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A meta-analysis on the influence of gamification in formal educational settings on affective and behavioral outcomes

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of gamification used in formal educational settings on student affective and behavioral outcomes. Using systematic procedures to identify and screen the manuscripts across 18 academic databases, we identified 13 studies with behavioral outcomes and 19 studies with affective outcomes employing gamification in educational settings. These manuscripts accounted for a total of N = 1974 (n = 987 in gamification, n = 987 in control) participants in the affective model, and N = 1596 (n = 760 in gamification, n = 836 in control) in the behavioral model. Employing random-effects models, we calculated two statistically significant medium overall effect sizes for affective outcomes at g = .574 [.384, .764] and for behavioral outcomes at g = .740 [.465, 1.014]. We also examined 14 different gamification design elements (e.g., leaderboards, badges, etc.) as moderators to pinpoint the conditions in which gamification may be effective. Additionally, we examined contextual elements as moderators, including the discipline, student level, and publication source. Publication bias was not identified as a threat to either the affective or behavioral model. We also provide a discussion of our findings, limitations, and suggestions for future research.

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The citations for this meta-analysis included manuscripts with asterisk marks

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Ritzhaupt, A.D., Huang, R., Sommer, M. et al. A meta-analysis on the influence of gamification in formal educational settings on affective and behavioral outcomes. Education Tech Research Dev 69, 2493–2522 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-021-10036-1

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Keywords

  • Gamification
  • Affective outcomes
  • Behavioral outcomes
  • Meta-analysis