Gamification in music education

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Gamification in music education motivating students with game design elements
Yanos, Mary ( author )
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1 online resource (61 pages) : illustrations ;


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Gamification -- education -- music education -- intrinsic motivation -- extrinsic motivation
Music capstone project, M.M. in M. Ed
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
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Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
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This review of literature comprehensively examines gamification and, specifically its relationship to education, music education, and motivation. First, the definitions of gamification, as well as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are presented. Gamification in practice is examined in contexts outside of education. Then, gamification is explored in its applicability to education, particularly why gamification is a good fit for education and in what educational contexts gamification has already been used. The various benefits and drawbacks of gamification in an educational setting are then presented. The relationship between video games and motivation is examined, and then how gamification works to increase motivation in students in an educational context. Gamification's application in a music education context is then explored. Finally, a means of implementing gamification is explored by examining the needed mindset and competencies needed for it. Then, specific design elements of implementing gamification in education are explored, as well as the game mechanics that supports those design elements.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Includes vita.
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Major department: Music.
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Major: Music Education
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Advisor: Sheridan, Megan M.
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Committee member: Longtin, Jason P.
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by Mary Yanos.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright Mary Yanos. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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on13973 ( NOTIS )
1397339334 ( OCLC )
LD1780.1 2023 ( lcc )


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GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 2 Abstract This review of literature comprehensively examines gamification and , specifically its relationship to education, music education, and motivation. First, the definitions of gamification, as well as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are presented . Gamification in practice is examined in contexts outside of education. Then, gamification is explored in its applicability to education, particularly why gamification is a good fit for education and in what educational contexts gamification has already been used. The various benefits and drawbacks of gamification in an educational setting are then presented . The relationship between video games and motivation is examined, and then how gamification works to increase motivation in students in an educational application in a music education context is then explo red . Finally, a means of implementing gamification is explored by examining the needed mindset and competencies needed for it. Then, specific design elements of implementing gamification in education are explored, as well as the game mechanics that support s those design elements. Keywords : Gamification, education, music education, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 3 Gamification in Music Education The field of education is constantly changing as new learning theories and concepts are being developed. One of these concepts, gamification, has recently gained a great deal of popularity, and not just in education (Alsawaier, 2018 ; Dicheva et al. , 2015 ; Hanus & Fox, 2014 ) . Gamification has also been explored in its implementation in management an d business models as well (Dicheva et al., 2015 ; Hamari, 2013 ) . However, educators are most interested in what positive benefits their students can gain from approaching learning with a gamification perspective. om a standard one subject or primary school classroom, the question for music educators is whether gamification can and should be implemented in music classrooms. The purpose of this paper was to analyze and synthesize the literature related to the use of gamification in effects on student motivation and its use in music education . There are many different aspects to the concept of gamification ; therefore, it is important to establish a solid definition for gamification. Additionally, I have provided a discussion of the differences between the two main types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Then, uses of gamification in practice will be presented, a nd then specifically the use of gamification in education will be explored, including potential reasonings for using gamification in education, and contexts in which gamification already has been used in education. Part of the reasoning for using gamificat ion in education are its potential benefits ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019; Dicheva et al., 2015; Domínguez et al., 2012 ; Fiuza Fernández et al., 2022 ; Gros, 2007; Martí Parreño et al., 2021 ; Tsay et al., 2020 ) . However, it is also important to fairly represent gamification by also examining its drawbacks, which is important for such a new concept ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019; Domínguez et al., 2012 ; Hanus & Fox, 2014; Martí Parreño et al., 2021 ; Rivera & Garden,


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 4 2021 ) . In the fifth subsection, the effect s of gamification on student motivation is explored, and then followed up with the use of gamification in music education contexts. T he final subsection includes recommendations for how gamification can be implemented in the classroom, by examining the necessa ry mindset and competencies to do so, as well as the core components needed to implement gamification with fidelity in the most effective way possible. Definition of Terms To better understand gamification , motivation, and their relationship, it is import ant to establish their definitions for the purposes of this paper . In this section, I have included a brief examination of current literature for both gamification and motivation to support the definitions of these terms as they are used in this review of literature. Gamification involves the use of game elements, such as incentive systems, to motivate players to engage in a task they otherwise would not find attrac elements of gamification: game elements, or game design aspects. These game elements make up the very foundation of gamification. One of the other important elements in this definition is the mentio n of its use in motivation. By using motivation in its definition, the connection between motivation and gamification is made very clear. non gaming software application definition, like the previously mentioned work of Plass et al. (2015) again points to the importance of game elements at the core of gamification. However, Dominguez et al. (2012) n arrowed this def inition to only applying the concept of gamification to software. While the term


