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Enhancing students’ motivation and their learning environment: The effect of gamification and the use of online learning platform.
Chun Kit Leung, Ronald C. F. Tse, Samuel K. W. Chu

Last modified: 2017-05-02

Abstract


Abstract

Reading abilities have been demonstrated that it is directly related to students’ learning experiences. Research studies indicated that proficient and frequent readers tend to demonstrate better academic performance compared to their peers. Reading proficiency has also been found to hinder the students learning process.  Therefore, there is a desire from educators to seek for practices that can increase the motivation of the students to read more books. One of the approaches to address the issue is the process of gamification in education. Gamification involves the process of applying the game mechanics in various learning materials, result in making the instructional and learning process more interesting. Local schools in Hong Kong are trialing the concept of gamification in education by using the program called ‘Reading Battle’. It is an online equiz platform that utilized the concept and aimed to enhance the students’ learning experiences. The current research examined the effect of gamification and the use of an online platform on students’ motivation. The research addresses 1) What are the effects of gamification on students’ motivation? 2) How are these effects influence the learning experiences of the students? 3) What are the thoughts from the parents and teachers on the use of an online equiz platform? Interview questions were developed based on the Self-Determination Theory and address the three aspects: Competence, Autonomy, and Relatedness. 16 participants were selected based on their scores in ‘Reading Battle’. Interviews were conducted with the students, their parents and the teacher librarians in their schools. Preliminary data shows that comments from students, parents and teacher librarian claimed that the gamification process and the use of an online equiz platform increase the students’ academic performance, allow certain degrees of freedom for the students to make different choices and increasing the involvement of the students’ in their learning progress. The results also show that students are motivated to reading more books with the use of the program. This study provides further knowledge about gamification as learning strategies and how it affects the motivation of the students. It also provides a guideline for educators on how to apply the concept in the students’ learning curriculum.