Gamification is presented in the literature as a pedagogical innovation that may increase student engagement and enhance learning.

This study from University of Limerick explores students’ perceptions of a gamified learning intervention deployed in a large undergraduate module and a small postgraduate module.

Six themes emerged:

  • impact on learning outcomes, 
  • motivation, 
  • the importance of the stakes, 
  • group dynamics, 
  • gender and
  • the challenges gamified learning activities present.

Gamification is a novel concept in the higher education domain. While appearing to possess great potential as a pedagogical methodology, there are undoubtedly issues that should be studied in more detail before definitive conclusions can be drawn.

The research shows that context is a crucial determinant of the success of gamification. Factors such as class size, educational level and perceived stakes influence its effectiveness. Identifying the absolute effect of these factors, as well as other relevant contextual variables, would result in more optimal deployment of gamification in a higher education context.

This research also suggests that gamified learning interventions suit some students and their learning styles better than others. Investigating and mapping this effect would facilitate gamification being used as part of a suite of learning interventions that deliver improved outcomes for all learners.

You can download the Game On! report here.