Gamification as a tool for engaging student learning: A field experiment with a gamified app

Kasper Welbers*, Elly A. Konijn, Christian Burgers, Nadia A.J.D. Bij de Vaate, Allison Eden, Britta C. Brugman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, we reflect on the implementation of a gamified application for helping students learn important facts about their study program. We focus on two design features, of which different configurations were tested in a field experiment among Dutch university students (N = 101). The first feature is feedback, which is expected to increase engagement, with personalized (“tailored”) feedback being more effective than generic feedback. The second feature is a session limit that was designed to prevent users from “binging” the game, because this could prevent deep learning. Results showed that generic feedback was more effective than tailored feedback, contrasting our expectations. The session limit, however, did prevent binging without reducing the overall number of sessions played. Our findings suggest that careful consideration of game properties may impact sustaining and encouraging play via a gamified application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-109
Number of pages18
JournalE-Learning and Digital Media
Issue number2
Early online date27 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • adaptive learning
  • distributed practice
  • education
  • feedback
  • Gamification


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