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 5 motivation , as it touches on part of the user experience. According to Simões et al. video games (game mechanics and game dynamics) in non there is a focus here on taking the design elements of video games and placing t hem into a context that did not originally have them. Interestingly, this definition not only includes the game design elements (game mechanics) but also touches on the results of using those design elements (game dynamics). This is important because this mention of game dynamics gets at the results of gamification, or part of the justification for why gamification should be implemented. One thing about gamification that is important to note is that gamification is not the same as game based learning. Whil e both concepts can and often do involve games to some degree, gamification is different from game based learning because there is a focus on elements of games, rather than entire games themselves (Rivera & Garden, 2021). Additionally, gamification does no t specify which gaming attributes to use; it is left up to the implementer (Rivera & Garden, 2021). This focus on gaming elements rather than games themselves is a common theme among definitions of gamification. This difference between gamification and ga me based learning was also emphasized by Alsawaier (2018), who explained that in gamification, instructional strategies are modified to include game elements . Another important distinction that Alsawaier (2018) made was that learning was not exclusively tu rned into a game , but rather enhanced by game elements . Again, the emphasis here is on the game elements, rather than the game itself, and applying those game elements into a context outside of a game.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 6 In general, gamification is the incorporation of gami ng elements into a non gaming context. The reasons or desired outcomes for the incorporation of the game elements, and even the specific game elements used can vary, but still be considered gamification. Gamification focuses specifically on game design ele ments, and not simply on the incorporation of a game into a learning environment. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation Banfield and Wilkerson (2014) define d (p. 292). One of the most important aspects to note here is that there is no tangible reward for activity participation . The only reward for the activity is pl easure or satisfaction, and there are no other rationales or reasoning behind the motivation for participation in the activity. Therefore, the primary rationale behind the motivation is purely emotionally based. Ryan and Deci (2000) further corroborate d on this definition of intrinsic motivation by p. 71). Once again, the rewards for participation in the activity are not tangible and are strictly emotional. In addition to describing this emotional reward for completion in the activity, Ryan and Deci (2000) furth er elaborate d on the rationale for intrinsic motivation, discussing how it comes from a human propensity to look for challenges, learn, explore, and find personal limits. This elaboration on intrinsic motivation is important because it helps to show that a ll humans have intrinsic motivation within, since these are all common goals for humans. However, this kind of motivation is still defined and limited by the fact that intrinsic motivation is not based on a tangible product, but rather on emotion or personal development.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 7 Ryan and Deci (2000) define d extrinsic motivation are not from w ithin; the outcome must be separate. These separate outcomes take the place of the internal rewards or motivations that the intrinsic motivation provided. The emphasis behind participating in the activity is not based on personal satisfaction, or developme nt, but rather on something else that is primarily external . These feelings may accompany the extrinsic reward to some degree, but overall, the emphasis is still on the external tangible product. Thus, extrinsic motivation is derived from an outcome that i s separate from an emotional or internal reward. According to Banfield and Wilkerson (2014), extrinsic motivation is no longer ba sed on emotion, but instead has shifted to an external outcome . This definition is in reference to extrinsic motivation for students, and thus refers specifically to rewards that are based in academics . Since the primary motivation here is for a separate r esult, the type of motivation for participation in the activity is different from an internal reward or feeling of satisfaction. Therefore, extrinsic motivation has rationales for activities that are based o n an external, and sometimes tangible product. D epending upon the intended outcomes of participation, motivation can vary a great deal from person to person. If participation is solely based on emotions or development, the type of motivation experienced by the participant is intrinsic. In contrast, if p articipation is based primarily for a separate reward that is often external in nature, then the motivation is extrinsic. While both are types of motivation behind participating in an activity, each has a different basis of reasoning.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 8 Uses of Gamification While the term gamification is still considered to be relatively new, the concept of it is not. Game design elements have been incorporated into a variety of different fields. Businesses have used game design elements in the models of their loyalty progra ms (Dicheva et al., 2015) . The military has been using game design elements in their badges and their ranking systems (Dicheva et al., 2015) . Game design elements have also specifically been used more recently with user account features on websites (Hamari , 2013) . Companies have long employed loyalty programs as part of their business practices. Foursquare and Nike+ have used gamification so successfully that they are considered primary examples of gamified products (Dicheva et al., 2015). Specifically, Ni ke+, which is now known as the Nike Run Club , developed an application specifically employing elements of gamification to increase user engagement and use (Lu & Ho, 2020). By using gamification elements like trophies, badges, leaderboards, and achievements , Nike encourages competition among their users, and allows users to add a social element to their otherwise independent sport of running (Lu & Ho, 2020). These elements that are a part of their application development clearly show the use of gamification as a means of encouraging user loyalty and engagement. In addition to companies employing gamification, the military has also used gamification elements in its practices for years. While it may not have been termed gamification initially, the elements of badges and ranks are certainly considered elements of the early Soviet era, game elements were used by the Soviet Union leaders as a substitute for et al., 2015, p. 75). Therefore, t here is evidence of gamification in the military throughout much of history.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 9 Another example of the use of gamification in business practices comes from an examination of game mechanics as part of user accounts. Specific ally, when employing badges as a part of user accounts on a trading service website, findings showed that users who viewed the badges more frequently were also more likely to engage more with the services of the website (Hamari, 2013). This study also ment ioned that these users also viewed the badges of (Hamari, 2013). Despite the focus of this study being only on one gaming element (badges) it is still evident that gamification was designed as a part of the user experience in this trading website. Gamification has been employed in a variety of practices for quite a long time , d espite . I t is apparent that what ga mification entails has been a part of both business and military strategies for years . Modern applications have been developed by businesses with specific gaming elements in mind to increase user experience and loyalty. The military employment of ranks and badges, and the incorporation of badges into an online user account experience all point to the widely accepted use of gamification in a variety of practices. Gamification and Education The strategies and the elements of gamification can easily be appli ed to an educational setting. Importantly, there are a wide variety of reasons w hy gamification works well, particularly in an educational setting. Additionally, gamification has already been used in educational settings, and it is important to examine the specific context of these settings to see how gamification has already been implemented.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 10 Reasons for Using Gamification in Education One of the first reasons for using gamification in education is its wide appeal to digital natives. Digital natives are students who have constantly had access to technology throughout their lives, and as a result behave differently from previous generations ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). Some of these behavioral differences include these students bein g harder to surprise, a smaller value on personal efforts, a greater value on material possessions that are the latest iteration (specifically in technological devices) , and group work as a means of saving time and effort ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). T and given them the mindset that machines can answer their questions or complete the task just as well ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). These new mindsets and attitudes of st udents that are so different from previous generations can pose challenges to teachers in the classroom. However, with gamification, it is possible to appeal to a variety of these ideals of digital natives. Gamification can help to emphasize group collabor ation, motivation, and engagement, all of which are greater challenges for teachers of digital natives. Additionally, since gamification relies on gaming elements that are derived from the technology that digital natives crave, gamification is a natural fi t for these new needs of students ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). In general, employing gamification in the classroom may hold a greater appeal for the digital ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). Another reason for using gamification in education is that games use a variety of elements that fit well with learning already, including motivation al cognitive, affective, and socio cultural engagement (Plass et al., 2015) . Game environments themselves can be thought of as learni ng environments as well, since the purpose of the game is to teach players how to play it.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 11 If teachers are looking to generate motivation in their students, drawing inspiration from video games makes sense since video games have proven that they can motiva te players to stay engaged for a long period of time through gaming features , specifically different incentive structures (Plass et al., 2015). In addition to generating motivation, games are also excellent at engaging players. This engagement comes from t he adaptivity that allows players to engage with games in their own customized adaptive way, social and emotional features that encourage sociocultural engagement, and the ability to fail without dire consequence (Plass et al., 2015). These features not on ly support the engagement of players in games, but can also help to develop self regulated learners, as players set goals for themselves when they play games (Plass et al., 2015). Therefore, the commonalities between gaming elements and learning help to en courage gamification as a viable strategy in the classroom, particularly when looking to affect motivation and engagement of students. One of the other elements that easily ties gamification into the classroom is the ease with which it can be implemented in an online setting, virtual learning environment , or learning management system. If one of the issues that is holding a teacher back from implementing gamification in a classroom is a perceived difficulty in implementation , any teaching setting that also uses an online learning management system helps to make the implementation of gamification significantly easier. This is due to the generation of two types of data from these online learning environments that are necessary for gamification (Tsay et al., 2 020). The first type of data is the fast assessment feedback that is necessary for the students ( which gives them faster results so they can see their successes and failures) , and this can be done using assessments that can be automatically graded in these online systems (Tsay et al., 2020) . The second type of data is generated as users interact with the online course, such as page views, which are


