MSc Defense: Final Oral Examination for the Degree Master of Science of Jordan Rose

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Time: 2:00 PM
  • Location: MacN 222

Thesis Title:

"The Gamification of Physics Education: A Controlled Study of the Effect on Motivation of First Year Life Science Students"


This work evaluated the potential of the gamification of on-line undergraduate physics content as a mechanism to enhance student learning and improve motivation. The main objective of the study was to determine whether extrinsic motivation indicators commonly used in video games are predictive of academic success. Life Science students taking an introductory physics course were tested using gamified multiple choice quizzes against a control group. Gamified quiz scores, motivation, engagement, attitudinal data and final grades were compared using standard statistical techniques. Student motivation was quantified through student participation beyond the requirements of the course. The results showed that gaming techniques were significantly correlated to student motivation and engagement outside of the classroom. However, no significant improvement of course grades was expected or found due to the design of the study. The attitudinal survey data demonstrated a strong correlation between student’s attitudes to the quizzes and their group placement.

Examination Committee:

Dr. Robert Wickham, Chair

Dr. Martin Williams, Advisor

Dr. Joanne O'Meara

Dr. Francesco Leri