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Gamification of Engineering Courses

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Zakaria Mahmud Lake Superior State University

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Dr. Zakaria Mahmud is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Lake Superior State University (LSSU), Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Prior to joining at LSSU, Dr. Mahmud taught at North Dakota State University, Georgia Southern University, and Texas A&M University. He received his bachelors from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Bangladesh), masters from the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), and doctoral from the University of Alabama (Alabama). His background is in the general areas of thermal fluids with specialization in aerodynamic flow control.

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Paul J. Weber Lake Superior State University

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Dr. Paul J. Weber is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering & Technology at Lake Superior State University. His primary interests are in the areas of engineering education, renewable energy conversion systems, sustainability and resource usage, robotics, and digital systems.

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Joseph P. Moening Lake Superior State University

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Dr. Joseph P. Moening is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering & Technology at Lake Superior State University. His primary interests are in the areas of engineering education, renewable energy conversion systems, and power electronics.

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Integrating game-like elements into the classroom is becoming more common given the increasing popularity of video games. Early research shows that educational gamification—implementing game-like elements into an activity—can increase students’ motivation and engagement. The key objectives of this research are: a) investigating student perceptions about gamification within the demography of the authors’ institution, and b) understanding if/how the students’ overall learning of the course materials improve via gamification. Five engineering courses, all of which are either in the core or are elective classes of the electrical and computer engineering curricula or , were tested with game-like elements over the span of two semesters. The gamified contents were implemented in Moodle using recently available plugins that enabled activities such as badges, experience points tracking with levels, leaderboards, and quizzes with automated feedback. The results were derived from gathering students’ views about gamification and course activities from an online survey that each student in the course had the option of completing. A brief summary of the results show that students identified a lack of time and poor time-management as key barriers to their learning. Furthermore, students viewed that immediate feedback, and having repeated attempts of similar but different questions (akin to gamified learning through trial and error) were very helpful in their learning. However, students also indicated that the game-like elements, on average, were minimally helpful towards their motivation. This is likely due, in part, to the limited amount of gamification that was incorporated into the courses at this time. The results also show that the combination of gaining experience points and “leveling up” (nor the two individually) is not a strong motivator. Instead, students recommended that activities be tied to extra credit such that they influence the course grade. Survey results also indicated that the groups’ of students often played games to win. As such, creating more meaningful goals/challenges for the students to complete may also help with motivation.

Mahmud, Z., & Weber, P. J., & Moening, J. P. (2017, June), Gamification of Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28397

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