Exploring Learners Experience of Gamified Practicing: For Learning or for Fun?


  • Darina Dicheva Winston Salem State University
  • Keith Irwin
  • Christo Dichev




Gamification, Motivational Psychology, Utilitarian, Hedonic


Gamification in education primarily aims at increasing learners’ motivation to engage in given learning activities and thereby promote desired learning behaviors. Despite its potential and the increasing number of gamified systems their success is still limited due to the fact that gamifying learning is a challenging process. Part of the challenge stems from an insufficient understanding of the motivational mechanisms of gamification on learners’ experience and from the insufficient attention to factors contributing to gameful experiences and promoting sustainable engagement.  In addition, there is limited empirical evidence on motivational influences driving students to participate in gamified learning activities. Another factor slowing down the progress of successfully gamified applications is the scarcity of tools that would enable instructors to design and implement gamified activities as part of their instructional strategy.  In an attempt to address these challenges, the present paper examines the difficulties inherent in the gamification of educational activities and how the OneUp gamification platform can support instructors in overcoming them with the mechanisms it provides for affording gameful experiences and sustainable engagement. To add to the understanding of the motivational influences towards gamified learning activities, the paper presents a preliminary study of student motivation to use OneUp for out-of-class practicing in a gamified Data Structures course. The outcomes of this study are based on data collected through a focus group, survey data, and system logs.




How to Cite

Dicheva, D., Irwin, K., & Dichev, C. (2019). Exploring Learners Experience of Gamified Practicing: For Learning or for Fun?. International Journal of Serious Games, 6(3), 5–21. https://doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v6i3.299



GaLA Conf 2018 Special Issue