6 Studies On Gamification & Student Learning: What They Say

Jul 29, 2021 | Gamification

In this article, we’re going to look at six studies that show gamification impacts student learning. We’ll also talk about what those same studies have to say about escape games and e-learning. Some of the topics we’ll cover are:


What is Gamification?

Gamification is a hot-button topic in the educational field, with plenty of advocates and critics. But what does it mean? What makes gamification so popular among educators?

Gamification is a new way of motivating people to take on tasks they would otherwise find too challenging. Gamified items are often more enjoyable than the actual process. They can be suitable in any situation where motivation might need some help.

It’s not always easy to find motivation when learning new things. The more you commit and engage with a project or class, the greater your satisfaction is likely to be.

Gamification has been used in many areas. An example of it is health care. It works over recent years because it helps people feel engaged again by adding valuable goals.

There are arguments about whether gamifying education should happen at schools, stating that this tactic distracts real-world skills. In contrast, others say there’s no reason why students shouldn’t have fun during their time studying!

How can gamification be used in schools?

Schools implement gamification to engage students and increase student motivation. It can work as a reward for completing assignments, good work habits, improved grades, etc.

Gamification is the most popular way to gamify learning content.


Studies in gamification found that it can significantly improve user engagement with a course. “Gamified courses allow students to explore and test their strengths, skills, interests, and values. Gamified courses provide scaffolding for students to stretch themselves in ways that they otherwise might not have.”

Another study found gamification can be relevant as an incentive technique by reinforcing the importance of learning with fun challenges. For example, users achieve rewards through competitive gameplay and the possibility of reaching mastery.

Gamification is not limited to games. Rewards can also be part of tasks completion or good work habits. “The gamified learning experience also includes moments of achievement where students get awards like badges, points, levels—or all three. These achievements serve as motivators for students to engage in more gamified experiences.”


What education level is targeted?

The targeted education level varies between gamification and e-learning.

Gamification means applying game design elements to non-game tasks, often to make them more engaging for the user. Games are targeted towards users with lower levels of education than their educational counterparts. The learning environment created through gamified applications typically revolves around a student’s ability to complete a task. These abilities can be either academic or practical.

E-learning targets higher levels of education (university and up). The gamified learning environment in e-learning usually revolves around problem-solving while providing feedback to students on their progress. An example of it can be achieving that solution instead of games with objectives.


What kind of learning activities is targeted?

The targeted learning activities are :

  • online courses,
  • gamification in general,
  • escape games.

Gamification is based on the idea that people are motivated by rewards, competition, and interaction. It means applying game elements to make something more enjoyable or engaging (e.g., points, badges). The goal of gamifying an activity is twofold: from measuring the learning improvement to assessment and evaluation of its productivity.

The following studies address the question of whether gamification can increase student learning.

  • A 2018 study by the University of Illinois students found that “gamifying an online course increased performance compared to a traditional school environment.”
  • Another recent study (2018) showed that students who played escape games showed improved spatial reasoning and creativity results.
  • A 2017 study by Alison Gopnik from UC Berkeley found that gamification can increase motivation among students, particularly for low-performing ones.
  • The same year a research team led by the University of Westminster in London concluded: “those who participated in an escape game scored higher on tests. Their ability to think critically and creatively was measured.”
  • A 2017 study at Indiana University Bloomington found that gamification is an effective way to teach STEM subjects.

Studies show that gamifying e-learning can provide powerful benefits for students of all levels. It increases motivation and engagement in the classroom or training scenario likewise. The research suggests that escape games could be a more valuable tool in the classroom than textbooks.

A study in 2013 showed that gamification could increase motivation among students, particularly for low-performing ones.


How to Gamify Your Classroom to Encourage Student Engagement?

The classroom can be gamified to encourage student engagement by:

  • Gamifying the learning process.
  • Make class more interesting with questions that require students to work in groups. For example, offer a free pizza prize for the group who answers correctly and has everyone participating.
  • When watching videos or doing labs on their own time, they take quizzes at specific intervals. This way you can measure their content understanding.
  • Encourage students to submit their work and have discussions with peers to get feedback from one another or the professor.
  • Categorize assignments for negative grades. For example, students can retake assignments later by placing them into more achievable categories, such as A-D. This way, learning is not halted, and students can retake the content at their own pace.

It is essential to encourage student engagement as this will make the class more attractive, which might increase retention rates.


Does gamification make students more engaged?

Yes, it does to some extent, but it depends on their quality. For example, Disney’s “Club Penguin” game is an engaging game. It teaches players about saving up for their goals and working hard while having fun at the same time.

Another example is Prudential Life UK’s ‘Cha-Ching’, where players can keep the money they save and earn a top cash prize.

Like any other teaching method, Gamification requires caution as students need to complete it correctly to retain information. For example, gamifying lessons through Facebook is not an engaging way of learning because there are no opportunities left for individual reflection or learning application.


Is there a correlation between gamification and creativity?

Gamification and creativity are related in the sense that gamification stimulates creativity. Game design can help teachers create a learning experience for their students based on their needs. They can solve problems and complete tasks while having fun.

Gamification is an instructional strategy that uses game-based incentives (e.g., points, levels) or other motivating factors (extrinsic and intrinsic). It improves user engagement with the content or task.

Creativity is a form of intelligence that enables people to create and innovate without following predetermined steps. It’s essential for creativity in education because it helps students explore their natural talents, interests, and passions. Creativity fosters growth through exploration (e.g., imagination), composition (e.g., trial and error, prospection), and collaboration (e.g., group work).

Gamification increases student engagement, motivation for learning, creativity in problem-solving, and a deeper understanding of course concepts.

The types of gamified activities available are diverse. For example, escape games can be playable at museums or libraries. Students play with an avatar on a virtual game board or use mobile escape games to explore a virtual world. There are gamified modules where students learn by solving puzzles or completing tasks.



In Conclusion

Consider gamifying your e-learning strategy. To make it more engaging and immersive, we have the expertise that can help. Our Cluehub specialists are experts in assisting clients in creating their custom escape games or integrating game mechanics into existing ones.

We know how important a personalized learning experience is. That’s why our team of designers works with educators. This way, we ensure each course provides an enjoyable way to learn with high content quality.

Whether you want to customize your curriculum or add some fun features like game elements, let us know! Have you tried gamification before? What challenges did you face when implementing this strategy? Tell us about them by signing up in our contact form.

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