Gamification of University Subjects: A Case Study for Operations Management

Gamification of University Subjects: A Case Study for Operations Management

Miguel Ángel Montañés-Del Río, Vanessa Rodríguez Cornejo, Margarita Ruiz Rodríguez, Jaime Sánchez Ortiz
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/JITR.2021040101
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The masterly lesson, tedious and lacking in motivation for today's university students, provokes a passive attitude from them in the classroom. If they also use their mobile phones to escape from the classroom, the situation seems to get worse. Low attendance rates and poor academic results are some of the consequences of a serious problem: the lack of commitment of students to their learning process. Incorporating elements of games, together with new technologies, may be a possible solution. Thus, in the academic year 2018/2019 the classes of the subject Operations Management II taught throughout the fourth year of Business Administration and Management Degree offered by the University of Cadiz were gamified with Kahoot! The students felt more motivated and their grades improved in comparison to the previous year. In addition, a comparison was made with the results shown in the exams of the academic year after the gamified activity.
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1. Introduction

Both the knowledge society and technology have generated a new scenario of concerns among young people, translated into changes in the interests of students, which education has not always been able to satisfy. That is why it is necessary to look for new strategies and resources in the classrooms that will increase the motivation and commitment of the student (Ortiz-Colón, Jordán, & Agredal, 2018).

The master classes, in which there is an economical an productive way to transfer information by an educator (Bati, Mandiracioglu, Orgun, & Govsa, 2013), have been the most used teaching method in higher education (Schmidt, Wagener, Smeets, Keemink, & van der Molen, 2015). However, this educational process has been influenced by the rapid development of new technologies, leading to a change of the roles played by both teachers and students (Aleksić-Maslać, Rašić, & Vranešić, 2018).

In higher education, the passive response of students (Abadía, Muñoz, & Soteras, 2011; Egelandsdal, Ludvigsen, & Ness, 2019), who are accustomed to the use of new communication technologies (Backhaus, Huth, Entwistle, Homayounfar, & Koenig, 2019), is evidence of the inefficiency of this method (Larsen, 2006). This has even been justified from a neuronal point of view, reflecting how the individual's brain activity decreases to levels close to relaxation when he or she is attending a master class (Sánchez-Carracedo & Vargas Barba, 2019).

Master classes become tedious for the younger generation (Ashwin et al., 2020; Pinter, Čisar, Balogh, & Manojlović, 2020) and after fifteen minutes concentration is lost (Schmidt et al., 2015). This is why it is a challenge to keep the students’ attention in classroom throughout a whole teaching day (Aleksić-Maslać et al., 2018), and maybe a cause of student absenteeism (Bati et al., 2013; Moore, Armstrong, & Pearson, 2008; Triado-Ivern et al., 2020).

In contrast to traditional learning methods that have shown a lack of motivation in students (Simões, Redondo, & Vilas, 2013), games are emerging as one of the possible means of motivating and attracting the attention of new generations of students thanks to competition, among other factors (Hanus & Fox, 2015). Games, which have been a fundamental part of human civilization along thousands years (McGonigal, 2011), are a possible form of active learning to prevent students from just only listening and taking notes in class (García-Peñalvo, Alarcón, & Domínguez, 2019).

Games encourage student motivation thanks to their recreational component (Kenny & McDaniel, 2011), confirming the existence of a relationship between motivation and gamification (Molina, Ortiz-Colón, & Agreda, 2017). Therefore, if one of the main objectives in education is to increase students' motivation to achieve significant learning (Curto, Orcos, Blázquez, & Molina, 2019), games represent a great opportunity to avoid students' abandonment, lack of motivation, reluctance, or lack of commitment in their teaching-learning process (Mérida, Angulo, Jurado, & Diz, 2011).

Some educators consider game based learning to be a powerful teaching method (von Wangenheim & Shull, 2009), as it maintains the purpose of education, enhances the player's skill and can be used in real life (Chang, Wang, Lin, & Yang, 2009). In fact, the use of gamification in education has increased exponentially since 2014 (Torres-Toukoumidis, Ramírez-Montoya, & Romero-Rodríguez, 2019) maybe because the educational games make the student the centre of learning, which facilitates a more fruitful and interesting learning process (Su, 2016). That is why the introduction of games in education aims to promote motivation, commitment and certain behaviours (Lee & Hammer, 2011).

But the current educational landscape requires the inclusion of technological advances to enable the quality of teaching and the learning process to be improved (Molina et al., 2017), what would be in line with the preferences of the millennial generation for more active and technology-oriented learning styles (Jain & Dutta, 2018).

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