The Gamification of Physics Education: A Controlled Study of the Effect on Motivation on First Year Life Sciences Students

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Rose, Jordan

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University of Guelph


This work evaluated the potential of the gamification of on-line undergraduate physics content as a mechanism to enhance student learning and improve motivation. The main objective of the study was to determine whether extrinsic motivation indicators commonly used in video games are predictive of academic success. Life Science students taking an introductory physics course were tested using gamified multiple choice quizzes against a control group. Gamified quiz scores, motivation, engagement, attitudinal data and final grades were compared using standard statistical techniques. Student motivation was quantified through student participation beyond the requirements of the course. The results showed that gaming techniques were significantly correlated to student motivation and engagement outside of the classroom. However, no significant improvement of course grades was expected or found due to the design of the study. The attitudinal survey data demonstrated a strong correlation between student’s attitudes to the quizzes and their group placement.



Gamification, Game-based Learning, Physics Education Research, Controlled Study, Motivation, Higher Education Learning