Volume 13, No 1, 2016

A psychobiological model for managing student engagement in online courses using gamification principles

Leon James


Gamification principles were applied to three online courses for undergraduate college students. A theoretical framework is presented for describing how student motivation and engagement are produced by psychological and biological underpinnings that operate at a micro-behavioral level to produce student engagement and involvement. The model makes visible the behavioral microunits out of which emerges the flow of interactions in an online task team or community. Online instructional activities can be managed to allow students to satisfice many of these needs, and at the same time to provide optimizing venues for their continued satisficing. An instructional architecture illustrates the combination of gamification strategies that we currently use in our online classes. It involves task collaboration, group chat, and social networking affordances. A list of 22 game mechanics is defined and applied to online instructional activities.

Pages: 1-23

Keywords: Gamification; Online instruction; Engagement; Game mechanics; Affordances; Affective

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