Gamification in science education: The relationship of educational games to motivation and achievement

Kelly Elizabeth Rouse, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

Community colleges have become increasingly more important in America's higher education system. Part of this emphasis has been directly due to President Obama's 2010 directive to produce a competitive workforce in the United States by increasing the community college graduation rate by five million over the next decade (Madhani, 2010). Community colleges allow open admission for students which permits marginally prepared students to enter. These students may lack motivation, which contributes to student attrition (Williams, 2010). The focus of this study is to examine methods that may improve student learning and motivation, which could ultimately lead to higher graduation rates. This study investigates the relationship of gamification to motivation and achievement in a community college microbiology class. Gamification is defined as "the process of adding game mechanics to processes, programs, and platforms that would not traditionally use such concepts" (Swan, 2012). The goal of game-based learning is to increase student motivation and learning. The results of this investigation indicate that educational games increase motivation and achievement of students in a community college microbiology class.