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Exploring Gamification to Prevent Gaming the System and Help Refusal in Tutoring Systems

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Lifelong Technology-Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2018)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNISA,volume 11082))

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Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) have shown to be almost as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Nonetheless, the students’ improper use of the ITS help system and its intelligent assistance, i. e. gaming the system or help refusal, can impair learning. This paper presents the use of gamification elements, more specifically, points and difficulty levels, as an approach to prevent the behaviors of gaming the system (help abuse and trial-and-error) and help refusal. This system was integrated into a step-based algebraic ITS and it was evaluated in an experiment, during six weeks, involving 60 students from three classes of the \(7^{th}\) year of an elementary school. Each class of students was assigned to one of the three groups: fully gamified, partially gamified and non-gamified, being that they differ by the level of gamification implemented. The students in the two gamified groups had a lower rate of trial-and-error behavior than the non-gamified group. However, we haven’t found statistically significant difference between the fully and partially gamified groups for the trial and error. Also, no differences were observed between the gamified groups and the non-gamified one for the help refusal and help abuse behaviors. The results of this research confirm previous finding that gamification can be used as a non-restrictive approach for the trial-and-error behavior, a form of gaming. On the other hand, we were not able to show that gamification can prevent help refusal and abuse.

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This work is supported by the following research funding agencies of Brazil: CAPES, CNPq and FAPERGS.

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Correspondence to Otávio Azevedo , Felipe de Morais or Patricia A. Jaques .

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Azevedo, O., de Morais, F., Jaques, P.A. (2018). Exploring Gamification to Prevent Gaming the System and Help Refusal in Tutoring Systems. In: Pammer-Schindler, V., Pérez-Sanagustín, M., Drachsler, H., Elferink, R., Scheffel, M. (eds) Lifelong Technology-Enhanced Learning. EC-TEL 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11082. Springer, Cham.

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