Title: Gamification as a tool for increasing the depth of student understanding using a collaborative e-learning environment

Authors: Ben W. Betts; Jay Bal; Alan W. Betts

Addresses: International Institute of Product and Service Innovation, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV47AL, UK ' International Institute of Product and Service Innovation, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV47AL, UK ' HT2 Ltd., 8-9 Wheatley Business Centre, Old London Road, Wheatley, OX331XW, UK

Abstract: This paper briefly describes a collaborative learning environment created to improve participation in online learning. The environment, called Curatr, utilised the notion of game-like behaviours, colloquially known as 'gamification', to shape learners behaviour towards participating in social and collaborative learning activities, such as commenting, sharing and peer-marking. In the case study described, 33 students made 6,152 contributions during a six-month part-time online continuing education course. Findings suggest that the number of 'experience points' a student earns on the platform is highly correlated with the average assignment mark they achieve (r = 0.499 n = 33). The results suggest that gamification can help improve the learning experience and the resulting performance for groups of students. There are limitations to this finding. Within the group there are cases where contribution and resulting performance do not correlate. Further work assessing the quality of contributions is suggested to understand this effect better.

Keywords: computer-supported collaborative learning; CSCL; web-based learning; gamification; e-learning; cognitive presence; student understanding; electronic learning; online learning; commenting; sharing; peer-marking; continuing education; game like behaviours.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2013.055405

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2013 Vol.23 No.3/4, pp.213 - 228

Received: 19 Nov 2012
Accepted: 10 Feb 2013

Published online: 27 Jul 2013 *

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