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 12 important for educators to see the engagement of their students in the course, and therefore their effectivene ss (Tsay et al., 2020). Both types of data are useful for the implementation of gamification, and the ease in which this data is created in online learning environments helps to Using gamification elements can al so help to give students specific emotions and help create a positive learning experience. Due to the wide variety of gamification elements, a wide variety of emotions can also be experienced because of experiencing these different game mechanics. For exam ple, if an educator would like a student to explore self expression, the student can be encouraged to customize an avatar with virtual goods (Simões et al., 2012) . The student will be able to directly explore self expression because of interacting with the gamified elements of the course. Gamification can also help students experience a sense of achievement with trophies and badges, or a sense of reward with points (Simões et al., 2012) . By targeting the emotions that educators would like their students to experience, gamification can help generate positive experiences among their students. James Gee (2003) listed thirty six principles that video games teach players as they learn should be of particular importance to educators, as this principle discusses how the learner or player should always operate at the edge of what they can do in game, but not feel as though a harder task or goal is impossible (Gee, 2003). For most educator s, this is the goal for their students; to enable them to learn and function within their content well, but also to be able to feel as though harder educational goal s, as it discusses support and time to practice the transference of earlier learning to later problems (2003). Again, this principle is important to educators, because it shows an


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 13 application of higher order thinking skills in their students. Gee (2003) al so discusse d his threat of real world consequences are much lower. This principle models how students can feel comfortable taking their own risks with their lear ning, and feel free to fail as part of their learning experience. Gamification principles allow students to take risks, fail, learn because of that video game s employ in the experiences they create for their players, and the overlap between these principles and education are at the basis of gamification (2003) . There are a variety of reasons for why gamification has been implemented in education. First, gamifi cation appeals to current students, because its principles appeal well to digital natives, as well as the use of technology that often accompanies gamification. Additionally, when examining the core ideas behind gamification, they already show alignment wi th many educational foundations as well. Gamification can also easily be implemented as a part of online learning management systems, which have become prevalent and relevant. Specific elements of gamification can also be used to target specific experience s and emotions for students. Finally, the very principles that are a part of video games also align well with the goals of educators. Most Common Contexts of Gamification Used in Education Gamification has already been used in the context of education for some time. However, it is important to examine the context of the educational applications of gamification that have already been used. Dicheva et al. (2015) closely examined many of the studies that have already been specifically done on gamification app lications in education , and examined the types of courses in which gamification has been used, breaking the studies down into the type of application, education level, and subject.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 14 First, it is important to examine the type of application. In this case, t he type of application refers to the general method of the course in which gamification was applied. These different types of application, or contexts, include gamified courses with no online component, gamified courses that were exclusively online, gamifi ed courses that were blended courses (including both in person and online components), and gamified websites that were specifica lly designed for online learning (Dicheva et al., 2015). In general, gamification occurs most frequently in blended learning cou rses (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018; Domínguez et al., 2012 ; Simões et al., 2012 which showed that gamification in a blended learning environment had been implemented in 18 of 28 examined studies ( 2015). This shows a tendency for gamification to be used in courses that combine both online and in person instruction. Next, the education level for each gamification study in education was examined. This element focused on the level of educati on in which the gamified content was implemented. Generally, gamification occurs in higher education at the university or college level ( Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014; Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018; Domínguez et al., 2012 ; Hanus & Fox, 2014; Tsay et al., 2020). Aga in, t he consensus found here was that most studies do ne on gamification in education focused on students in higher education and training, where only two studies examined 12 education (Dicheva et al., 2015). This finding shows a tre nd towards the use of gamification primarily in higher education. It is also important to consider the subject matter of the gamified course. Generally, gamified courses often focus on content areas related to technological competencies (Banfield & Wilker son, 2014; Brunvand & Hill, 2019; Domínguez et al., 2012 ; Tsay et al., 2020). According to Dicheva, Dichev, Agre, and Angelova, computer science classes and information technology


