Lessons learned from gamification of a learning experience: a case study
The use of gamification principles can be valuable to motivate students and enhance their learning experience. A gamification initiative making use of a mobile app to prepare students for their summative assessment was evaluated for its usefulness and successful application to meet the objective. At the time of the study it was the second year that this learning activity was incorporated into the course. Hundred and three students (N=103) enrolled for a degree and diploma in Sport and Recreation Management and Sport Science at a residential university in South Africa participated. Students were divided in teams of no more than five. Participation was voluntary, most students participated (85%). The app was quantitatively evaluated for ease of use. Students found the app easy to use. The gamification approach was qualitatively evaluated. Three themes emerged; usefulness of app, examination preparation and enjoyment. Valuable lessons were learned regarding designing and developing of game-based learning activities and the incorporation of technology. It is concluded that the further development of this initiative should be nested in a solid design framework and the use of technology must be carefully considered.
Keywords: Gamification; Qualitative analysis; Adventure education mobile applications; Learning; Game-based learning