Does Gamification really work?
After much consideration, we came to the following conclusion: yes, it does work, but only in certain conditions. Read on to learn more!
The most cited article on Google Scholar about gamification, “Does Gamification Work?” by Hamari, J., Koivisto, J., & Sarsa, H. (2014), presented an analysis on 45 articles related to the theme aiming to discover the infamous answer to this question. This goes to show that the answer is not as simple and direct as one would expect.
First, let’s take a look at how often gamification is cited. The chart below presents research data on the popularity of this topic. The image, cited in the article, contains all the results, including non-scientific writings, such as magazine articles, publications, etc.:
Another way of verifying the theme´s popularity is to build a timeline using Google Trends data. Therefore, by defining a period between 2004 to the present time, a substantial and continuous increase in interest on the subject becomes clear.
It is evident that there was a great gamification boom around 2013. Since then, the trend has kept steady under (high) popular status.
What are the most used gamification tactics?
The motivation level of the public involved in gamification is another interesting point for discussion. We can all agree that people are different and consequently react differently before incentives.
In the reference article, the authors present data showing the number of articles that cited the different types of motivation. See below:
Motivations work different areas of the brain and emotions. According to the Octalysis methodology, incentives such as points, medals and ranking fit under the Accomplishment drive, and according to a study on gamification octalysis by Yu-Kai Chou , History/Narrative falls under the Meaning drive. This proves that each audience has different cerebral and emotional reactions depending on what drives them.It is evident that Points, Medals and Ranks (or “Leaderboards”) are the most discussed and cited aspects, making them the most implemented tactics in gamification. However, they are not the only ones, and, if implemented without real meaning or goal (called pointsification), the result might be opposite from what is desired. It can lead to an unbalanced game, as presented by Kevin Werbach in his course on gamification at the University of Pennsylvania. 
Where is gamification employed?
Yet another point to consider is the Context where gamification will be implemented. The chart below shows the list of articles that discuss the different contexts:
The studies on the context of education found that learning through gamification brought especially positive results in terms of motivation, involvement and enjoyment to the learning tasks. Nevertheless, the studies also pointed to negative results, such as increased unnecessary competitiveness among learners and difficulties in evaluating tasks and design resources.
Gamification continues to be a success in education since the time data was collected for the article “Does Gamification Work?”.
So, does gamification really work?
“What are the results that can be used with gamification like?” The reference study for this post presents the table below to answer this question:
We came to the conclusion that gamification does provide positive effects; however, such effects depend on the context where gamification is being implemented and on its users. In other words, in order for it to work, a gamification strategy cannot merely depend on good incentive tactics. It also needs to be well thought out as to where it will be implemented and whether it has been properly adapted to the target audience.
The fact that the internet has brought great opportunities to Education is something that nowadays no longer needs mentioning. The digital revolution that gained force in the decade of 2000 also brought forth a series of educational innovations such as distance learning, including more recent tendencies such as blended learning and microlearning.
By definition, however, technological innovation never stops. If we consider changes that will come in the near future regarding the internet, and which will have great impact on Education, we cannot forget the Internet of Things (IoT). Michael Porter, from Harvard Business School, states that this trend represents “the most substantial change in the manufacturing firm since the Second Industrial Revolution.”
To better understand this concept, reviewing the internet´s history might prove useful. Let´s go!
The internet’s stages
Web 1.0, which originated in 1996, brought published content to PC users. Around 2005, Web 2.0 brought the concept of social media, and users also became producers of content through blogs. By 2014, talk of the Web 3.0 began, introducing ubiquity: several machines (smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc.) that connected and processed data. We currently see a new change – Web 4.0 – which has decisive participation: a) Artificial Intelligence; b) an enormous volume of updated information; and c) the integration of other machines beyond digital devices.
The Internet of Thing is named as such because electronic products, or “things,” will be able to access the web, collect and process information intelligently. While we currently interact using laptops and smartphones, Web 4.0 will allow us to experience smart cars, clothing that have health sensors, virtual tutors that interact with students, homes (or schools) that have sensors that read people´s behaviors while inside, robots that help care for the elderly, etc.
On Web 4.0, IoT becomes reality by connecting electronic and digital products on a network where even its source of energy is designed to be smart and sustainable.
The Brazilian Government has already shown interest, releasing the National Study of the Internet of Things in June, 2019. This plan involves the creation of an administrative council (involving Education, Health, Technology, Agribusiness, etc.), to promote IoT-related innovation in Brazil.
The Internet of things and Changes in Education
When speaking of IoT in education, the Internet of Things Week manifesto of 2017 informed us that one of the fundamental premises for IoT to succeed is to “identify and support the growing trend of using IoT technologies in education.”
The official Brazilian development bank (BNDS) report highlights IoT applications for Brazil promptly for basic industry (factories and agribusiness) and Health. Following technical areas directly involved with the creation of IoT, education for health professionals will be the first area to be impacted by the IoT. According to the BNDS, this requires “that education departments recognize computer science for Health as an area of study” (pg.33).
Considering the medium and long term, the IoT also demands awakening interest in technological innovation in youth by “supporting and promoting actions to expand the endorsement of programming, robotics and the use of sensors in private and public high-schools” (pg.31).
The IoT will transform schools into great laboratories that will allow students to interact and design a great variety of interactions. Education will become more hands-on and focused on projects, demanding creativity collaboration and communication. And, given the ubiquitous nature of Web 4.0, education will, definitely, no longer be restricted by the physical limits of schools.
Microsoft has been popularizing the term “Immersive Learning” to define the Web 4.0 experience in education. The term alludes to the empirical character of students immersed in learning. Today, Immersive Learning initiatives already exist, such as Virtual Reality for education; Augmented Reality in schools; interactive tables; Mixed Reality making environments smart; educational games and gamified teaching, etc.
In a few years, this change will result in everyday actions such as virtual tutors that will effectively have a conversation with students; electronic stations that will respond to teachers´commands, displaying content or giving tests; and robots designed by children and teenagers.
IoT is not yet a reality in Brazilian homes; but, talk to our experts to learn about what Dot digital group has to offer in Immersive Learning and to discover how Web 4.0 will transform Education.