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 15 courses were the most common subjects of examined courses in their study (2015). Other commonly gamified subjects included game programming, math, science, engineering, or subject neutral courses (Dicheva et al., 2015). The reflections on this finding ment ion that this may be because implementing gamification draws a great deal on technology (Dicheva et al., 2015). These studies highlighting the use of gamification in education shows clearly that gamification has been implemented in education before ( Diche va et al., 2015). Specifically, findings indicated that gamification was most often implemented in blending learning courses, at a higher education level, and in computer science and information technology subjects (Dicheva et al., 2015). However, this is not to say that gamification should only be applied in these educational settings. Rather, many of the examined studies suggested that gamification has great potential in improving learning in general, and that more research is needed to explore different educational contexts and types of learners (Dicheva et al., 2015). Additionally, other studies have indicated that gamification has the potential to be implemented in a greater variety of subject areas and contexts (Brunvand & Hill, 2019). enefits and Drawbacks in Education There are a variety of reasons for pairing gamification with education, and there is whether to implement gamification, the result s must be examined to make an informed decision. Gamification offers a great deal of potential in education and can show benefits to its use. However, there may also be drawbacks to its implementation as well that are important to consider.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 16 Benefits One of the greatest benefits of implementing gamification is the concept of regular feedback. As players engage with video games, they are constantly getting feedback from their decisions in the game, and as a result, players use that feedback to make future decisions and ultimately progress ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019 ; Gee, 2003 ). Regular feedback is also a core component of gamification, just as it is part of a game, and as part of gamification in education, students use that regular feedback to become better pla nners. By examining the regular feedback they are provided with, students can use that information to create a plan for their desired grade, and examine assignments and make decisions about what they would like to complete ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Addition ally, if their grades on their chosen assignments are not what they would like, they still have time and opportunity to choose other assignments to make up for it or to revise and redo their assignments ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). This regular feedback helps students to become independent learners by encouraging them to monitor their own progress in class, and make their own decisions about their learning, and as a result, become much more engaged with it ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Regular feedback is a powerful tool of gamification that has great benefit to learning and developing students. When various studies using gamification in education were compared, numerous positive benefits were listed among the studies (Dicheva et al., 2015). When these studies were compared by overall results, among results that were not evaluated, negative, mixed, and positive, positive results were significantly in the majority, with 18 of the 34 studies having positive results (Dicheva et al ., 2015). The specific positive results varied from study to study. Numerous studies in this research reported that student s exhibited a higher participation level from students in the gamified courses through forum use, projects, and other learning activi ties , which also aligns


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 17 with the findings of other studies as well (Dicheva et al., 2015 ; Domínguez et al., 2012 ). Other studies included in this examination reported positive results including an increase in attendance and participation, an increasing in the quantity of student contributions in the course (without a reduction in quality), an increase in the percentage of passing students, and an increase in the participation in voluntary and challenging assignments (Dicheva et al., 2015 ; Tsay et al., 2020 ) . In general, these positive results show that gamification can lead to a much better participation rate in the course, which should be of great interest to educators. Additionally, a variety of the studies reported on the student experience from the gami fied courses, and in general, students also found positive experiences in the gamified courses, stating that the courses were more motivating and interesting to them (Dicheva et al., 2015). These findings are also important, because they show how gamificat ion in a course can provide a better experience for the participants in the course. This comparison of different studies on gamification shows how gamification in education not only leads to desired results for educators, but also a better experience for t he students, or gamified course participants. Gamification helps to give students a different perspective on their learning. What gamification offers that traditional education does not is a different way to reward students for their perseverance ( Fiuza F ern ández et al., 2022 ) . In traditional education, the greatest reward for students is the grade for the assignment, and ultimate ly, the grade for the class. Additionally, the objectives may not be as clear for students to understand and may not allow stude nts to see their contribution to the overall mastery of the content or skill . In gamified courses, students complete smaller learning objectives that they perceive as more attainable , and these smaller learning object ives may lead students to a better student understanding of their place in the bigger picture ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). When common practices of gamification are used such as


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 18 constant feedback (which helps students see where they are in terms of mastering the content), an d a display of progress (through progress bars , levels, and monitoring), students are better guided and can not only see their eventual goal , but also their advancement toward that goal ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). t rewards throughout the learning process (with points, badges, or ranks), students are c ontinual ly rewarded for their perseverance over time, guided clearly toward their eventual goals and given the information and the tools they need to make their own in formed determinations in their learning ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). While students may believe that they are simply engaging with the game, what they are actually doing is engaging with their own learning process overall ( Fiuza Fern ández et al., 2022 ). Employing gamification reframes the way that students engage with their education, because it gives students a clearer sense of what they have accomplished, and what they are ultimately working towards. Another benefit to employing gamification and the use of games in education is the development of knowledge and skills to better prepare them for the society they will be entering . While computers are not required for gamification i m plementation, u sing com puters to play games as part of a gamified classroom not only provides the benefits of learning the content, but can certainly help to develop digital literacy skills of students to better prepare them for a society where these skills are necessary (Gros, 2007). It is a commonly held belief that digital literacy is necessary for success in society, so preparing students for that inevitability is an indispensable component of their education (Gros, 2007). The information based society that we currently live in has its own culture, and the use of games in education prepares students for that culture, especially in the science and technology fields (Gros, 2007). As students face a world that is


