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Abstract

Many students entering higher education (HE) today have never known life without the internet. By the time students enter HE, many have been exposed to playing digital games and consider them a very useful learning tool. However, utilising gamification for student engagement and student learning in HE has not been investigated thoroughly, and this paper attempts to contribute to this emerging field of study as suggested by Gibson et al. (2015) and Reid et al. (2015). A survey investigating the usefulness of digital badges for student learning and engagement was distributed to two hundred and fifty-seven (275) undergraduate students at the College of Business, University College Dublin. The results suggest that the incorporation of digital badges into a module is beneficial as they can help students organise their study, maintain and track their progress, and motivate them to engage with module content throughout the semester. The survey results also provide some evidence that digital badges can make a positive contribution to student engagement within a module, particularly where they are directly linked with the module assessment requirements. Overall, digital badges have the potential to be a highly effective pedagogical tool that can also positively impact on the learning experience more generally.

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