Gamified Mobile Apps’ Impact on Academic Performance of Grade 8 in a Mainstream Physics Class

FAITH MICAH ABENES, Dennis G Caballes, SAMUEL A. BALBIN, Xides Leonore P Conwi
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 22  •  2023  •  pp. 557-579

This research project aims to create a gamified instructional material tailored for Grade 8 students that includes a partially deaf student attending mainstream Science classes. The developed gamified mobile application underwent expert review and was used as an intervention tool to enhance academic performance in Physics among these students.

In the Philippines, there is a lack of accessible Science Instructional Materials for students with special educational needs, making inclusive education challenging. To address this, teachers need to enhance resources for inclusivity without compromising learning enjoyment. Gamification, a technique that increases student engagement, is critical. However, only some resources combine gamification and inclusion, highlighting the need for Science teachers to develop such materials.

Using a quantitative descriptive approach, the researchers assessed students’ competencies in Physics 8, identifying strengths and weaknesses. This data guided the creation of targeted interventions. A systematic literature search helped identify game design components from prior research, aiding the development of the Science-Inclusive Gamified Mobile Application (SIGMA). This application integrated various features, leading to a significant improvement in students’ academic performance. Pre-test and post-test analyses showed substantial progress.

The gamified mobile application positively affected eighth-grade students, including one with hearing impairment, enhancing their educational experience and interest in challenging topics. The research underscores the importance of teachers adopting gamified technologies to foster proactive knowledge acquisition.

The Grade 8 pupils, with one partially deaf student, responded positively to the gamified mobile application, which made the educational experience more enjoyable and increased students’ interest in topics that are often least comprehended. Design elements like leaderboards and feedback were integrated into the Science Gamified Mobile App (SIGMA). Usage resulted in significant academic improvement, supported by pre-test/post-test scores (pre: mean 10.15, post: mean 26.73). The study highlights gamification’s impact on performance with substantial empirical evidence.

Teachers in various disciplines should keep adopting and utilizing gamified technologies that encourage and aid their students’ imaginative and proactive knowledge acquisition.

These research results provide important insight into the impact of gamification on students’ academic performance. However, substantial challenges must be addressed to analyze and interpret these results. Integrating gamification in settings with more participants and longitudinal studies that examine the influence over time would be intriguing because it would allow for an in-depth investigation into the results acquired.

The investigation results suggest that the mobile application with gamification elements had an essential effect on the academic achievement of eighth-grade students, including a student with a partial hearing impairment. The results of the present investigation may contribute significantly to the field of education by offering guidance to teachers who aim to integrate gamification into their Science course material within a classroom environment that promotes inclusivity. The research has identified crucial design elements for developing a practical gamified mobile application.

It would be intriguing to duplicate the kind of intervention carried out in this study in longitudinal research since it would allow us to know the impacts of gamification over a prolonged time. It is also vital to understand, through studies that are either more experimental or quasi-experimental, the effects of gamified mobile applications on students with various hearing impairments. It is also recommended to conduct a subsequent research phase utilizing the gamified mobile application with participants from other demographic groups.

academic performance, gamification, inclusivity, mobile application development, physics
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