Gamification in physical education: Evaluation of impact on motivation and academic performance within higher education
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020, 17 (12) 10.3390/ijerph17124465
Gamification is an innovative pedagogical approach to addressing problems related to social behaviour, student motivation and academic performance at different educational stages. Therefore, this research aimed to analyse its impact on the motivations and academic performances of university students. The research was carried out in the training of future teachers specialising in physical education during two academic courses. In total, 127 students participated in the study, divided into a gamified experimental group (n = 62) and a control group (n = 65). The participants completed a questionnaire to assess motivation in physical education before and after the intervention and performed a final exam to assess academic performance. The results indicated an increase in external regulation in the experimental group only. Furthermore, this group achieved significantly better academic performance. The findings of this study suggest that gamified implementation is beneficial for academic performance at the university stage, even though intrinsic motivation does not change. Furthermore, the nature of rewards or punishments, as characteristic of this pedagogical approach, could play an important role in the expected results, since external regulation increased significantly after the intervention.