The effects of gamification using the 5E learning cycle (QuIVERS) on a secondary honors chemistry classroom
Maul, Robert David
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Many honors chemistry students lack the motivation and confidence needed to succeed academically in science classes. This may be a result of past science classes that are not engaging, motivating, or that punish students for failure. To improve student success and scientific literacy, I utilized gamification and the 5E learning cycle (QuIVERS) with high school honors chemistry students. The goal of this project was to use a variety of compelling aspects of video games and incorporate them into my classroom to improve my student's success at learning chemistry and to foster their identities as scientists. The intervention was inspired by Paul Andersen, who developed the QuIVERS method for his AP Biology classes. Within this cycle students engage in a question, explore an investigation, watch a video, read an elaborative reading, review, and take a summary quiz. In my intervention, I incorporated the following characteristics of gamification: self-paced advancement, failure normalization, badges for completing challenges, and levelling. The study began with a non-treatment control group from the previous year. Class averages, formative assessment scores, and summative assessment scores were recorded for comparing with the treatment group. Two units of the study, nomenclature and chemical reactions were used at the treatment units. The assessments included three nomenclature quizzes and a multiple choice test for the nomenclature unit, and a balancing equations quiz and multiple choice test for the chemical reaction unit. Overall, the impact on student learning and student identity as a scientist was inconclusive and it appeared that the intervention had no significant impact on either. Changes were small in many of the measured standards. Students seemed to be most impacted in their confidence and willingness to learn in environments where failure was encouraged. The majority of students found the intervention positive and helpful. My results matched the research that demonstrated that student engagement, achievement, and motivation all can be affected positively by high-quality games and holistic classroom game environments. Because of the importance of careful design, the time needed to incorporate a successful gamification intervention may, for some, outweigh the possible benefits. An increase in the duration of the intervention could be used to see if there is a stronger impact on student learning and to help foster identities in science content could be incorporated in ways that involve more science practices and inquiry.