About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7071-7081
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0545

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

HOW TO GAMIFY AN ONLINE TECHNICAL SUBJECT IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Games support the development of a wide range of skills which are essential to the autonomous learner, providing players with a complex system of rules that make them to explore through experimentation and discovery. Games evoke a wide range of emotions, from curiosity to frustration or amusement, helping them to turn negative experiences into positive experiences. The player has a possitive relationship with the failure because the best way to learn how to play a game is to make mistakes (trial and error). As many studies show, the use of gamification strategies within the teaching-learning process increases motivation and leads to a stronger commitment to the proposed tasks.

With this paper we are describing the process of gamification of a technical subject, Foundations, which is taught online within the Building Engineering Degree of the Universidad Europea de Madrid (UEM). This is a complex subject in which the acquisition of knowledge and the development of specific skills is linear and cumulative. The average student of this subject corresponds mainly to adult worker, who must combine their studies with their professional and family obligations, which is not always easy. In this context, the objective of gamification strategies is to increase the motivation and commitment of these students towards the meeting of the delivery dates of the proposed activities, appealing to self-improvement, the desire to give the best of oneself (intrinsic motivation). This is not only about passing the subject, but about to make the most of it, attaining a high level of mastery, which is expected to improve the performance of the students and their satisfaction with their learning. To achieve this we have designed a route of attainable and clearly defined challenges adapted to each player's skill level, and applying both game mechanics and motivational design, with a combination of learning activities with and without a special benefit (bonus). The rules are applied in the evaluation system which is known and accepted by all students. The feedback is immediate, and the measure of progress results in the granting of badges that translate in the form of extra points, when rewarded activities are completed in an excellent way.

In order to test the effects of this game-based design, we compared the students' academic performance and their satisfaction with the teaching process with the same variables obtained in the previous non-gamified course (2013-2014). Results show that students in the gamified course perform better in the learning activities with a special benefit than the students in the non-gamified course. It should be noted however, there is not a statistical difference between the two. By contrast, there is a statistically significant difference between the performance of the students in the gamified course, and the students of the non-gamified course in the learning activities without a special benefit, which were received at higher level. The results about satisfaction are the same in both courses.
@InProceedings{VIVASURIAS2016HOW,
author = {Vivas Urias, M.D. and Cruz Chust, A.M. and Li{\'{e}}bana Carrasco, O.},
title = {HOW TO GAMIFY AN ONLINE TECHNICAL SUBJECT IN HIGHER EDUCATION},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.0545},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.0545},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {7071-7081}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.D. Vivas Urias AU - A.M. Cruz Chust AU - O. Liébana Carrasco
TI - HOW TO GAMIFY AN ONLINE TECHNICAL SUBJECT IN HIGHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0545
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 7071
EP - 7081
ER -
M.D. Vivas Urias, A.M. Cruz Chust, O. Liébana Carrasco (2016) HOW TO GAMIFY AN ONLINE TECHNICAL SUBJECT IN HIGHER EDUCATION, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 7071-7081.
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