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    Assessing User Experiences with ZORQ: A Gamification Framework for Computer Science Education
    ( 2023-01-03) Weitl-Harms, Sherri ; Spanier, Adam ; Rokusek, Matthew ; Hastings, John
    ZORQ is a gamification software framework designed to increase student engagement within undergraduate Computer Science (CS) education. ZORQ is an attractive learning method that (1) utilizes numerous gamification elements, (2) provides a collaborative, game-development based learning approach, (3) offers an opportunity for students to explore a complex, real-world software development implementation, and (4) provides students with a high level of engagement with the system and a high level of social engagement in its collaborative customization. The usage of ZORQ was assessed using quantitative, qualitative and sentiment analyses in a Data Structures and Algorithms course over five years. The overwhelmingly positive results show that students were satisfied with their user experience and ZORQ was beneficial to their educational experience. By triangulating results from multiple analyses, this study adds to a deeper understanding of how gamification can improve learning and retention and provides a novel, robust, holistic methodology for evaluating user experiences.
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    Best of Both Worlds: The Inclusion of Gamification in Virtual Lab Environments to Increase Educational Value
    ( 2023-01-03) Shadbad, Forough ; Bahr, Gabriel ; Luse, Andy ; Hammer, Bryan
    Previous research investigating gamification and virtual laboratories has suggested that both are successful in educational outcomes, but few have looked at both gamification and virtual labs in tandem. This research explores the idea of investigating both contexts within one unified platform. We examine whether using gamification within virtual labs is effective in enhancing learners’ educational performance. Particularly, we employ leaderboards as a motivational gamification mechanism for more engagement and participation that can result in higher learning outcomes. Using a sample of students, our results show that utilization of gamification within a virtual lab environment causes students to exhibit higher performance in terms of more task accomplishments (specifically more complex tasks) and higher self-efficacy. The current findings show promising evidence on the positive influence of gamification within virtual lab learning environments.
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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Gamification
    ( 2023-01-03) Xi, Nannan ; Morschheuser, Benedikt ; Hamari, Juho ; Legaki, Nikoletta-Zampeta
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    Unethical Gamification: A Literature Review
    ( 2023-01-03) Al‐Msallam, Samaan ; Xi, Nannan ; Hamari, Juho
    Gamification has become a mainstay approach in designing engaging systems, practices, and cultures across practically all walks of human life. However, as gamification mainly attempts to affect individual psychological states, motivations, attitudes, and behaviors, conscious consideration of ethical aspects, as well as underlying values and premises, is very much warranted. However, gamification research and practice have sprung up rather rapidly and myopically as boosted by the contemporary hype related to technology and games, which has led to the relative dismissal of ethical considerations in relation to gamification. In order to map these considerations and the current state of the discussion in gamification literature, we systematically reviewed research related to ethics, and particularly, possible identified and discussed harms of gamification. The corpus reveals that psychological distress, exploitation, lack of performance, and privacy issues are the most commonly contemplated possible harms, with different frequencies based on the game elements, types, and contexts.
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    Contextualizing Gamification Design: Using Extended Achievement Goal Theory to Understand College Learner Differences
    ( 2023-01-03) Tang, Jian ; Zhang, Ping ; Jeong, Eunmi (Ellie)
    Gamification is considered a promising approach to motivating learners. Yet, existing research found an inconsistent motivating impact of gamification designs. This paper explores individual differences in gamification design in the college learning context. Drawing upon the extended achievement goal theory, we posit that individuals’ academic and social achievement goal orientations can portray user types for gamification designs in a learning environment. Using data collected from college students, we validate an instrument to measure college learners’ achievement goal orientations. We subsequently identify three clusters of learners: the Self-image Worriers, the Minimizers, and the Eager Learners. We name this learner taxonomy ASGOL (Academic and Social Goal Orientation Learners). We speculate about gamification design implications for supporting all ASGOL types.
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    Be Mindful of User Preferences: An Explorative Study on Game Design Elements in Mindfulness Applications
    ( 2023-01-03) Hu, Shanshan ; Usta, Aylin ; Schmidt-Kraepelin, Manuel ; Warsinsky, Simon ; Thiebes, Scott ; Sunyaev, Ali
    Mindfulness practices are valuable exercises for physical and mental health. Various digital applications exist that support individuals in practicing mindfulness. Following the trend of gamifying utilitarian systems, many mindfulness applications (MAs) incorporate game design elements (GDEs). However, little is known about users’ GDE preferences in this unique context. In line with extant research that investigated users’ GDE preferences in other contexts, we conducted an online survey among 168 potential users of MAs. The results indicate that users generally prefer progress, levels, and goals in MAs, while leaderboards and avatars are not highly rated. Furthermore, we identified four context-independent and three context-dependent rationales that help explain users’ GDE preferences. By providing first insights into MAs as a peculiar application context for gamification, our work contributes to advancing knowledge of contextual differences in users’ GDE preferences while challenging the extant research assumptions regarding the dominance of contextual factors in forming user preferences.
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    Is Adaptive Gamification just a Theoretical Fairytale? An Experiment in a Text-based Adventure Game for Data Crowdsourcing
    ( 2023-01-03) Weber, Mareike ; Riar, Marc ; Morschheuser, Benedikt
    Gamification approaches are not always effective and vary in their success. Several studies suggest that unexpected results of effectiveness are related to a dearth of personalization of gamified systems following a one-size-fits-all (OSFA) approach. Although research indicates that gamification design that is dynamically adjusted to the preferences of the person using the system (i.e., adaptive gamification) can positively impact behavioral or motivational outcomes, there is still a gap in understanding the effectiveness of adaptive gamification. This work aims to advance our understanding on the impact of adaptive gamification on motivational and behavioral outcomes in the context of gamified crowdsourcing. To this end, an experiment (n=135) is conducted with a text-based adventure game that employs different versions of a narrative designed to address the specific needs of previously conceptualized distinct types of users (i.e., Hexad user types). The results show that adaptive gamification does not lead to higher behavioral outcomes, i.e., increased crowdsourcing participation, or motivational outcomes. Conclusively, this work challenges the common assumption of adaptive gamification based on player types being worth the effort. Moreover, the results show that general need satisfaction is associated with increasing motivational outcomes, independent of a user’s player type. Therefore, this work suggests focusing on different perceptions of need satisfaction being required by individuals rather than focusing on player types which are abstractions of reality.