|PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:||WATERS, GAVIN|
|OTHER INVESTIGATORS:||KEVIN ANDERSON, CSMP, MWSURNKAYLA WATERS, HUMAN SERVICES, WASHBURN UNIVERSITY, TOPEKA, KS|
File Created: August 23, 2012|
Department Chair Action Date: August 23, 2012
Current Status: Final Status Report Received
|Confidentiality||Data are linked to individuals.|
STATEMENT OF PURPOSEA recent trend in education is to apply video game design principles of behavioral reinforcement to instructional activities. The goal of this process, called "gamification," is to enhance learning by increasing student engagement, providing more immediate positive feedback, making progress tangible and visible, defining measurable mid-term objectives, and reinforcing effort (Goehle, in press). This study evaluates the impact of gamifying a standard online calculus homework package.
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGYThe standard homework package is run through an open-source program called WeBWorK. The gamified version we will be using is called "Mathchievement." Mathchievement essentially increases the vigor and amount of praise that is offered to students for homework completion. For example, the standard WeBWorK delivery system will give the following response, in small type, for any correct answer: "The answer above is correct." The Mathchievement would provide the same feedback , but intermittently adds additional praise. For example, for a students first correct answer of the semester, the Mathchievement awards the student the title of "Calculus Novice" and provides the following response, in larger bolder type: "Machievement Unlocked: The First Step" WeBWorK is a mastery-oriented program, which allows students to make unlimited attempts on all homework problems. Mathchievement capitalizes on this system to directly praises good homework habits. For example, a careful student with a good grasp of the material will earn the "On One Hand" award for finishing a homework set with less than 5 incorrect submissions. If a student persists on a really challening problem, she will earn the "Persistence is not Futile" award for solving a problem after 10 incorrect submissions. Mathchievement changes NOTHING about the actual homework questions, the order of questions, the grade received for completing assignments, or the visual appearance of questions. It just increases the amount and visual impact of praise that students receive during the time they interact with the program, as well as adding a whimsical flair that some students may enjoy. Mathchievement has been pilot-tested in a non-experimental, survey-based study. The sample size was small, but results suggested that a) the program is technologically sound and, b) students were engaged with the program and appreciated the positive feedback. Without a control group, it was not possible to ascertain the impact of Mathchievement on actual student performance. The purpose of this study is to use a random assignment, control group design to compare the impact of gamified vs. standard homework on student persistence and achievement in college Calculus classes.
ANTICIPATED RISKS AND BENEFITSThe Mathchievement gamification of online homework has shown promise in a survey-based pilot study, but more rigorous evaluation is needed. The present study uses uses random assignment to a control group and statistical analysis to better understand the effects of the program. WeBWorKs and Mathchievement are both open source programs that can both be accessed at no cost to high schools and universities (except for the time it takes for instructors to choose homework problems that suit their syllabus). If a positive impact is identified, then students and educators will benefit from having a free and easy-to-implement tool available to support success in math classes.
SUBJECT SELECTIONNumber – 40 Age – 18+ Sex – All Race – All
CONFIDENTIALITYStudent performance data will be collected by the professor of the class, who has already access to this information for instructional purposes. The professor will then enter this information into a database using a coded identification process before sharing it with the other investigators. Transcripts will be reviewed by the student's own professor, and this data will also be entered into a coded data base before it is shared.
PRIMARY SUPPORTING DOCUMENTClick for Word Document
Final Report on 02-20-2013We are in the process of compiling and writing
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