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Gamification in higher education

toward a pedagogy to engage and motivate

Langendahl, Per-Anders and Cook, Matthew and Mark-Herbert, Cecilia (2016). Gamification in higher education. Uppsala: (NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet. Working paper series / Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics ; 2016:6
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Abstract

This report explores gamification as a pedagogic approach to engage and motivate students in higher education. Gamification is understood here to be the use of game elements in non-game contexts. Here game elements correspond to the characteristics of games, and context is defined as the activity and setting gamified. Gamification is deployed in various contexts such as running, shopping and learning and is therefore an open and multifaceted concept with multiple applications. The report develops a contemporary understanding of gamification with a focus on (higher) education in particular. A framework is derived from literature that categorises game elements as follows: 1) surface elements, 2) underlying dynamics and 3) gaming experience. This framework is used to analyse three teaching activities in marketing and sustainable development disciplines. Case study research was followed to collect data, which were analysed using a template approach.

The analysis shows that gamification is not alien to higher education. Rather, game elements and dynamics associated with the gamification concept are found in higher education. Four game elements are deemed salient in higher education to engage and motivate students in particular, namely: narrative, challenge, progression and feedback. Narrative is the use of stories to engage students in learning, e.g. case study or real-world situation. A challenge is the use of a task that is both challenging and fun. Progression refers to the flow of activities (e.g. tasks) that engage students and maintain their motivation through a learning activity. Feedback is the use of frequent and targeted feedback that encourages students to learn.

Based on these insights a framework was developed to illustrate how gamification might play a role in the development of cognitive capacity, analytical capabilities and normative ambitions of learning. The report concludes that gamification can usefully be deployed in higher education and form a part of the mix of pedagogic approaches. Game elements can be used in teaching sessions to activate students and to motivate proactive engagement in learning activities as well as enjoyment over them. Gamification may not, however, make teaching more efficient and reduce the workload. It may rather help create more effective teaching and contribute to student learning outcomes as well as their overall experience from the university.

Authors/Creators:Langendahl, Per-Anders and Cook, Matthew and Mark-Herbert, Cecilia
Title:Gamification in higher education
Subtitle:toward a pedagogy to engage and motivate
Alternative abstract:
LanguageAbstract
English

Begreppet “gamification” handlar om en pedagogisk ansats som engagerar och motiverar studenter i utbildningssammanhang. Termen gamification (här, ”lek”) associeras ofta till spelsituationer i sport men i den här rapporten ligger fokus hur lek kan användas i kontexter för akademiskt lärande i universitetsmiljö. Rapporten bygger på en reflekterad litteratur-genomgång som speglar uppfattningar och förutsättningar för att använda lek i akademiskt lärande. Genomgången av litteraturen pekar på tre centrala delar som tillsammans utgör förutsättningar för ”gamification”; spelelement, underliggande kontextuell dynamik och praktisk erfarenhet. Dessa tre delar illustreras i tre valda undervisningssituationer, fall som analyseras med avseende på dimensionerna som litteraturen pekat ut som centrala i ”gamification”.

De tre fallillustrationerna utgörs av ett studentprojekt (kaosveckan), ett (Harvard) case och en interaktiv undervisningssituation. Gemensamt för fallillustrationerna är att studenterna har en relativt aktiv roll. I vart och ett av fallen möter studenterna olika utmaningar, som kräver insatser och dialog med kurskamrater och med kursledaren. Det analytiska arbetet sker i en process som belönas av läraren i termer av bekräftelser och utmaningar. Resultatet i alla fallen är beroende på alla parters insatser (studenter och lärare).

Rapporten bidrar till att förklara hur ”gamification” (lek) används i praktiken, ibland i pedagogiska tekniker som har andra namn, t.ex. interaktiv dialog, case-metodik eller projektstudier. Lek stimulerar olika slags lärande, kognitiv kapacitet, kommunikativ förmåga och insikter om normativa processer i en analys. Slutsatserna pekar på att lek kan användas inom ett antal olika pedagogiska tekniker för att höja studentaktiviteten och därmed den upplevda lärdomen av kursmomentet. Lek innebär däremot inte att lärarens roll blir mindre viktig eller resurskrävande. Rapporten pekar på att ”gamification” med fördel kan användas i undervisningssituationer som präglas av interdisciplinaritet och komplexitet.

Series/Journal:Working paper series / Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics (1401-4068)
Year of publishing :2016
Number:2016:6
Number of Pages:43
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISSN:1401-4068
Language:English
Publication Type:Report
Article category:Other scientific
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:C Education, extension, and advisory work > C10 Education
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 502 Economics and Business > Business Administration
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 503 Educational Sciences > Pedagogy
Agrovoc terms:teaching, teaching methods, learning, case studies
Keywords:active students, case, feedback, learning by doing, pedagogical role, playful, student engagement and teaching
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3468
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3468
ID Code:13429
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:02 Jun 2016 07:04
Metadata Last Modified:07 Jul 2017 14:40

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