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Open access IRE article: 'Motivation by gamification'

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Motivation by gamification
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6 February 2020

Motivation by gamification: Adapting motivational tools of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) for peer-to-peer assessment in connectivist massive open online courses (cMOOCs)

International Review of Education open access article

Author: István Danka, Department of Philosophy and History of Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary and Department of Management and Business Communication, John von Neumann University, Kecskemet, Hungary

In the first decade of the 21st century, distance learning (usually subject to course fees and resulting in formal certification) was complemented by free-of-charge open learning courses with unlimited numbers of participants and no final certificate. Termed massive open online courses (MOOCs), these soon fell into different categories, depending on their concept. Among them are connectivist massive open online courses (cMOOCs) which emphasise a collaborative approach to learning. However, while initial enrolment is indeed massive, completion rates are very low and cMOOCs notoriously lack an appropriate method of evaluating learning progress and motivational resources.

The author of this article suggests that one way of addressing this problem might be to adapt motivational formative assessment tools used in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) to cMOOCs. He argues that some characteristics of MMORPGs can be effectively incorporated in cMOOCs, thus benefiting from the motivational potential of MMORPGs. He cautions, however, that even if MMORPGs (and ongoing, low-stakes formative assessment in general) are motivational, they can only be applied to cMOOCs if the idea of formative assessment is not in tension with connectivist principles. Hence, the author argues for their compatibility, and builds on peer-to-peer assessment as a solution for resource allocation problems with low instructor–learner ratio.

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