Enhancing Motivation To Learn In A Biology Laboratory Course Through Gaming A Design Case

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David C. Owens
Cindi Smith-Walters
Angela T. Barlow


In this design case, we describe our work to develop a gameful learning design for use in an introductory, undergraduate biology laboratory course for science majors. Our design team included three university-based mathematics and science educators and a biologist responsible for the management of curriculum and instruction in the course under study. The gameful learning design was employed during the four weeks of plant evolutionary life history instruction. Key challenges to the design and implementation of gameful learning included the adaptation of instruction from teacher-centered to student-centered and establishing novel learning conditions in the eight laboratory sections so as to determine the value of two different elements of game design, repeat-testing and leaderboard with badges.

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How to Cite
Owens, D., Smith-Walters, C., & Barlow, A. (2019). Enhancing Motivation To Learn In A Biology Laboratory Course Through Gaming. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 10(1), 53-63. https://doi.org/10.14434/ijdl.v10i1.24111
Author Biographies

David C. Owens, Georgia Southern University

David C. Owens is Assistant Professor of Science Education at Georgia Southern University. His research is focused on understanding effective contexts for motivating student learning and developing scientific literacy, including socio-scientific issues and gameful learning.

Cindi Smith-Walters, Middle Tennessee State University

Cindi Smith-Walters is Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Environmental Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Her research interests include the teaching and learning of science in formal and non-formal settings.

Angela T. Barlow, University of Central Arkansas

Angela T. Barlow is Dean of the Graduate School and Director of Sponsored Programs at the University of Central Arkansas. Her research interests include the instructional change process in mathematics classrooms.