TINGLE - TOPIC-INDEPENDENT GAMIFICATION LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
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Motivating student commitment and engagement in learning, using gamification, or games embedded in non-game settings, has been sought after by game researchers, game designers, academic content developers, and teachers alike. With the rise of free-to-play mobile and casual games, games have become more accessible than ever, leading to greater opportunity to understand player engagement motivations. Developing an accurate understanding of diverse player motivations will allow games not as intrinsic motivators, but rather as extrinsic effort/reward motivators with the resolution to target individual preferences. Given the rise in casual gaming popularity, developing methodology for enhancing student motivation and engagement in class by employing casual games played outside of class, but with effort-based rewards tied to academic engagement, will become a more effective tool as player typology research evolves. In this dissertation, I propose and validate methodology using existing player type research. This methodology leverages aspects of psychology research in motivation and personality theory, and is capable of leveraging advances in smart health technology, to create effort-based student evaluation techniques to map effort to game progress across numerous disciplines, subject material, and ages. This allows students to play one game outside of class, with mechanics based on their own game preferences, where the main progression is achieved through academic effort applied during and outside of class. This technique offers several benefits over existing gamification approaches. By building a model with teacher involvement flexibility as well as student preferences, the result is adaptable to diverse curricula, teaching styles and classroom atmospheres across all ages. My research will proceed as follows: I use a simple game and approach to determine the baseline motivation for a game played outside of class with no effort-based ties to class. I then use a single tie to class and game designed around specific game preferences to determine the extent students with specific game mechanic preferences find this system motivating. Next, I explore the validity of using player typology to predict game preferences and explore generalizability. Finally, I design a game with wider-reaching appeal and multiple effort-based ties back to class to validate TINGLE’s design.