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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gamification as a Course Organizing Principle in Second Language Curricula


Gamification within courses has offered great opportunities for students to engage further into the course material. Traditionally, gamification is used with one or two elements of a course. This study investigated full course gamification of a Second Language (L2) classroom, which has not been explored heavily within research. The researchers used a constructivist grounded theory methodology to deepen the understanding of the student perception and possible impact of a full course gamification. Course curriculum, including textbook and assignments, remained the same for the 71 students enrolled in the L2 classes. The pedagogical approach to the course organization was gamified. Participants responded to open-ended questionnaires at the beginning and end of the course. The data from the questionnaire was coded line by line to deduce categories and then themes. Overall, students experienced higher levels of mastery learning, engagement, motivation, and lower levels of stress. This study demonstrates successful implementation of gamification as a course organizing principle, which should continue to be explored in future research.

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