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 19 constantly inundated with technology, students need to know and und erstand th at culture to be able to survive and thrive, and using games in education is a way to better prepare them for it. Computer games also not only allow students to learn skills, but also to practice them repeatedly and master them, which can also h elp to teach students the importance of repetition in skill mastery (Gros, 2007). Additionally, computer games allow students to learn to manage a lot of different elements at once, which is also an important skill to acquire (Gros, 2007). Gamification and the use of games in education are very closely tied together since one employs and uses elements of the other, and they can be used together in education. Overall, the benefits gained from using computer games in education go beyond simple content mastery , but also include the attainment of digital literacy skills, computer competencies, skill repetition, and resource management , lessons which transcend the mastery of educational content. Teacher Perspectives of Benefits While there are many different ben efits for students when it comes to gamification, it can also be helpful to examine teacher perspectives on gamification as well. In a study where teacher perspectives on gamification were examined, findings indicated that teachers believed employing gamif ication helped their students to develop skill competencies ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021) . The specific skill competencies that teachers felt their students developed with gamification included teamwork and collaboration, self regulation, critical thinking, oral communication, self motivation, social skills and learning to learn ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021) . In the domain of advantages of gamification, some of the statements that held w eight with surveyed teachers included the encouragement of teamwork and collaborative work from gamification, and an increase in class participation from gamification ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021) . These findings also help to support the idea that students not only learn their content with gamification, but also


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 20 develop skills that are applicable to a variety of content areas and settings, such as digital literacy (Gros, 2007). These results help to reinforce how gamification is valuable not just because of how it can be used for learning content, but also for learning skills that transcend the classroom. The increase in participation as a result of gamified course content is also a common theme when examining gamification studies . Additionally, the fact tha t teachers were surveyed for these results show that teachers view gamification as a way of developing these skills and competencies, and that they have a favorable view toward gamification overall ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021) . Many times, while teachers d o want students to learn the content of the course they are in, teachers also want to make sure that their students are prepared for their futures, and the development of these skills help to support that notion. Gamification can be a helpful way for teach ers to help foster th ese skill development s in their students that are necessary in the workplace or in higher education , and teachers can feel they are better preparing them due to these skill developments occurring with the implementation of gamification . Additionally, this favorable view of gamification held by many of the respondents of this study show ed that while gamification is still new in the realm of education, educators fe lt that it has solid potential, and they are open to implementing it. Overall, teachers believe that gamification helps students develop crucial skills, and have a positive outloo k on using gamification in the classroom. Gamified courses can also help to bring an increase in engagement and performance, particularly in online content. When researchers developed an online course that specifically employed gamified elements, they fou nd that the gamified course, in comparison to a non gamified version of the same course attracted more online traffic (Tsay et al., 2020). These page views were gathered in their online learning platform and showed a higher view count for the activities in the gamified conditions rather than the non gamified conditions (Tsay et al., 2020)


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 21 When students engage with content in a gamified setting, they may end up not only completing required coursework, but going above and beyond to extend their learning. W hen a course was designed with essential learning activities (which were mandatory), and super learning activities (which were optional), researchers discovered that gamification played a key role in students completing the super learning activities (Tsay et al., 2020). Students who completed the super learning activities were able to complete these activities were rewarded in the form of points and badges and enjoyed a higher status on a class leaderboard (Tsay et al., 2020). Additionally, they further dev eloped their learning with more challenging learning (Tsay et al., 2020). Students reported that their engagement with the super learning activities was directly related to their perceived usefulness of the super learning activity, and its difficulty (Tsay et al., 2020). Additionally, students also reported that the gamification elements attached to the super learning activities were also strong motivators for them to complete the activities, because of the 2020, p. 21). Finally, students also reported that they believed engagement with the super learning activities helped them to better improve their skills and knowledge and satisfy their long term goals for the c ourse (Tsay et al., 2020). These findings are interesting because the super learning activities were designed specifically with gamification elements attached to them. The gamification elements play ed a role in whether students chose to complete them over all. In this way, gamification was used as a means of enticing learners to participate in activities that otherwise they may not have. This shows that while students may be intrinsically motivated to further their knowledge and enhance their learning, gami fication contributes other extrinsic motivational elements as well .


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 22 In another study, students participated in a gamified version of a course for a variety of reasons and scored better on the practical application of learned concepts. When students were a sked to reflect on their gamified experience in a course, one of the reasons stated was that students liked the use of the leaderboard because of how they c ould compare themselves to other students in the class ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012). Not only does this experience give students the opportunity to monitor their own progress, but by being able to see where they are in the course in relation to their classmates, they can further decide future efforts , based upon where they would like to be . Another student explained their choice in gamified activities by stat ing that they had previously completed traditional activities related to the knowledge, and that the gamified activities were a different way to show their knowledge ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012). Allowing students to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways certainly makes for a positive experience for students and helps to promote mastery and reinforcement of the content. This student continued to discuss his reasoning for choosing gamif ied activities, citing that the graphics and trophies were fun, motivating, colorful and encouraging ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012). This reflection again proves the positive effect that gamification elements can have on students, particularly in terms of motiva tion. By introducing these activities in a gamification context, students found them more appealing and engaging. In addition to affecting motivation, the students who participated in the gamified version of the course performed better on items that invol ved the practical applications of learned concepts in the course ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012). This point is significant because it demonstrates higher level thinking skills. Not only are students learning the content well, but they are learning how to apply t heir new knowledge in an appropriate context. Overall,


