University College of Northern Denmark / Aalborg University (DENMARK)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 59-68
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1011
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Game-based learning has been a central theme in the educational system as computer games contain different types of facilitation systems that are designed to keep the users on a particular experience and knowledge level. A personal learning curve is helping to motivate users to a behavioural persistence, daring to make mistakes as well as social acceptance of innovative new ideas. (Deterding, 2012; Erenli, 2013; McGonigal, 2011; Morris, Croker, Zimmerman, Gill, & Romig, 2013).

The computer game World of Warcraft belongs to the genre of "Massive Multi Online Role Playing Games' (MMORPG). The unique feature of MMORPG games is the built-in troubleshooting features through quests, realistic scenarios, and collaboration mechanisms that stimulate the players intuitive motivation. Several studies have shown that MMORPG contains activities that greatly facilitate the development of problem-oriented skills, flow and motivation and innovation competence with the users (Ang, Zaphiris, & Mahmood, 2007; Hou, 2012; Silva & Mousavidin, 2015; Suznjevic & Matijasevic, 2010).

Teaching in innovation processes is basically about encouraging the students to let go and hinder habit and pattern thinking. The students need to "go with the flow" through a playful and curious approach and thus fail to question the process. This loss of control can be experienced so cross-border that it for some students become a primary barrier to be motivated to attend classes. (Illeris, 2000; Berliner & Berthelsen, 1989; Janas, 1998).

The research question driving this study is:
What influence has the use of principles from MMORP Games for facilitation of behavioral persistence, process understanding, and motivation in innovation workshops?

Through a case-based research design containing the following selected design principles; Quest, Levels, crafting, Dungeon, “wipe” and Achievement known from the computer game World of Warcraft (Nardi, 2010; Chen, 2012), this study examines whether a gamification of innovation processes in a learning environment will make it possible to support behavioral and cognitive changes. The case study is chosen as it allows to reveal events with little control and phenomenon within holistic and real life events (Yin, 2003).

The research design was tested during the holding of 4 innovation workshops at the education of Architectural Technology and Construction Management, University College of Northern Denmark, where a total of 150 Danish and international students regularly participated. The empirical data were retrieved from 115-hour video observations. Randomly selected project teams was equipped with a GoPro camera during the workshops for capturing the entire process. Based on a review of the video material, relevant project teams was selected for an in-depth qualitative focus group interviews. Subsequent a Qualitative content analysis has been carried out based on the collected data.

This study will contribute to the existing research with a generic pedagogical model that shows how gaming principles can be transferred to a physical context. The overall findings from the study illustrate how the use of principles from the computer game World of Warcraft in a physical learning environment result in some benefits regarding creating motivation, behavioral persistence, process understanding, and momentum.
Gamification, Innovation, MMORPG, Motivation, World of Warcraft, Higher Education.