Design Principles for Integrating Gamification into Distance Learning Programs in Higher Education: A Mixed Method Study
Keywords:gamification, distance learning, higher education, mixed methods, design principles
This study aims to address the issue of low completion and high dropout rates in online and distance learning through play and gamification. The general aim of this study is to provide a set of gamification design principles for researchers and practitioners on how gamification can be used in online and distance learning programs in higher education. More specifically, the study intended to seek the answers whether student participation in the online and distance learning programs can be increased by the use of gamification, how the gamification influences the students’ academic performances in the online and distance learning programs and what learners think about integrating gamification into the open and distance learning programs in higher education. The study was designed as a sequential exploratory research, which is one of the mixed research methods. Findings indicate that integrating gamification into the online and distance learning programs has a significant impact on increasing students' visits to the learning environment. In addition, when the pre-gamification and post-gamification scenarios were compared in terms of students accessing to the content in the online and distance learning environment, it was discovered that there was a statistically significant increase. It can be also said that there is significant difference regarding to academic performances for gamified situations. Lastly, gamification is said to be fun by students and to contribute positively to their motivation. According to this, gamification has a positive effect on learners' e-learning behaviors and should be used more in online and distance learning programs.
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