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 23 employing gamification can help encourage student participation for a variety of reasons, and help students to not only learn their content, but also use their knowledge in applications well. Competiti on, a primary component of gamification, can also have benefits for students. In a case study where the perceptions of students were examined regarding the use of a specific gamified application (Kahoot!), students generally enjoyed competition, and seemed to benefit from it (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018). When asked about the advantages of gamification, students remarked that the competition in the classroom created positive feelings overall, an excitement for class, and a desire to attend and participate in cl ass (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018). Students also remarked that they preferred competition games and made them feel more ambitious (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018). These results help to show that overall, students do enjoy competition, and that competition can create positive experiences in gamified settings. Drawbacks Despite its many appealing benefits, gamification may not be the best option for all educators. First, if educators are not willing to explore beyond traditional teaching styles and what they are comfortable with, unfortunately the employment of gamification in their classrooms may cause more frustration than its eventual benefits ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Many of the ideals of gamification are very different from traditional teaching methods, and a s a result, some educators may find it difficult to adapt and adjust, particularly if they feel that the methods and pedagogies they already follow work well and do not need to be changed or adapted. If a teacher is determining whether gamification would b e a good fit for them, they should reflect and consider their content, objectives, learners, and resources in their classroom , which will give them a chance to consider the compatibility of gamification in their teaching setting ( Alsawaier, 2018; Brunvand & Hill, 2019).


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 24 These components should always be evaluated before employing any new pedagogy, and gamification is no different. If one of these elements may not fit well into a gamification pedagogy, the teacher needs to consider its impacts, and make the choice to adjust or consider if it is worth the additional effort. For a specific example, choice is an important component of gamification pedagogy, as well as time to fail without risk and opportunity for retakes to gain knowledge . If a teacher prefers to have every student demonstrate their learning of a skill or topic in one specific assignment or way with a strict and inflexible timeline, then gamification may not be the best option for them ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). As with trying anything new in the classroom, teachers should thoroughly consider their pedagogical values and methods before committing fully to implementing something new like gamification. Another important consideration when weighing the implementation of gamification in the classroom is technology competency. Much like the previously mentioned pedagogical styles conflicting with gamification, there must be a willingness on the part of the teacher to embrace technological aspects of gamification (Gros, 2007) . The primary reasoning for t his is that the use of a learning management system is necessary for gamification implementation due to its role in the presentation of class content, availability of assignments, and the tracking of student progress ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). While technolo gy is not mandatory for implementing gamification, it allows many of these gamification tasks to be done with ease. The organization features of many learning management systems are crucial to the choices that gamification provides with students, and assis ts with direct communication with students, particularly in the form of frequent specified feedback for assignments. Teachers must be proficient in their integration of technology in gamification, particularly in the capabilities of their learning manageme nt systems and how they can be used to meet their gamification goals ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019 ; Dicheva et


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 25 al., 2015; Fiuza Fernández et al., 2022 ). Learning management systems are valuable tools that can be used well to implement gamification in the classroo m, but only if teachers are familiar enough to use them , because they will also be teaching students how to use the systems as well . In addition to learning management systems, teachers must also be proficient enough to solve technological problems that may arise ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). If a teacher cannot help to troubleshoot technological issues that their students may have, valuable educational time may be lost, so some degree of technolo gical problem solving may be a necessary component when considering gamification. Generally, technology is a main component in gamification, especially in the form of learning management systems, so a degree of fluency is necessary in which to implement it well. Another key area to consider when implementing gamification is whether the content area will work well with gamification, particularly when it comes to assignment choice ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Assignment choice is a crucial part of gamification, since it gives students ownership of how they learn and demonstrate their knowledge ( Kleinert, 2023; Plass et al., 2015) . If content and proficiencies can only be shown in one way, then this issue may become a significant barrier to implementing gamificati on , however, there may be possible solutions to this issue. Ideally, the content in a gamified course should allow the teacher to create multiple assignments that not only satisfy curriculum requirements but also measure student learning ( Kleinert, 2023; Brunvand & Hill, 2019). One way to ensure that this happens is to begin by determining the goals or objectives that students need to meet, and then design the assessments around those objectives ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019 ; Stephens, 2023 ). By beginning with th e final objective in mind, it can allow teachers to branch out with their thinking of various ways in


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 26 which students can still demonstrate the same goal. An example of this is a music education situation is to give students three different excerpts to choo se from that all demonstrate the same proficiency, but requiring students to play two of the three excerpts (Kleinert, 2023). These different examples required the same skill mastery and required a student demonstration of the skill , but allowed for studen t choice . In this way, they all tested the same objective or goal of their learning. However, the range of activities allowed students to choose what kind of demonstration they were most comfortable with, ranging from traditional straightforward exercises to activities that allowed students to demonstrate their creativity. While it can be easy to believe that some skills can only be demonstrated in one manner due to the way that curriculum may be stated, this may simply not be the case if the final objectiv e is started with, and then many different assignments are created to satisfy the same requirements. Additionally, it should be noted that gamification in education has been studied in a variety of different contents and disciplines, and that ultimately it is the decision of the teacher whether the content can be made to fit into gamification or not ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Leaderboards are a primary component of gamification; however, they may have negative implications and effects on students. The purpos e of leaderboards in a gamification setting is to encourage social comparison and competition among students in the same class. Competition can generally be sorted into two categories: constructive, where the competition is perceived as fun and a way of co ntributing to self growth and development, or destructive, where the competition results in harm for at least one person (F ). The results of each type of competition are drastically different; constructive competition is beneficial and contributes to happiness, whereas destructive competition is harmful and destroys happiness (F ) . The kind of competition that leaderboa rds generate is generally unclear, however it is important to


