Badges and Gamification In eLearning: Effects on Achievement And Engagement

Neil Rigole, Middle Georgia State College
Larry Hollingsworth, Middle Georgia State University
Jennifer Ray, Middle Georgia State University


The use of digital badges and gamification strategies to increase student engagement and achievement in eLearning environments is investigated. Badges serve as visual representations of achievement, and they can be used as achievement identifiers in eLearning environments. Gamification strategies include the use of typical game playing elements (points, leaderboards, etc.) in non-game activities. After an extensive literature review, the authors provide data from a recent pilot study of the implementation of digital badges and gamification strategies in two eLearning courses composed of 52 students offered in the spring of 2016 at a university in the Southeastern United States. Student engagement, participation, and achievement was investigated, with results showing that the use of the strategies employed did increase engagement in the courses as well as achievement. Results from the pilot also indicate a need for further investigation to compare with courses that do not incorporate these strategies.