Gamification is the use of game elements in non-gaming contexts. In this study Jasperactive (JA), a gamification software program was used to teach End-User Computing (EUC). This study explored how gamification can be used as a motivation and engagement tool for adult learners in an EUC course. Due to high workloads and limited time to attend face-to-face contact training sessions, staff members at a University of Technology struggled to enhance their EUC skills. Therefore, the researcher pondered creative ways to motivate and engage these adult learners whilst avoiding face-to-face training. Researchers emphasised that widely it is accepted that there is a shortage of understanding of the effects of gamification. A conceptual framework was developed to guide this study using the gamification taxonomy in combination with some motivation and engagement theories. The current study addressed how game elements of gamification influence the motivation and engagement of adult learners, specifically in EUC courses. The study used an interpretive case study design and followed a qualitative approach. The sample consisted of thirty participants who were purposefully selected and regarded as adult learners. These participants were staff members from various academic and support units at the University of Technology in question. All the participants enrolled for the EUC course and were eager to improve their skills and grow professionally. Data was collected through the researcher’s observations, one-on-one interviews with six participants, an online questionnaire completed by eighteen participants, and a focus group discussion with fourteen participants. Thematic data analysis was conducted using the elements included in the conceptual framework. The findings revealed how certain gamification features within Jasperactive influenced the motivation and engagement of adult learners. It was found that the participants were actively engaged in their learning process and were motivated by the gaming elements within Jasperactive. They were further motivated to complete the course to obtain their Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certificate. The data received from the participants who completed the course confirmed that gaming elements enhanced the learning experience and contributed to their high levels of motivation and engagement. The external support that participants received from their line managers also motivated them to complete the course. The study recommends further studies to investigate the role of gamification in skill retention for future application in the workplace
Thesis (PhD (Computer-Integrated Education))--University of Pretoria, 2021.