact on quantifiable learning outcomes.

“Gradequest strikes Back” – The development of the second iteration of a gameful undergraduate course
Bob De Schutter
The use of game design techniques in a non-gaming context - or ‘gamification’ - offers the promise to make education more motivating and more enjoyable to students. While some best practices for the approach have emerged, the actual application of game design techniques in a class room still remains an experimental and uncertain endeavor for an instructor. This paper reports on the design of the second iterations of an undergraduate course (Ni1 = 17, Ni2 = 20) that incorporates a variety of game design techniques through an online application named ‘Gradequest’. The first iteration of the course was evaluated using a questionnaire, a focus group session and a teacher’s log, which led to a number of significant design changes. The paper discusses the expectations for the evaluation of these changes, as well as how other courses could learn from this design research project.

avatar for Seann Dikkers

Seann Dikkers

Associate Professor, Bethel University
Built forts with neighborhood friends. Married my best friend. Two playful adult children. Games in Learning author, researcher, and trainer. Long time Civ and TW geek.

avatar for Stephen J. Aguilar

Stephen J. Aguilar

Ph.D. Candidate, ABD & Visiting Scholar, University of Michigan / UC Irvine
I am an ABD in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan, and research the design, efficacy, and motivational implications of learning analytics applications. Specifically, I am interested in how representations of achievement influence students' academic motivation and... Read More →

Tina Bebbington

Learning and research resources librarian, University of Victoria
avatar for Jillianne Code

Jillianne Code

Assistant Professor & Co-Director Technology Integration and Evaluation (TIE) Research Lab, University of Victoria
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Barry Fishman

Ann Arbor, MI, United States of America, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Gameful learning, GradeCraft, motivation, higher education

Caitlin Holman

Ann Arbor, MI, United States of America, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
avatar for David Leach

David Leach

Chair, Department of Writing; Director, Technology & Society Minor, University of Victoria
Interested in gamification, digital publishing & journalism, augmented reality, simulation games, creative nonfiction, hyper-literature and other interactive media. Director of the Interdisciplinary Minor in Technology & Society at the University of Victoria.
avatar for Bob De Schutter

Bob De Schutter

Oxford, Ohio, United States, Miami University
I'm a designer, researcher and teacher. My research interests are game design, the older audience of digital games, and the use of games for non-entertainment purposes.

Wednesday June 11, 2014 2:30pm - 3:30pm CDT

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