Competition and collaboration using a social and gamified online learning platform

Sylvester Arnab, R. Bhakta, Sarah Kate Merry, Mike Smith, K. Star, Michael J. Duncan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
163 Downloads (Pure)


Gamification is defined as the use of game techniques in a non-game context and has demonstrated potential impact in a wide range of subjects. Informed by the design and processes of digital gaming, gamification often exploits competition to motivate, personified by points, badges and leader boards. Success, however, seems to go beyond these basic features and rely on a concrete acknowledgement of the motivational model of the user, taking into account concepts such as situational relevance and situated motivational affordance, which can be framed under competition and/or collaboration. This paper investigates the impact of competitive and collaborative environments on summative assessment. This study bases its investigation on the StarQuest platform (, a social and gamified collaboration application hosting a private online environment for small groups of individuals to co-curate and share digital contents. Participants were second year undergraduate students (Sport Psychology, n=94), who enrolled on a module entitled "A Fundamental Approach to Motor Learning and Control". The module ran for 11 weeks and the curriculum was delivered using a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach. The results highlighted a number of strengths and weaknesses of implementing a gamified online platform for team working, which will inform future design, development and deployment of gamified and learning platforms
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
EditorsL. Boyle, T.M. Connolly
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
ISBN (Print)978‐1‐911218‐09‐8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
Event10th European Conference on Games Based Learning - The University of the West of Scotland , Paisley, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Oct 20167 Oct 2016


Conference10th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

The conference paper was given at the 10th European Conference on Games Based Learning  6‐7 October 2016. Hosted by The University of the West of Scotland Paisley Scotland. The full conference abstracts are on the Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited website at: The abstract for this paper is on page 4


  • Blended learning
  • Collaboration
  • Competition
  • Game-based learning
  • Gamification


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