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Gamification in computer programming : effects on learning, engagement, self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation

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Abstract
Worldwide, the workforce requires professionals to master programming skills, regardless of their knowledge domain. This demand has led higher education institutions to strengthen their programming courses, which currently experience high dropout rates and low academic performance. Some institutions have even faced the need to offer new programming courses for those students whose field is not computer related, which adds more challenges due to their background. Given this setting, gamification, the use of game elements in non-game contexts, is put forward as a solution to redesign related courses. Thus, the purpose of this study was to analyse the impact of gamification, using badges, on learning performance, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy and engagement in engineering students taking a basic programming course. It also analysed the effects of student background variables such as gender, grade point average and previous gaming experience. One hundred sophomore undergraduates participated in a quasi-experiment, lasting 6 weeks. A pretest-posttest design with control (N=50) and experimental group (N = 50) was setup. Students carried out mandatory (e.g. chapter reading quizzes) and optional tasks (completing activities in Code Academy or Pyschools), and were awarded with badges and meta-badges, through a web based application called Credly. The university learning management system was used as a platform to inform students of the activities that would be rewarded with and to keep track of the students' assignments. Data collection methods included self-reported questionnaires about intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy and personality; and a programming test. Results show a statistically significant improvement in engagement in gamification students, compared to the control group. However, no significant impact on learning performance, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy and any of the student background variables was observed. The higher engagement is promising, showing that gamification might push programming courses. However, further research is needed to understand the lack of connection between the aforementioned variables
Keywords
gamification, programming, intrinsic motivation, learning, self-efficacy

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MLA
Ortiz Rojas, Margarita Elizabeth, Katherine Chiluiza, and Martin Valcke. “Gamification in Computer Programming : Effects on Learning, Engagement, Self-efficacy and Intrinsic Motivation.” PROCEEDINGS OF THE 11TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMES BASED LEARNING (ECGBL 2017). Ed. M. Pivec & J. Grundler. England: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD, 2017. 507–514. Print.
APA
Ortiz Rojas, M. E., Chiluiza, K., & Valcke, M. (2017). Gamification in computer programming : effects on learning, engagement, self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. In M. Pivec & J. Grundler (Eds.), PROCEEDINGS OF THE 11TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMES BASED LEARNING (ECGBL 2017) (pp. 507–514). Presented at the 11th European Conference on Game-Based Learning (ECGBL), England: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD.
Chicago author-date
Ortiz Rojas, Margarita Elizabeth, Katherine Chiluiza, and Martin Valcke. 2017. “Gamification in Computer Programming : Effects on Learning, Engagement, Self-efficacy and Intrinsic Motivation.” In PROCEEDINGS OF THE 11TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMES BASED LEARNING (ECGBL 2017), ed. M. Pivec and J. Grundler, 507–514. England: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Ortiz Rojas, Margarita Elizabeth, Katherine Chiluiza, and Martin Valcke. 2017. “Gamification in Computer Programming : Effects on Learning, Engagement, Self-efficacy and Intrinsic Motivation.” In PROCEEDINGS OF THE 11TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMES BASED LEARNING (ECGBL 2017), ed. M. Pivec and J. Grundler, 507–514. England: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD.
Vancouver
1.
Ortiz Rojas ME, Chiluiza K, Valcke M. Gamification in computer programming : effects on learning, engagement, self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. In: Pivec M, Grundler J, editors. PROCEEDINGS OF THE 11TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMES BASED LEARNING (ECGBL 2017). England: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD; 2017. p. 507–14.
IEEE
[1]
M. E. Ortiz Rojas, K. Chiluiza, and M. Valcke, “Gamification in computer programming : effects on learning, engagement, self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation,” in PROCEEDINGS OF THE 11TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMES BASED LEARNING (ECGBL 2017), Graz, AUSTRIA, 2017, pp. 507–514.
@inproceedings{8607271,
  abstract     = {Worldwide, the workforce requires professionals to master programming skills, regardless of their knowledge domain. This demand has led higher education institutions to strengthen their programming courses, which currently experience high dropout rates and low academic performance. Some institutions have even faced the need to offer new programming courses for those students whose field is not computer related, which adds more challenges due to their background. Given this setting, gamification, the use of game elements in non-game contexts, is put forward as a solution to redesign related courses. Thus, the purpose of this study was to analyse the impact of gamification, using badges, on learning performance, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy and engagement in engineering students taking a basic programming course. It also analysed the effects of student background variables such as gender, grade point average and previous gaming experience. One hundred sophomore undergraduates participated in a quasi-experiment, lasting 6 weeks. A pretest-posttest design with control (N=50) and experimental group (N = 50) was setup. Students carried out mandatory (e.g. chapter reading quizzes) and optional tasks (completing activities in Code Academy or Pyschools), and were awarded with badges and meta-badges, through a web based application called Credly. The university learning management system was used as a platform to inform students of the activities that would be rewarded with and to keep track of the students' assignments. Data collection methods included self-reported questionnaires about intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy and personality; and a programming test. Results show a statistically significant improvement in engagement in gamification students, compared to the control group. However, no significant impact on learning performance, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy and any of the student background variables was observed. The higher engagement is promising, showing that gamification might push programming courses. However, further research is needed to understand the lack of connection between the aforementioned variables},
  author       = {Ortiz Rojas, Margarita Elizabeth and Chiluiza, Katherine and Valcke, Martin},
  booktitle    = {PROCEEDINGS OF THE 11TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMES BASED LEARNING (ECGBL 2017)},
  editor       = {Pivec, M. and Grundler, J.},
  isbn         = {9781911218579 },
  issn         = {2049-0992},
  keywords     = {gamification,programming,intrinsic motivation,learning,self-efficacy},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Graz, AUSTRIA},
  pages        = {507--514},
  publisher    = {ACAD CONFERENCES LTD},
  title        = {Gamification in computer programming : effects on learning, engagement, self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation},
  year         = {2017},
}