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Project Lead:

Dr Geraldine Exton Grimes (geraldine.extongrimes@mtu.ie)

Project Status


Project Lead Home Department:

MTU Kerry - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Alignment to HEA and NFETLHE SATLE 2022-23 Themes

  • Education for Sustainable Development (ESD);

Alignment to MTU Strategy Themes

  • Learner Education & Experience;
  • People & Community;

Project Description

The objective of this proposal is to create a practical, hands-on guide to assist in the design and/or evaluation of gamified systems, specifically in relation to their effectiveness in affording learners the opportunity to feel motivated to learn. Initially developed for a face-to-face audience in workshops at MTU, the suite of resources will be strengthened by feedback from staff and student participants. Once developed, these resources will be offered to the educational community as a whole, funding for which I will seek in the upcoming funding call for OERs.

The proposal is based on a framework linking elements used in games and gamified systems with components of the Self-Determination Theory of Motivation (Ryan and Deci, 2000). This framework, which emerged from my PhD research, has been well received in the gamification research community, with both the thesis and a related paper downloaded and cited multiple times. In addition, I have presented on utilising gamification in education, to Masters in STEM students from the primary teaching community, secondary school science teachers, and educators in HE. A practical toolkit is necessary, as many educators are not familiar with the various elements required in good games and gamified systems, nor how they can best integrate these with their teaching. Presenting these as ideas only keeps them in a theoretical space; it is clear that in addition to this background rationale there is a need for pragmatic, user-friendly help to systematise the use of game elements and provide explicit guidelines for educators in the design and evaluation of gamified learning systems.

Similar to the ABC learning design approach developed at University College London, whose team has created an entire suite of paper-based kits for the dissemination of their ideas, in the first instance I would like to develop such a suite of resources for workshops with lecturers and students, before going on to adapt these resources as OERs in the future.

What is the anticipated impact of this project?

A well-developed set of guiding steps for the implementation and evaluation of gamification in education has the potential for a diverse impact across learning communities from first to third level. For learners, the impact of well-designed gamification on their learning has been shown to create a profound sense of self-motivation. For educators, a guide towards creating such a well-designed system will encourage those curious to try gamifying their own systems, or in the integration of gamified systems into their teaching, by allowing them to see clearly the intended effects of that system. Many educators are interested in the idea of gamification, but do not know how to put it into effect; this toolkit will serve to assist those educators to make it a reality, underpinned by research which shows how to apply gamification in the most effective way, fully cognisant of the changes in behaviour the gamification may engender.

What will the outputs of this project be?

Output for this first phase of the project will centre on local and international conference presentations and publications. Once the full set of resources is developed as an OER toolkit for gamification, there will be even more scope for dissemination. The initial phase resources will take the form of documents (cards or pdfs) which ask questions such as: What do we want our learners to do? Following this question, there will be a list of target behaviours, which will then be matched with specific game elements commonly used in gamified systems. In addition, there will be information on those game elements, to build familiarity with what is available in games and gamified systems, along with suggested ways to integrate the elements to ensure the best motivational outcomes are achieved. This will form a gamification package for educators, which could be applied across a range of domains. After the two pilot workshops, there is scope to take these presentations further across the MTU community and to the wider HE field. If funding to develop these as OERs is secured, they will be held as downloadable resources in a repository within the MTU system, hosted by EDSU.

Team Members:

  • Dr Geraldine Exton Grimes, REEdI Learning Experience Designer, MTU Kerry: project lead
  • Michael Noctor, REEdI Learning Experience Designer MTU Kerry: consultant support
  • Jessica Dennison REEdI/IKC3 Social media Marketing Officer MTU Kerry: graphic design
  • Colin O’Brien, EDSU Learning Technologist MTU Kerry: tech support
  • IKC3 postgrad students cross-campus: Consultants/feedback providers
  • Dr Cathal Geary, REEdI lecturer MTU Kerry: facilitation of pilot with students
  • Padraig Kelly, REEdI lecturer MTU Kerry: facilitation of pilot with students

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