Date of Award

7-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

Program

Other

Program

Applied Behavior Analysis

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Jacob Daar

Abstract

Gamification, or the use of game mechanics in non-game activities, has potential utility in enhancing course materials and help to motivate students. The present study sought to determine whether a gamified quiz application utilizing a probabilistic reinforcement schedule, a common game mechanic in which magnitude of reinforcement is randomized, would increase interaction with course material and subsequently increase exam scores when compared to a traditional fixed ratio point scoring system in a college class setting. An undergraduate class of 40 students were randomly split into two groups (green = 18, gold = 22). After baseline data was probed, the groups underwent a series of two phases, either A or B. During phase A the green group started the experiment in the gamification quiz condition while the gold group was in the control condition. In phase B the green group started in the control condition and the gold group started in the gamification condition. Each phase consisted of three quizzes, followed by an exam. After an exam, the groups switch conditions, conducting three full phases (A-B-A). After an adjustment taking into account Exam 1 scores it was determined that the participants did not show a statistically significant difference in increasing interaction in course material between the interventions, F(1,37)=.280, p=.600 (α < 0.05) or an increase in exam scores F(1,37)=2.231, p=.144 (α < 0.05).

Access Type

Open Access

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