Effects of gamification : analyzing student achievement, mastery, and motivation in science classrooms

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School


I wanted to implement a teaching model that requires students to obtain mastery of a concept. Students typically understand the premise of games and how games are played. Gamification requires that students master a specific level or learning objective before continuing on in the course. Although gamification is a relatively new model of instruction, it incorporates elements of standards based grading and mastery learning. The purpose of this study was to determine if gamification increased student achievement, student mastery and student motivation. Learning objectives were separated and all class activities centered on leveled learning objectives. Students were not able to test out of a set of learning goals until they had demonstrated mastery of the content. Student test and quiz scores were recorded over a 27-week period. Students took surveys, participated in interviews and discussions as part of the study as well. Results showed there was a significant increase in scores with implementation of gamification. Particular success was shown in non-honors classes rather than honors courses. Student mastery and achievement increased with implementation because students were not allowed to move forward in content if they did not receive at least an 80% on quiz scores. I will continue to adjust and modify this learning model based on the positive outcomes of the study.




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