External publication No
Means Iceri Proceedings
Scope Proceedings Paper
Nature Científica
Publication date 01/01/2018
ISI 000568991701061
Abstract Gamification is the implementation of game design elements in real-world contexts for non-gaming purposes. The main goal of this area is to foster human motivation and performance for a given activity. Previous research supports the hypothesis underlying this aim. However, previous studies have often treated gamification as a generic construct, neglecting the fact that there are many different game design elements which can result in very diverse applications. In this paper, we present a teaching experience whose primary objective was to improve the motivation and the results obtained by the students of a Mathematics course during their first year at the University. The focus was the students from all the engineering degrees at the Universidad Loyola Andalucia, which are: Degree in Electromechanical Engineering, Engineering Degree on Industrial Organization, Degree in Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering, and Degree in Computer Engineering and Virtual Technology. For this case study, we have used classcraft, which is a role-playing game supported by a digital platform and a mobile application that has been developed to answer teachers\' classroom management needs. In this platform, teachers can create teams, assign an avatar to every student, and the most important feature, they can establish points as rewards for positive achievements and even penalize with negative points in case of faults. Another primary characteristic of classcraft is its usability and the ease to set up its features by non-technical teachers. The success of the game, in terms of its adoption by teachers, demonstrates its relevance. Furthermore, we have also designed activities and team projects in this platform in order to promote the development of the four "super skills" (or de Four C\'s) of the 21st century: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. The Mathematics course at the Universidad Loyola Andalucia is divided in two semesters. During the first one, the students were evaluated using a traditional teaching methodology, whereas, during the second semester, they used classcraft and those activities and projects linked to this digital platform. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was applied to assess the differences in the median mark obtained by students during the first and the second semester, and the Friedman and Nemenyi tests were used to assess the differences in the scores obtained in the Four C\'s. Results showed that the mean mark obtained by students was lower during the first semester than in the second. In addition, the Nemenyi test reported that the Four C\'s were improved thanks to the activities and group project. In overall terms, course participants evaluated the use of classcraft platform very positively. They highlighted the importance of studying Mathematics with proper motivation. However, students pointed out two areas that should be revised. These are some aspects of the configuration of the game and some communication issues when working in groups. In the near future, we will consider all those recommendations given by the students in order to improve their motivation and results. We will try different configurations of game design elements, and we will provide more guides for working in teams.
Keywords 21st Century Skills; Gamification; Motivation; Digital Platform; Mathematics
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