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ERIC Number: EJ1111206
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2155-6849
Rewards and Penalties: A Gamification Approach for Increasing Attendance and Engagement in an Undergraduate Computing Module
Caton, Hope; Greenhill, Darrel
International Journal of Game-Based Learning, v4 n3 p1-12 2014
This paper describes how a gamified rewards and penalties framework was used to increase attendance and engagement in a level six undergraduate computing module teaching game production. The framework was applied to the same module over two consecutive years: a control year and a trial year. In both years the tutor, assignments and assessment strategies were the same and daily attendance was recorded. In the module, students work in multi-disciplinary teams to complete an assignment to build a computer game prototype. Unequal contribution to team projects by other students is a frequently voiced complaint to lecturers setting team assignments: a problem which is only partially solved by peer assessments, which are a retrospective analysis. The gamification framework provides a method for the lecturer to quickly identify disengaging students and to re-motivate them. Partnership between student and teacher, both parties must present themselves in order for that exchange of knowledge to take place. If unequal team contribution is a constant problem for students, then empty lecture halls can be considered similarly difficult for educators. This paper addresses three key points: 1) Does the rewards/penalties framework improve attendance? 2) If yes, does improved attendance result in improved assessments? 3) Does the framework improve engagement and performance in student teams? This paper presents quantitative evidence to answer the first two and offers speculative comments on the third. Initial results suggest that the rewards and penalties framework improves attendance and increases student performance and overall grade. Speculatively, the framework appears to be effective in increasing motivation. Informal student commentary indicates that while motivation is not improved across the cohort, those that are motivated contribute significantly more time and effort to the project. Rewards proved successful in improving completion of previously resisted tasks and in attracting students to attend classes they would otherwise miss.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A