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The effect of challenge-based gamification on learning: An experiment in the context of statistics education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number102496
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Gamification is increasingly employed in learning environments as a way to increase student motivation and consequent learning outcomes. However, while the research on the effectiveness of gamification in the context of education has been growing, there are blind spots regarding which types of gamification may be suitable for different educational contexts. This study investigates the effects of the challenge-based gamification on learning in the area of statistics education. We developed a gamification approach, called Horses for Courses, which is composed of main game design patterns related to the challenge-based gamification; points, levels, challenges and a leaderboard. Having conducted a 2 (read: yes vs. no) x 2 (gamification: yes vs. no) between-subject experiment, we present a quantitative analysis of the performance of 365 students from two different academic majors: Electrical and Computer Engineering (n=279), and Business Administration (n=86). The results of our experiments show that the challenge-based gamification had a positive impact on student learning compared to traditional teaching methods (compared to having no treatment and treatment involving reading exercises). The effect was larger for females or for students at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


  • Applications in education, Gamification, Human-Computer interface, Statistics education, Teaching forecasting

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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