Question 1 – Topic of Interest: I am very interested in gamification in the classroom and its impact in both k-12 and in higher education. This classroom model is intriguing to me because I am a gamer myself and I think that there are some good ideas we can take from the gaming world and use in the classroom. Students will sit for hours and play games, but have a hard time sitting for hours in school. Using game mechanics could be beneficial in the classroom environment.
Question 2 – Three (four) questions to investigate:
Question 3 – Which of these questions is most interesting to me: I am most interested in question 2 – capturing the mechanics that pull us into games and applying them to teaching in the classroom. This question has a direct impact on a teacher’s workload and looks at the educational outcome for the students. I used gamification in my high school class last fall and the results were mixed. I did not set it up to study, I just did it. If this is something that can help teachers reach more students and create a more engaging classroom environment, then I want to be able to show them research that supports this claim.
Question 4 – Qualitative/Quantitative Study: Qualitative – using student benchmark or assessment (end of year or common) scores and compare them to classes that are not using gamification to determine if this classroom model is beneficial to student learning outcomes.
Question 5 – What would it take to do this research: To investigate this question, there would need to be a course with multiple sections and students randomly assigned to a control section and an experimental section. The control section would be taught using a typical lecture/activity model. The experimental section would be taught with gaming mechanics guiding the learning. Both courses would cover the same material and have the same assignments for those students who want to look at certain topics in more depth. All assignments and assessments would be identical so that data can be compared between the sections.
Question 6 – What would be the contribution: Gamification has started to get attention as a teaching model, but there does not appear to be very many studies that indicate how effective this model can be. Gamification is used in several different aspects of life from credit card points, and frequent flyer miles to punch reward cards at your favorite ice cream store. This study could identify whether gamification is a viable educational model, one that increases student learning and leads to stronger retention of previously taught material. This study could benefit teachers from k-12 and on into higher education.
Question 7 – Who will benefit: Those people directly involved in education would benefit from this study. Teachers at all levels continuously work to improve their craft. They attend professional development, they reflect on previously taught lessons, they attend workshops all through the year. If gamification were to produce results that could show increased student engagement, learning, and retention, then teachers could implement this model directly into their classroom.
Question 8 – How will this impact education: This study could have an impact on the field of education. As new teaching ideas are shared and show positive results, teachers work to implement those ideas. Gamification is a more recent teaching model that has shown mixed results. This study could have an impact on education by giving teachers a model to engage more students and help students with retention of previous knowledge.