Gamification in education: effects and implications of gamified learning approaches in education

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
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Tieto- ja palvelujohtaminen
Gamification is a concept referring to information systems that utilize typical game-like features in a non-gaming context. This type of system design is increasingly used in several domains of application, for example, in healthcare, business, and education, as it has been shown to have a huge potential in influencing human behaviour. Gamification has gained much attention during the past two decades in the field of information systems science due to the rapid development of technology and the amount of research on this topic is tremendous. In education, gamification has proven itself to be a powerful tool in effectively influencing the learning behaviour and motivation of students. Although several pieces of research have reported beneficial outcomes of gamified learning, contradicting stances on its usefulness have been taken. The most reported positive effects appear to be increased motivation, improved learning outcomes and better attitudes towards learning. However, many researchers have also pointed out that gamified learning may not be suitable for all learners, which is why negative effects like lowered motivation, anxiety and loss of performance have also been reported. As gamification in education is a relatively young area of research, the theoretical background of its uses and the empirical findings are broadly spread. This literature review examines the effects and implications of gamified learning in higher education with the aim of providing a critical point of view to its uses. Positive and negative effects are discussed as well as different factors that influence the effectiveness of gamified learning. In addition, gamification is also examined carefully from the modern-day perspective, including points of consideration such as ethical issues and the current state of technological development.
Thesis advisor
Bragge, Johanna
gamification, education, learning, motivation, information systems
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