The Effects of Gamifying Mathematics Lessons at High School Level


  • Michael Kickmeier-Rust St.Gallen University of Teacher Education
  • Corsin Niggli



Gamification, Motivation, Mathematics Learning, competition, Collaboration


Gamification encompasses the utilization of "playful" or "game-like" elements within non-gaming contexts. It finds diverse applications, primarily within the realms of education/training and the workplace, with the aim of enhancing teamwork and productivity. Nonetheless, the concept of gamification remains a topic of significant debate. Several authors caution that gamification may undermine intrinsic motivation to learn or perform, particularly among younger audiences. Furthermore, the research community increasingly emphasizes potential negative consequences resulting from specific gamification mechanics, such as competition. In this article, we present an approach to gamification that combines competitive elements, albeit at the level of student groups rather than individuals. The idea is to minimize the exposure of underperforming individuals while capitalizing on collaborative group dynamics, wherein stronger students provide support to weaker ones. We conducted a quasi-experiment, comparing motivation and performance between a gamified classroom scenario and a conventional, non-gamified scenario. The results indicate that the proposed gamification approach boosts motivation and performance in contrast to the non-gamified condition. These findings contribute to a deeper comprehension of the effects of gamification and offer a realistic perspective on its beneficial impacts within educational settings.