Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Alison Moore

Abstract

The purpose of this action research was to evaluate the impact of technology integrated gamification strategies on third-grade students’ engagement in an art classroom at an elementary school with a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) based curriculum. To increase student engagement, educators and evaluators not only need to understand how engagement has been defined, but also how to assess the options for measuring it. Appropriate use of technology and gamification in classrooms may increase aspects of student engagement, evidenced by taking initiative and responsibility for learning, using resources wisely, and having an interest and desire to pursue information and learn in and beyond the classroom. This study was guided by three research questions: (1) how does implementing technology integrated gamification strategies affect students’ engagement in a third-grade art classroom with a STEAM curriculum?, (2) how does implementing technology integrated gamification strategies affect students’ perceptions of the quality of their artwork in a third-grade art classroom with a STEAM curriculum?, and (3) what are students’ perceptions of implementing technology integrated gamification strategies in a third-grade art classroom with a STEAM curriculum?

This study included a convergent-parallel mixed methods approach by combining pre- and post-questionnaires, the collection of behavioral observations using ClassDojo’s point collection system, and individual interviews. Participants included 28 third-grade art students with a sub-group of 14 students who were interviewed. The intervention took place over an eight-week timeframe and included the use of ClassDojo, a free teacher website used to monitor and encourage positive student behaviors, by tracking student engagement and rewarding with a point system. The findings of this study show that students’ perceptions of implementing technology integrated gamification strategies were positively influenced by gaming in education, through the use of the ClassDojo website. There is still research to be made on how the use of gamification affects the learner’s thought processes, motivation, engagement, and application of learned skills, but this study shows that ClassDojo had a positive impact on students by enticing a point system with gamification aspects to improve student engagement.

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