Authors Name: 
Diego Garaialde
University: 
Dublin City University
Category: 
Psychology
Award winner

Measuring the Effects of Gaming Principles on the Productivity and Motivation of College Students

The study aimed to investigate the effects of gaming principles, such as point systems, a levelling plan and instant visual feedback on college student motivation and productivity in an academic setting. The study hypothesised that gaming principles would increase the intrinsic motivation of participants, thus leading to the completion of a higher number of goals set when compared to controls. Additionally, it was hypothesised that there would be no differences between groups in total hours spent working towards goals. A pilot study was conducted with two participants to test usability of the application and journal. Participants were then divided into android application users (experimental condition) or journal users (control condition). Both groups participated for a period of two weeks where they logged their academic goals and then entered this information into an end questionnaire. An independent groups ANCOVA was conducted on the number of completed goals. Hours spent working towards those goals were analysed separately using a Mann-Whitney U test. The answers of the open-ended questions of the questionnaire were sifted through manually for coding categories and patterns about attitudes towards the application or journal. The results of the analysis supported the two outlined hypotheses as predicted. Both motivation to do work and to log work were important in increasing college student productivity. Additionally, anonymous data logging of student productivity can give universities important feedback on student workload and assignment engagement.