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C. Amado, L. Roleda

De La Salle University - Manila (PHILIPPINES)
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of gamifying a physics course to the motivation, engagement and performance of the college students. Specifically, it aimed to find out whether the use of gamified instruction can motivate the students both extrinsically and intrinsically, enhance their behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagement and improve their academic performance.

The participants of the study were thirty-one engineering upperclassmen from a Philippine state university located in Manila. They were given gamified instruction in a general electricity and magnetism (EM) course. All of the students were taking the course for the second time. The gamified instruction included various activities and tasks, in the form of quests, challenges and events which the students accomplished to gain experience points. These points became one of the measures of their performance in the course, the other being the final grades obtained. The students’ motivation and engagement were measured using the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) and School Engagement Measure (SEM), respectively. The results were triangulated with the students’ journals and interviews.

Overall mean results showed the intrinsic motivation of the students increased significantly at the end of the gamified instruction. In addition, student interviews and journals revealed that competition was a strong motivating factor, with their experience points being periodically updated on the leaderboard. A sense of purpose and freedom of choice were also motivating factors, according to the students.

On the other hand, there was also a significant improvement in the students’ engagement in terms of behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagement. Themes arising from qualitative data indicated that gamification:
(1) promoted active class participation and positive behavior in class;
(2) fostered favorable relationships among peers and instructor; and
(3) encouraged increased effort and work, mastery and metacognition.

Lastly, the mean pretest and posttest percentage scores of the students in an EM achievement test showed a significant increase (pre=36.2, post=52.8). The obtained Hake gain, = 0.26, was modest. This was not totally unexpected since the students were repeaters of the course. The more promising aspect of this endeavor was the fact that all students in this class passed their EM course.