ISCAP Proceedings - 2023

Albuquerque NM, November 2023

2023 ISCAP Proceedings: Abstract Presentation

Gamification for Higher Education Business Students

Seth Williams
Tennessee Tech University

Jimmy Jenkins
Tennessee Tech University

Grant Clary
Tennessee Tech University

Throughout history, humans have used games as a source of entertainment and motivation. Recent rises in technology have brought game-like elements to non-game scenarios (a phenomenon called gamification). Gamification tactics are commonly used to train employees, treat medical conditions, help students in school, and many other non-game scenarios. This abstract is intended to explain a research-in-progress project on implementing gamification in the classroom to help students review course material. The goal of this initiative is twofold: improve knowledge retention of the course material and improve student satisfaction with the course. As we develop the game elements to be included in the classroom, we turn to the literature for recommendations on improving the design of the gamification initiative to ensure we improve student satisfaction and knowledge retention. One such body of literature is andragogy. Andragogy emphasizes the self-directed and independent nature of adult learners (Knowles, 1970). Andragogy differs from pedagogy by suggesting that adult learners are more motivated to learn if the knowledge is relevant and applicable to their lives. When designing the game-like elements, special consideration will be given to ensure we incorporate autonomy, relevance, and real-world application of knowledge. As for satisfaction, self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) suggests humans have three innate needs for intrinsic motivation and well-being: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Having a game that is supplemental to their learning would allow them to a) have the autonomous decision to engage, b) improve their competence in the course material, and c) improve the relatedness by having game-like elements that enable students to interact with each other by comparing scores for competition or working together on a team to complete tasks. Testing for and finding an increase in actual knowledge retention would require experiments with control groups. Therefore, we will gather data about students’ perceived knowledge retention from the game. To test our propositions, we will split participants into two groups. One group will receive semi-structured focus group interviews to discuss their perceived satisfaction and perceived knowledge intention from the game elements. The other group will receive a survey with a questionnaire containing scales that measure satisfaction and perceived knowledge retention. Gamification can be an effective strategy for enhancing motivation to improve knowledge retention of the material and improve student satisfaction. Thus, the results from this initiative are beneficial for both students and institutions alike. Indeed, knowledge retention is essential for students’ academic success, career readiness, and personal growth. Furthermore, research shows student satisfaction is highly correlated with performance and desire to continue with courses (Clary et al., 2022). References cited: Clary, G., Dick, G., Akbulut, A. Y., & Van Slyke, C. (2022). The after times: College students’ desire to continue with distance learning post-pandemic. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 50(1), 3. Knowles, M. S. (1970). The Modern Practice of Adult Education; Andragogy versus Pedagogy. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist, 55(1), 68.