Teach and/or support learning
The use and value of appropriate learning technologies
In the context of higher education, gamification refers to the use of game design elements and techniques in non-game contexts, such as in education or training, to enhance motivation, engagement, and learning. Gamification can take many forms, including the use of points, badges, leaderboards, challenges, and other game-like elements to make learning more interactive and fun. Gamification is different from game-based learning, which refers to the use of actual games or simulations as a teaching tool. Gamification is often used to motivate students to complete coursework or participate in online learning activities, but it is not intended to replace traditional teaching methods or content. Instead, it is meant to supplement and enhance the learning experience by adding an element of competition or reward.
Gamification is about using game design elements in educational contexts to support instruction.
Building game features into learning leads to small to moderate improvements in conceptual knowledge, motivation, and skills.
Student knowledge - particularly conceptual knowledge - seems to benefit most from gamification, whereas student motivation and skills improve, but not to the same extent. A review of the qualitative literature on this topic concluded that gamifying learning is desirable because it 1) fosters enthusiasm, 2) provides responsive feedback, 3) provides recognition, and 4) promotes goal setting, but that it is undesirable because it 1) doesn't further add to learning and 2) can foster jealousy or anxiety.
Kahoot! is a popular website to develop interactive games
It doesn't seem to matter what game features you include, but there are a handful of other points to consider.
Gamification has its own theory - theory of gamified learning - but other theories also help explain the effect.
The theory of gamified learning, in short, proposes that including game design features in learning enhances - but doesn't replace - instructional content. Instead, gamification of learning supports and enhances students' attitudes and behaviours that facilitate learning. Other theories have also been used to explain the effects of gamification on learning including:
We have great confidence in the findings.
Three very recent meta-analyses inform this evidence summary. These meta-analyses vary in their design and objectives but have all been conducted to a high standard. Sailer and Hommer's (2020) review is particularly well conducted. If there is any question about the integrity of the findings on gamification, it is with respect to the heterogeneity scores reported by Bai et al. (2020) and Huang et al. (2020). These scores were high, suggesting one or more variables that were not accounted for explained part of the main result. Considering the rigour of these studies - and knowing that Sailer and Hommer's paper was the strongest and didn't report a high heterogeneity score - it is unlikely that any additional variables would account for a meaningful change in the overall effect size.
Bai, S., Hew, K. F., & Huang, B. (2020). Does gamification improve student learning outcome? Evidence from a meta-analysis and synthesis of qualitative data in educational contexts. Educational Research Review, 30, 100322. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2020.100322
Huang, R., Ritzhaupt, A. D., Sommer, M., Zhu, J., Stephen, A., Valle, N., ... & Li, J. (2020). The impact of gamification in educational settings on student learning outcomes: a meta-analysis. Educational Technology Research and Development, 68(4), 1875-1901. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09807-z
Sailer, M., & Homner, L. (2020). The gamification of learning: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 32, 77-112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-019-09498-w