|The article begins with some interesting statistics, “The average adult spends an estimated 20 hours per week online.”
It goes on introducing the idea of gamification and provides a definition of gamification, “The two most commonly accepted definitions are: 1) ‘The process of game-thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems’  and 2) ‘The use of game design elements in non-game contexts’”
I continued reading and was happy to have a more detailed paragraph follow that truly dives into what it means to be gamified, “Gamified applications’ refers to software that incorporates elements of games. Points, badges and leaderboards are the most common gamification elements. Others include: providing clear goals, challenges, levels, progress, feedback, rewards, and stories or themes”
The article continues and provides examples of popular applications that use gamification to motivate users, and opinions about if gamification works. They even bring attention to the problem with researching gamification is that it is hard to have a control condition.
The methodology begins by stating it follows PRISMA guidelines. It continues on explaining how they collected data from other research by only choosing the studies that targeted adults, and were online. Each study had to have at least one type of gamification targeting engagement. The studies included need to have a control group, and bee full length peer reviewed articles.
This study is really a study of other studies. They used eight different electronic databases and searched “Gamif*” only looking at English studies after 2010. Then experts looked at all the studies to see if they were eligible.
The study went on explaining how the results were synthesized, which a lot went over my head once they started talking about the different classifications.
I was excited that the next section was results. After looking at 1017 studies they found 15 that met their parameters.
The next section went into detail which I really found interesting. “The most common gamification features evaluated were leaderboards, badges, and rewards. Some of the studies focused on gamification for a single session vs over time.
Engagement was measured by volume, total posts, comments etc. Performance was also measured as some of the gamification was for medical apps not just learning. For example an app that would give you badges for taking your medication or exercising on time.
The results are grouped in the different aspects of engagement, time spent, times visited and volume of contribution. The majority of the studies showed that gamification does help!
The Key findings was another interesting piece of the article. It basically says that gamification does increase engagement, but the effect appears to wear off over time.
I did enjoy reading the strengths and limitations of the article. It is very strong how they systematically chose their research, but there is a potential for bias and it is not a complete view of all gamification because it was limited to only the English language.
The conclusion again agrees that gamification does increase engagement with online programs, and the most effective method shown are leaderboards.
| Good Overview, I believe the article does a nice job establishing itself.
One of my five questions answered in the first few paragraphs, but what are “game mechanics” I can make a guess but I did like more clarification.
I guess patience pays off. I like the list of gamification elements, and especially how they included the importance of clear goals. I think this is crucial in all parts of education. There is nothing worse then trying your best in a class, but failing because the professor hasn’t set clear goals. I can see how these elements would really increase engagement. If the research follows this design as they test engagment I am fairly certain it will prove to be more successful than classes without.
I didn’t know what PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, but after some quick research *cough* Wikipedia *cough* I learned it was an evidenced based standard to help researchers ensure complete reporting by requiring a certain amount of studies for their meta-analysis.
I hadn’t realized that there were studies of studies. I quite liked seeing how it worked. I think that the process seems exemplary and througrough. Later on in the paper it even says this is the only study (for gamification) of its kinds so far.
This seemed like finding needles in a haystack, but I am glad I made it through their justifications which all made sense to me. I think the 15 they found were done fairly.
I’ve seen more gamification in elementary schools. My students use Typing Agent, Prodigy Math, Accelerated Reader, and Spelling City. All of these have multiple aspects of gamification, including leaderboards and badges. I personally use apps with gamification, like Zombies, Run for exercise, and like earning badges for my step counter. Before this I hadn’t really made the connection that I liked them because they were gamified.
Answers my question about different levels of engagement. I do feel a little weird about time spent. I think that people learn in such different ways it’s a much wilder variable. I could read an article and think about it all day which would go unnoticed, vs someone who reads and spends 10 mins making comments and is done.
Gamification is a novelty.. I guess the solution is to make cooler and cooler and way cooler games 🙂
Seeing the article check itself with its own limitations was nice. I’ve found all the conclusions and results extremely appropriate.
I’ve been inspired to try and add more gamification into my classroom, but also I’ve realized how much I already use but had not realized. Even having the class earn rocks when they are quite quickly is a little game. Games make everything more fun.