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The purpose of this project was to examine the role of Gamification in increasing first year student engagement within the third level educational setting. A literature review was carried out in order to explore the teaching philosophy behind gamification in education and review the quantitative and qualitative evidence regarding its use. Gamification can be broadly described as the application of gaming methods and elements in non-gaming contexts in order to improve user engagement and user experience (Deterding et al., 2011). Qualitative analysis suggests these factors result in beneficial emotional and social impacts on students, particularly in the area of increasing student engagement. This advantage of the use of gamification in enhancing student engagement can be linked to better student retention, particularly in the first year of third level education (Mooney et al., 2010; Nelson & Clarke, 2011). Furthermore, there is a positive correlation between lecture attendance and outcomes of examinations (O'Dwyer, 2011; O'Dwyer, 2011). However, quantitative analysis within the literature on the cognitive impact of gamification is lacking (Dominguez et al., 2013). In order to enhance a deeper learning experience careful planning of gamification activities must be implemented. When used correctly, gamification provides a unique tool within third level education to promote creative, independent enquiring students who effectively participate in these 'serious games'. The findings of this literature review are outlined within this report and are aimed to supplement the infographic artefact, video and website created as part of the group project.
Colleran, J., Lloyd McKernan, A., Naughton, J.A., Vaughan, B. (2016) Gamification to improve first year engagement. Dublin: Dublin Institute of Technology.