A formative evaluation of a gamification app containing asynchronous multiplayer game elements

FEATHERSTONE, Mark (2017). A formative evaluation of a gamification app containing asynchronous multiplayer game elements. In: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 5-6 October 2017, Graz, Austria. Academic Conferences and Publishing International. (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper evaluates the development of a videogame-like mobile app designed to enhance student experience using gamification principles. An approach is taken that attempts to avoid any reduction in intrinsic motivation and minimises subject specific content, while increasing the range of video game design principles beyond that normally found in educational gamification projects. Gamification that relies on points and leader boards to motivate can miss the essence of engaging video game design. The most popular video games use a wide range of game design principles to create a fun and motivating experience, something that is often missed in gamification. A non-educational 3D video game is used to motivate students to engage with the app, without being subject specific. However, making progress within the video game requires students to earn virtual credits by attending classes, engaging with class activities and handing in assessments. The game uses virtual avatars, currency and upgrades which motivate students to engage with the application while avoiding the need for real-world rewards. Asynchronous multiplayer allows students to work together within the game and share the experience as a group within class. This enables a form of competition that is less likely to demonstrate negative side effects, yet is still compulsive. An innovative game design was used that is based on recent ‘one-button’ mobile games. The design allows the app to attract and hold the student’s interest without taking excessive amounts of time away from their studies, as it can be played in an interactive or non-interactive mode. In-app metrics, surveys and interviews were used to develop case studies of three of the students in the study. This gives an insight into the different motivations and styles of interaction that students exhibited with the app. By removing access to the embedded game part way through the experiment it was shown that the game provided a significant motivational element of the overall gamification app. Although the students did not report any negative impact on their intrinsic motivation or enjoyment of the class, cheating was detected as students attempted to maximise their progress within the embedded game.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: ISSN: 2049-0992
Uncontrolled Keywords: Game-Based Learning, motivation, mobile, gamification, design
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Depositing User: Mark Featherstone
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2017 09:01
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 09:40
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16637

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