(30b) Improving Student Attitudes Toward Capstone Laboratory With Gamification | AIChE

(30b) Improving Student Attitudes Toward Capstone Laboratory With Gamification


Anastasio, D. - Presenter, University of Connecticut
Burkey, D. D., University of Connecticut
Suresh, A., University of Connecticut

A gamified method of presenting capstone laboratory material and evaluating student performance was developed in order to improve student attitudes toward the course. The game split the class into teams, and these teams were encouraged to compete with one another to amass the most points. Students gained experience, or grade, points from required assignments, the distribution of which was delineated in a detailed rubric. Other optional tasks only increased their team's point score. Some of these tasks required students to work together as a group to gain an edge against the competition. The team with the highest point total “won” the game and received a prize. Other prizes were given for outstanding participation in the game.

The game was run for two subsequent semesters: Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. While participation in the game was optional, all students in the course participated in some of the optional activities each semester. Students who earned higher grades on required assignments tended to complete a large amount of the optional tasks. However, the remaining students all participated in optional tasks at equal amounts across the grade distribution, meaning the game was not exclusively appealing to the highest-achieving students. After each semester, students were polled as to their opinion of the course and the way the game was run in an attempt to improve the game in future semesters. Students reacted positively to most aspects of the game and enjoyed the class for the unique way the material was presented. Some students went on to say the game made them want to think about the class when they otherwise wouldn't. In both polls, students overwhelmingly voted to run the course as a game in future semesters, an attitude shared by equal percentages of both male and female participants.