Background and Objective:In recent years, we have witnessed a dramatic growth of digital gaming media in entertainment and popular culture. Games are firmly entrenched in human culture and have consistently impacted their social life and leisure on an unprecedented scale. One of the achievements of digital gaming media is that it stimulates issues beyond entertainment. In general, the game can be described as a voluntary activity in which the player has freedom of action and can enter or leave the game at any time. An emerging strategy in the field of play is gamification, but gamification is slightly different from normal play. Gamification can be defined as the use of gamified thinking in areas that do not have the nature of play, which is created to create interaction and motivation in people to achieve the desired goals. Nowadays, gamification has been turned into a strong motive tool to engage and increase users’ participation in the educational systems. Previous research indicates generally the importance and efficiency of gamification methods to improve educational processes, but in these researches, the characteristics of each audience and its effect on their behavior were not investigated. In this research, we attempt to study individual characteristics such as their gender and education background on their effectiveness rate from gamification.
Methods: For this study, we designed an educational system based on gamification approach named as “Elenow” and gave it to the students (N=41) who were studying “Technical writing and presentation method” course. Elenow is a web-based system which is accessible on users’ mobile. In addition to the data collected by Elenow system, a questionnaire was given to the audiences and asked them about the effectiveness of gamification process implemented by the Elenow system. Also, the information about the students’ educational background was extracted from the university educational systems.
Findings:The most important findings of this research revealed that the individual characteristics of audiences are significant factors on their effectiveness from gamification. Therefore, we can’t consider a single approach for all individuals participating in a gamified activity.
The most important results of this research are: as the audience of educational systems has different individual characteristics, such as gender, the effectiveness of each element of the designed gamification is different for them. Also, their level of interest and satisfaction with the elements of gamification, such as; signs, points, etc. are not the same; therefore, in designing gamified mechanisms for educational purposes, a single version cannot be considered for all audiences. For this reason, it is important to consider these features in gamified designs. In particular, some symptoms motivate female students and others motivate male students. While women get better feedback than homework-related symptoms, men are more interested in receiving skill-related symptoms.
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