Teachers´ View of Servicescape: Experience From a Gamified Distance Course

Teachers´ View of Servicescape: Experience From a Gamified Distance Course

Leif Marcusson, Siw Lundqvist
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1970-7.ch009
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It is well-known that student motivation is an important factor for achieving good learning results. This is no less interesting for distance courses where the students usually lack the contexts that are naturally available to campus students, something that can lower motivation. Gamification is sometimes mentioned as a means for raising motivation. Furthermore, the course servicescape can positively and negatively influence the students' motivation. This chapter presents teacher experience from developing and using gamified distance courses. The result is useful for both practice and research, and the most important lessons learned are to consider the learning platform's opportunities and limitations carefully before starting the practical work with a gamified course development as well as the willingness to spend enough time for assignments like this.
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Educators have for some time now been applying gamification (i.e. game mechanics) in order to improve student motivation and test results in university courses. Gamification entails using game mechanics in non-game situations (Burke, 2014; Werbach & Hunter, 2012). However, the concept can be developed further even though it is a demanding process and some reasons for gamifying courses will be accounted for here. To begin with, gamifying a course implies access to a technical platform. A gamified distance course in storytelling was created for the spring semester 2016 and a distance course in gamification was created for the spring semester 2017. Both these courses are at 7.5 credits (i.e. matching five weeks full-time studies) and they should be performed at a 25 percent schedule (i.e. studying at 25% pace during the whole semester). Moodle is currently used as the learning platform at the University and sets the conditions and rules for the course creation options i.e. without being particularly developed for gamification activities.

To use gamification is one angle of the decisions regarding the course development, another one is the servicescape that should be used. Servicescape is a place where supplier and consumer interact (Booms & Bitner, 1981). A course servicescape is a place (physical or digital) where teachers and students meet to practice teaching and learning. The physical classroom is one kind of servicescape and the digital platform is another kind of servicescape for learning. For a single course, it can be either one of these or even both at the same time. Looking at Moodle as a platform there are different levels of servicescape that both students and teachers have to handle: (i) first is the login to the MyMoodle part, (ii) second is the students’ servicescape, (iii) third is the courses’ servicescape, and (iv) finally is the servicescape for the tasks.

Observation of our own work as teachers (this chapter’s authors) was carried out between 2015 to 2019 and concerns course development using the Moodle platform, how students performed in the courses, and how a teacher (one of the authors) worked with the servicescape during the courses.

Our research questions are related to teachers’ experience when developing and using a course servicescape on the Moodle platform. More specific the objectives are:

  • 1.

    What success factors can be seen in the work carried out?

  • 2.

    What problem factors can be seen in the work carried out?

  • 3.

    Which lessons learned appear in the work carried out?



This section comprises two parts; teacher work and theories. Sub-sections dealing with theories have that word in their title. The section starts with presenting the course design, followed by motivation and reward theories, self-determination theory, the starting point is the student, learning theories, expectancy theory, and multiple identification theory, thereafter it deals with gamification and servicescape from the view of course design.

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