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 27 note that leaderboards typically highlight one winner and allow students to see the progress of others easily (Hanus & Fox, 2014). This emphasis on one leader at the top of the leaderboard and o pen social comparisons may direct competition to be more destructive in nature (Hanus & Fox, 2014). When implementing gamification, this concern of destructive competition should be kept in the minds of teachers as they mind the interactions of their students with the leaderboard and with each other. Additionally, the use of digital leaderboards also has additional concerns. Unlike a physical leaderboard which can only be viewed in one place, a digital leaderboard can be easily accessed and referred to outside the classroom and allow students to constantly reinforce their standing (Hanus & Fox, 2014). This may encourage an unlimited amount of social comparison and may lead to negative effects because of implementing leaderboards (Hanus & Fox, 2014). The concern of destructive competition and unimpeded social comparison are certainly important factors to consider when carrying out gamification in the classroom. There may be evidence to support that there are disadvantages to using gamification over time . A study was done comparing the results of a Communications course taught at a Midwestern university where one was taught using elements of gamification and one was taught in a traditional manner (Hanus & Fox, 2014). In the gamified course, students had t o create a username, and the elements of a leaderboard, badges, and coins were used (Hanus & Fox, 2014). earned, as well as a first, second, and third place graphic distinction (Hanus & Fox, 2014). 22 badges were created as a means of incentivizing engagement and required students to complete and turn in a form after completing the requirements of the badge (Hanus & Fox, 2014). Throughout the length of the course, stu dents were survey ed three times in the areas of social


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 28 comparison, motivation, satisfaction, effort, and empowerment (Hanus & Fox, 2014). The results of the study from the entirety of the course proved a lower intrinsic motivation in the gamified course fr om the traditional control group, a lower satisfaction in the gamified course than the control group, and a lower sense of empowerment in the gamified course than the control group (Hanus & Fox, 2014). Findings also showed that the type of course did not a grades (Hanus & Fox, 2014). While all these findings do portray gamification as negative, the implementation of the gamification in this study is something that should be examined when weighing these findings. It is true that gamified elements were used throughout the implementation of this course, however the way these elements were used may not have been done entirely in a way that fits within the true realm of gamification. Gamification should employ elements of games in a non gamifi ed setting to encourage users to engage in tasks that they may otherwise not do , but this may not necessarily have been the case in this study ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012 ; Plass et al., 20 15 ; Simões et al., 2012 ). T he badges that were outlined in the course were presented as a mandatory Framing these badges as mandatory and non optional may have certainly affected motivation of the participations, as it is mentioned in the discussion portion of this study how being forced to do something can decrease intrinsic motivation (Hanus & Fox, 2014). Additionally, the act of completing documentation and paperwork to earn their badges may have additionally contributed to the decrease in motivation, since the badges were not a warded automatically, but instead required extra steps. Additionally, not enough information is given about the control group in this study. The groups in this study were


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 29 mentioned between the two groups, so it is unknown if the activities (excepting the badges and leader boards), or instructional delivery methods were similar or different between the two groups. The use of gamification can also raise some ethical concerns, however , if teachers are aware of these concerns they can be avoided with careful planning and implementation. When employing gamification, it is important to always keep the learning at the focus of the task, regardless of what gaming elements are added. Unfortunately, situations can arise where gaming elements are used to decrease resistance to task completion (Rivera & Garden, 2021). In situations like this, gaming elements are used not to enhance learning, but in a manner that is invasive, exploitative, or mandatory (Rivera & Garden, 2021). When these lines are crossed, gamification is no longer used in a way to enhance student learning, but rather in a way that is deceitful and unethical (Rivera & Garden, 2021). Gamification, or game attributes should never be used in a way that is aimed at pacifying students to complete their work. Rather, gamification should be used in a way to enhance and help guide students to their own learning and development . For this reason, gamification c ould first be utilized in items in a course that are not mandatory, and then perhaps be spread to the entirety of the course (River a & Garden, 2021). By implementing gamification in this way, it can be a safer way to ease into gamification while making sure in a way that enriches student learning rather than manipulating it. While this issue can raise questions about the intent behind using gamification in the classroom, by being aware of the issue, and keeping learning at the center, the se concerns can clearly be avoided. Another concern of implementing gamification is how well students learn their content in gamified courses. In a university level cou rse designed to teach students basic knowledge and


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 30 skills for using computer operating systems, word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation software among other similar items, students were given the option of using a Blackboard plug in that gamified t he course content ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012 ). The plug in was designed with the intent that students would use it to complete optional activities for the course that included reward and competition mechanisms ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012 ). Students who participat ed in the gamified course elements ended up scoring lower on the final written examination (which focused on concepts and relating those concepts to practice) and in their participation ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012 ). Participation was assessed by examining the number of interactions in the learning platform, such as through forum contributions and other media, and in attendance and completed exercises online and in person ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012 ). An interesting point to note here is that while the participants from the gamified portion of the course scored lower on general content, they scored higher in practical application ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012 ). Researchers believe d that these results show ed differences in the kind of learning that occurs each way and as a result, the activities that were framed in a gamified way help ed develop practical skills but may have hinder ed the learning and retention of underlying concepts ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012 ). T hese results are interesting, because they distinguish between different kinds of learning and different kinds of teaching methods. These results may not necessarily be a hinderance to gamification, but rather a reason for diversifying pedagogical techniqu es based upon what the desired outcomes of the learning are. Teacher Perspectives on Drawbacks of Gamification The element of competition in a gamified classroom can be tricky, and it is important to examine teacher perceptions of competition in the class room. When teachers were surveyed regarding their views on gamification, in negative aspects of gamification for students, the most


