"The Gradequest Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" - Evaluating the Second Iteration of a Gameful Undergraduate Course

Bob De Schutter


The use of game design techniques in a non-gaming context - or 'gamification' (Sebastian Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, & Nacke, 2011) - offers the promise to make education more motivating, engaging and enjoyable to students. This study reports on both the design and evaluation the second iteration of a gameful class (N= 19) that incorporates a variety of game design techniques through an online application named 'Gradequest'. The course was evaluated using multiple methods. First, a quantitative survey was used to collect data to measure levels of intrinsic motivation and engagement for the course. Second, a teaching log was recorded to capture the instructor's perspective. Third, a focus group session was held, and finally, a Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (Clark & Redmond, 1982) was held at the midpoint of the semester. The project concludes that the applied gameful instruction did not necessary lead to higher levels of intrinsic motivation or engagement in comparison to traditional teaching methods, and that further improvements to the design and documentation of the course are necessary. However, further qualitative inspection indicates that the students appreciate the gameful approach, and that the approach does have potential. The findings of the study are used to formulate recommendations towards the design of gameful instruction, in particular through its assessment of the various game elements that were incorporated in the gameful course design.