The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

Climbing Up the Leaderboard: An Empirical Study of Applying Gamification Techniques to a Computer Programming Class  pp94-110

Panagiotis Fotaris, Theodoros Mastoras, Richard Leinfellner, Yasmine Rosunally

© Jan 2016 Volume 14 Issue 2, ECGBL 2015, Editor: Robin Munkvold, pp81 - 149

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Abstract

Abstract: Conventional taught learning practices often experience difficulties in keeping students motivated and engaged. Video games, however, are very successful at sustaining high levels of motivation and engagement through a set of tasks for hours wit hout apparent loss of focus. In addition, gamers solve complex problems within a gaming environment without feeling fatigue or frustration, as they would typically do with a comparable learning task. Based on this notion, the academic community is keen on exploring methods that can deliver deep learner engagement and has shown increased interest in adopting gamification ⠍ the integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non‑game situations and scenarios ⠍ as a means to increase stude nt engagement and improve information retention. Its effectiveness when applied to education has been debatable though, as attempts have generally been restricted to one‑dimensional approaches such as transposing a trivial reward system onto existing teac hing materials and/or assessments. Nevertheless, a gamified, multi‑dimensional, problem‑based learning approach can yield improved results even when applied to a very complex and traditionally dry task like the teaching of computer programming, as shown i n this paper. The presented quasi‑experimental study used a combination of instructor feedback, real time sequence of scored quizzes, and live coding to deliver a fully interactive learning experience. More specifically, the ⠜Kahoot!⠀ Classroom Respon se System (CRS), the classroom version of the TV game show ⠜Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?⠀, and Codecademy⠒s interactive platform formed the basis for a learning model which was applied to an entry‑level Python programming course. Students were t hus allowed to experience multiple interlocking methods similar to those commonly found in a top quality game experience. To assess gamification⠒s impact on learning, empirical data from the gamified group were compared to those from a control group who was taught through a traditional learning app

 

Keywords: Keywords: gamification, game-based learning, learning and teaching, technology enhanced learning, virtual learning environment, classroom response system, Kahoot, assessment, Higher Education

 

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Journal Article

Addressing Diversity in Health Science Students by Enhancing Flexibility Through e‑Learning  pp89-100

Joy Penman, Jyothi Thalluri

© Feb 2014 Volume 12 Issue 1, ICEL2013, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 125

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Abstract

Abstract: The technological advancements for teaching and learning sciences for health science students are embedded in the Thalluri‑Penman Good Practice Model, which aims to improve the learning experiences of science students and increase student retent ion and success rates. The model also links students from urban and rural areas, studying both on‑ and off‑campus, with the university campus and with co‑students and is primarily structured to boost students confidence in studying sciences. This paper investigates the introduction of online initiatives, namely, electronic learning communities, online self‑assessments, virtual classroom, and the inclusion of social media Facebook to offer practically oriented science learning to urban and regional scie nce students. It examines the issues surrounding the implementation of these technological innovations by identifying the perceptions of the students about their use, illuminating their impact on students, and clarifying the practical issues encountered in the application of these online initiatives. A descriptive analytical approach was used to explore the experiences of students in the use of these innovations. Findings of the evaluations show that the technology exemplified in this paper provides: a n approximation of face‑to‑face lecturing when it is not possible for a lecturer to be at the same site as the class; enhance communication between students and lecturers; and help students access, collaborate and interact with each other. The use of tec hnology that is carefully considered in each stage of the program has been shown to enhance the quality of university teaching and learning, allowing students greater accessibility, flexibility and interaction.

 

Keywords: Keywords: online technology, e-learning, flexibility, learning and teaching

 

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