designing game-like activities to engage adult learners in higher education

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  • Designing game-like activities to engage adult learners inhigher education

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno

    Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

    {amoraca|eplanash|jarnedo}@uoc.edu

    November 2, 2016

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 1 / 24

  • Index

    1 Introduction

    2 Description

    3 Evaluation

    4 Discussion

    5 Conclusions

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 2 / 24

  • Introduction

    Highly motivated students have better chances of acquiringcompetencies in higher education

    Many studies are about how encourage the use of game designprinciples for student engagement

    Most of them are focused on the 20-25 age bracket in face-to-facefull-time studies

    UOC, a completely online-based university

    Demography: >30 years old (64%), working full-time (95%)

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 3 / 24

  • Background

    Gamification: the use of game design elements in non-gamecontexts (Deterding et al., 2011)

    Educational experiences in the literature present diverse results

    It is a delicate design process: ad-hoc versus frameworks (Mora et al.,2015)

    There is not enough evidence about engagement of adults learners inhigher education

    Will adult learners be motivated in solving formative activitieswith game-like course design?

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 4 / 24

  • Description: foundations

    Requirements Engineering (RE) scope

    Computer Engineering grade (optional subject)

    Study of the activities involved in the requirements engineeringprocess

    Time-line comprised in fifteen school weeks

    Evaluation based on three mandatory assignments anddiscussions

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 5 / 24

  • Description: foundations

    Problem to solve

    Lack of motivation in solving non-evaluative activities (0% last ed.)

    Low sense of comradeship between online students

    Expected behaviours

    EB1: Motivated students to solve formative (not graded) activities

    EB2: Increase of the sense of kinship between e-learners

    Motivation types

    MT2: Disciplined-materialist students (20.6%)

    MT3: Persistent-idealist students (28.8%)

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 6 / 24

  • Description: design principles

    A design framework that aims to structure the design process

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 7 / 24

  • Description: design principles

    SPARC analysis

    Sense: coherence with the learning process

    Purpose: a clear intention form the instructors standpoint

    Autonomy: let students to make choices

    Relatedness: positive impact on the rest of students and the course

    Competency: assurance that students are able to master the tasks

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 8 / 24

  • Description: the rules

    Inspired in a reward-based crowd-funding model

    Formative tasks: type (individual/teamwork), challenge and expirable

    Phases: on boarding (simple tasks as tutoring), mid-game (regulartask development) and endgame (final tasks to goal achievements).

    Task-activation timeline: 5-10 weekly

    Expected average performance: 2-3 tasks per student.

    All students could benefit even if they have not participated

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 9 / 24

  • Description: the rules

    Table: Example of formative tasks

    Id Task description Points

    IND

    TEAM

    CH

    EXP

    PhaseT1 Convince at least X students to partic-

    ipate in the activity1 x x on boarding

    T2 Resolve an exercise proposed in thelearning resources

    1 x mid-game

    T3 Resolve a doubt posted in the courseforum from another student at most 2days after posting

    1 x x mid-game

    T4 Commit to obtain the highest grade inan evaluative activity of the course

    1 x x x mid-game

    T5 Resolve an exam model 1 x x mid-gameT6 Correct the resolution of an exam de-

    veloped by another student1 x x mid-game

    T7 Answer a survey about the course 2 x end-game

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 10 / 24

  • Description: the rules

    Table: Example of rewards

    Id Academic-reward Total grade tobe achieved

    R1 Have extra days to deliver the evaluative activity beingcarried out at the time of reaching the score

    10

    R2 Evaluate the current activity on 12 points instead of 10 25R3 Have extra days to deliver the rest of the evaluative ac-

    tivities of the course40

    R4 Provide the students with examples of resolved exams 60R5 Do not take into account the worst exercise during the

    evaluation of the exam80

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 11 / 24

  • Description: the metaphor

    An Agile software development project (Scrum)

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 12 / 24

  • Description: the tool

    Trello, a web-based project management application based on Agileparadigm

    It provides a highly interactive experience (Drag & Drop)

    Each task is represented by a card in the board,

    Widely accepted in other gamified experiences (Gonzalez & Mora,2014)

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 13 / 24

  • Evaluation: methodology

    Methodology for evaluation inspired in Four Level Model(Kirkpatrick, 1967): reaction, how learners respond to theapplied process

    Remember: the purpose is not the improvement of marks fromprevious courses

    Instruments: task manager, forum and questionnaires

    Managing quantitative & qualitative data

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 14 / 24

  • Evaluation: population (quantitative)

    The study was conducted since September 2015 to February 2016

    Two groups of the Requirements Engineering course

    Demographic, N=94; Age range=22-53; M=34.07; Me=34 andSD=6.88; 91/94 male

    Sample: 60 students enrolled voluntarily into the game-like activity(63.82% of total)

    Representative sample

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 15 / 24

  • Evaluation: performance (quantitative)

    First group 62/100 points, second group 80/100

    Drop out rate of 0%

    26.67% of passive participants (0 task)

    18.34% of lower active participants (= 2 tasks)

    An increment of 35% of posts from previous editions

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 16 / 24

  • Evaluation: growth (quantitative)

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 17 / 24

  • Evaluation: correlation analysis (quantitative)

    Pearsons coefficient (age, group, and accomplished tasks)

    Positive medium-moderate correlation between age of activeparticipants and accomplished tasks

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 18 / 24

  • Evaluation: questionnaire (qualitative)

    Table: Design questionnaire (n=32)

    Question Scope AcceptanceDo you think the tasks have been proposedmake sense in the context of this subject?

    Sense 93.75%

    Do you think it has been achieved the goal ofencouraging the process of student learning?

    Purpose 68.75%

    Do you think it has been achieved the goalof encouraging student participation in activ-ities?

    Purpose 75%

    Have you freely chosen tasks you wanted todevelop?

    Autonomy 93.75%

    Do you think it has been achieved the goal ofpromoting teamwork?

    Relatedness 56.25%

    Do you think that the activity has createdfellowship feeling with other students ?

    Relatedness 53.13%

    Do you think it has been achieved the goal oflearning about project management tools?

    Competency 90.63%

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 19 / 24

  • Discussion (individual overview)

    The majority of the course students (63.82%) voluntarily participate

    Half of the students revealed to be intrinsically motivated

    More than a half of them participated in two or more tasks(expectation).

    Motivating adult learners in solving non-graded formativeactivities was reached (EB1)

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 20 / 24

  • Discussion (group overview)

    No behaviour difference between groups until two weeks beforeending (R4 & R5 achievements)

    Appearance of improvised leaders (role of motivators and organizers)

    25.70% of the total posts in forum were directly related to thegame-like experience

    Increment of the sense of kinship between students, althoughto a lesser extent than desired (EB2)

    A. Mora, E. Planas & J. Arnedo-Moreno Universitat Oberta de Catalunya November 2, 2016 21 / 24

  • Conclusions

    It has been presented the design and analysis of a gameful e-learningexperience with ad

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