Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Winter 9-25-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


William Alex Edmonds

Committee Member

Steven Terrell


academic performance, Edufocal©, extrinsic motivation, gamification, intrinsic motivation, mathematics, test scores


An Experimental Study on the Effects of a Gamified Software Intervention on Mathematics Achievement Among Sixth Grade Students. Janice Watson-Huggins, 2018: Applied Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. Keywords: Gamification: intrinsic motivation: extrinsic motivation: academic performance: mathematics: test scores: Edufocal©.

Children have been playing computer games for many years. Today's children are very technologically savvy compared to 10 years ago. However, no concrete research was done in the Caribbean and in Jamaica to be specific, that investigates the impact of gamification on student academic scores and motivation. Gamification is used to describe the use of gaming mechanics in non-game contexts that can be used to influence behavior, improve motivation and increase engagement (Marczewski, 2013). The present study is an experiment to investigate the effects of a gamified software intervention in mathematics achievement among sixth-grade students.

The experimental method was used to collect data. A two-group pre and post-test design method was employed. The treatment involved a set of mathematical instructional games created using the Jamaican curriculum. Two sets of scores from standardized tests were analyzed; a diagnostic test and the final GSAT exam. An attitude survey was also conducted to investigate student motivation pre and post-gamification.

A Gain Score Analysis (GSA) with an independent sample t-test was conducted on the pre and final post-test scores. Upon analyzing the gain scores from students in the treatment group, the results saw (M=-2.67, SD=2.27) while in the control group, on the other hand, the mean difference was (M=-2.67, SD =2.39) and t (59) = -1.172. The results indicate that the intervention student scores had a negative correlation, and we fail to reject the null hypothesis as (p>.246). As such, the intervention did not statistically improve students performance in the short or long-term. The findings from the attitude analysis revealed that students in the gamified group had a more positive attitude towards math at the beginning of the year. At the end of the school year, students in the gamified group also had a more positive attitude toward math compared to the traditional control group. Based on the results from the test scores, the change in attitude was not consistent with the use of the gamified software.

This research is significant as an extensive study of this nature has never been done in Jamaica and by extension the Caribbean. The findings will be of benefit to educators, instructional technologists, administrators and the Ministry of Education in Jamaica. While the study focused on math scores, the results can be used to assist in future planning on whether or not to include some aspects of gamification in each institution as a way to improve student scores in other subjects.

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