Social Gamification in Multimedia Instruction: Assessing the Effects of Animation, Reward Strategies, and Social Interactions on Learners Motivation and Academic Performance in Online Settings
University of Kansas
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
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Gamification is the strategy of using game elements and game-design mechanics in nongaming contexts. Many companies have gamified their online applications to increase customers’ motivation and engagement. Increased motivation is also a critical factor that influences learning performance in online settings; however, the question of how to retain newly gained motivation and transfer it into learning efforts is still a challenge in educational technology. This study investigated the ways that social interactions can be used to facilitate students’ self-regulated learning in online education. The fundamental hypothesis underlying this research is that an integrative model of social gamification and multimedia instruction will promote students’ self-discipline during the online learning process, which in turn assures a better learning performance within online education. This study has designed and developed a socially gamified animation to examine whether social gamification can increase the motivation and engagement of students and to facilitate students’ learning of polar science knowledge in an online learning environment. This study employed a between-subject design as an experimental design method to investigate the effect of the proposed socially gamified animation. In general, findings indicated that social gamification could improve students’ content knowledge. In addition, students’ increased cognitive engagement during the learning process has a positive impact on their learning performance. Discriminant analyses, however, did not support significant differences in cognitive engagement between students who learned with socially gamified animations and those students who did not. It is unclear whether the implementation of social gamification could promote higher level of motivation and cognitive engagement and whether this motivation and cognitive engagement subsequently results in advanced learning performance in online settings. These findings have implications for understanding the motivational and instructional effect of social gamification in online learning. In addition, the design and development of the socially gamified animation investigated in this study provides an example of bridging the theory-practice gap in gamification of online education.
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