Gamification in Online Learning: History of Science for Engineers


To combat high dropout rates and low motivation for online courses, and thanks to a generous eFellows grant from Missouri S&T, we have developed a self-paced, gamified course using an online educational program called 3dgamelab. Our goal for the Fall 2014 semester was to move a well-liked history of science course at Missouri S&T from a face-to-face lecture and discussion to an online format, for the purposes of long-distance teaching and learning. According to online education experts Joey Lee and Jessica Hammer, "gamification...attempts to harness the motivational power of games and apply it to real-world problems," such as the motivational and engagement problems encountered by online courses (Lee and Hammer 2011, 1). In order to deal with the problems of expectations between students and instructors in motivation for online courses, Lee and Hammer propose adding options such as level completion badges, leader boards, activity experience points (XP), and more as game components. We proposed a similar model. Within 3dgamelab, we allowed students a "choose-your-own-adventure" format. Each student worked their way through a number of different topic options for the course, earning experience points and "leveling-up" on their way to various thresholds tied to traditional letter grades. Clear tasks and immediate rewards further contributed to a transparent motivational system as compared to traditional grading (Ibid., 3).

Meeting Name

2015 Teaching And Learning Tecchnology Conference, TLT 2015 (2015: Mar. 12-13, Rolla, MO)


History and Political Science

Keywords and Phrases

Online course; Gamification; New course design; Humanities for engineers

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2015