Studying the Impact of Gamification on Motivation in Remote Programming Education

Scott, Lauren and Dalton, Nick (2021) Studying the Impact of Gamification on Motivation in Remote Programming Education. In: Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on e-Learning: ECEL 2021. Proceedings of the European Conference on e-Learning . Academic Conferences International Limited, Reading, pp. 627-634. ISBN 9781914587184, 9781914587191

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With the increasing hybrid blend of face-to-face and remote study in the higher education, finding strategies to keep students motivated when working from home is pertinent. This paper describes gamification in online learning environments, from the viewpoint of individuals undertaking programming education. In this empirical study, both qualitative and quantitative research methods are employed to investigate the hypothesis that gamified motivational methods would increase students’ motivation when learning programming remotely at a higher education level. This hypothesis was formed following an observed motivational drop regarding studies during the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with an observed consistency of engagement in the video games industry. An initial questionnaire with 90 respondents from multiple backgrounds explores game design elements as a concept and investigates the current or historical motivation of individuals working from home. Conclusions were drawn that participants’ motivation working from home were mixed, and that formative feedback and game design elements were perceived to be motivating to a learner, and these results were used to inform the design of two learner-centred virtual learning environments. These virtual learning environments were designed to facilitate programming tasks online in two settings: one being a traditional academic setting with staged communication with a virtual tutor, and the second being a gamified setting, completing missions and gaining rewards in line with a storyline. These programming environments were then used in a practical, yet remote, experiment with 25 participants who were current university students, graduates or recent education-leavers. These experiments gained statistically significant results, showing that the gamified system and specific gamified elements were found to be considerably motivating to the learner. This work therefore makes the following contribution: that gamified elements such as badges, rewards and missions do increase students’ motivation when engaging with virtual learning environments for programming. This work is relevant for programming and Computing educators, digital education researchers and gamification researchers.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: 20th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL2021; Berlin, 28-29 Oct 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gamification, Programming, Digital Education, Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Education, Higher Education
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2021 14:36
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2022 15:15

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