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 31 reported statement was related to gamification being a potential source of conflict in the classroom , and affect classroom d ynamics ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021). The statement initially questioned the role of gamification in conflict resolution, but the responses of surveyed teachers instead pointed out that gamification in the classroom would most likely do the opposite ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021). This finding points out how teachers already know that this may be one of the risks of implementing gamification ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021). Overall, there are numerous advantages but also disadvantages or concerns of gamificati on in education. Some of the advantages include the regular feedback provided to students, the increased participation rates and positive experiences held by both students and teachers, the alternate perspectives that gamification provides students on thei r learning , the skills gamification helps students develop to prepare for a technological society, the workplace skills that students develop as a result of participation in gamified activities, the increased participation in online courses, the engagement in optional activities as a way to further learning, and the application of new knowledge to practical concepts ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019; Dicheva et al., 2015; Domínguez et al., 2012 ; Fiuza Fernández et al., 2022 ; Gros, 2007; Martí Parreño et al., 2021 ; Tsay et al., 2020 ) . Some concerns of gamification to be mindful of include its inability to be incorporated into all pedagogical styles, the high technological competency of the teacher implementing the gamified course, the adaptability of t he content being taught, the threat of destructive competition as a result of leader boards that can also result to conflict in classroom dynamics, potential decreases in motivation, satisfaction, and empowerment, the ethical concerns that implementing gam ification in a manipulating way can raise, and the lower content knowledge ( Alsawaier, 2018; Brunvand & Hill, 2019 ; Domínguez et al., 2012 ; F


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 32 Hanus & Fox, 2014 ; Rivera & Garden, 2021) . All these points should be considered when assessing the ben efits and drawbacks of gamification in education. One of the primary issues concerning many teachers today is how to motivate their students to greater levels of success and achievement. Gamification may be a vi able means of sparking new levels of motivation within students. To understand how gamification may be able to provide a greater sense of motivation to students, it is important to first look at what makes video games so motivating. Then, the results of mo tivation on students in gamified courses should be examined to weigh its effectiveness. Video Games and Motivation One of the reasons that teachers should look to gamification is because of the effect on motivation that video games have on their players. The effect that video games have on motivation of players is so strong that it is mentioned frequently (Plass et al., 2015). In general, games motivate their players to continue playing for long periods of time not just due to the entertaining nat ure of the games, but also due to game features and designs that are specifically creat ed to motivate players (Plass et al., 2015). These game features can take many forms, such as rewards like points or achievements, but can also take the form of game mec hanics and activities (Plass et al., 2015). In general, video games include incentive systems throughout gameplay as a means of motivating the players to continue playing. Additionally, other elements of game design can also contribute to the motivational nature of video games, include the graphics, narrative, and musical score (Plass et al., 2015). The careful consideration of these design elements when creating video games are done to motivate the players to continue playing.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 33 It is also important to note that video games are specifically designed for players to succeed by ensuring that players know what to do in the game (Plass et al., 2015). This is achieved by allowing for graceful failure, where players are encouraged to try at a task, and if they fail, there are no dire consequences, and players are encouraged to learn from their mistakes and then try again ( Gee, 2003; Plass et al., 2015). Video games are often equipped with tutorials or introductory levels to allow players to fail, practice , and then s ucceed (Plass et al., 2015). Also, oftentimes games can adapt to the level of the player, or players have a community online that they can access for help with whatever part of the game they are having trouble with (Plass et al., 2015). Part of why games a re so motivating for players is that they are intentionally designed to allow the player to succeed over time by teaching them the skills they need to succeed in the game. By modeling the way that video games are designed to encourage motivation, gamificat ion can also be used to encourage motivation. If incentive systems, thoughtful design, and support systems for graceful failure are also put in place when implementing gamification, it is possible that students will also feel a greater sense of motivation . Another reason why video games are so motivating is that they affect three main areas: cognitive, emotional, and social ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012). These three areas are believed to be the base for motivation, and many elements of video games affect one or more than one of these areas ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012). Video games affect the cognitive area while they allow players to explore and experiment, they do so within systems of rules (Lee & Hammer, 2011). Video games are designed to encourage players to follow the systems that are set forth and develop their own path through the game, providing a cognitive stimulus. Another important cognitive note is that while players are doing a great deal of their own discovery, video games allow


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 34 players to branch out and explore multiple paths; the primary objective can be a chieved in multiple ways, and it is ultimately on the players to forge their own paths to also satisfy their own goals along the way (Lee & Hammer, 2011). This element may also contribute to the continued motivation to play the game, since the experience c an be customized in a way that suits what the player prefers. Video games also have an emotional impact on their players, and video games invoke a wide range of feelings (Lee & Hammer, 2011). The entire gamut of emotions is often felt while playing a vide o game, from the negative feelings of failure to the positive feelings of success (Lee & Hammer, 2011). Video games help to build a more positive response to failure, because of the rapid feedback provided from the game, and the low stakes setting in which the failure happens (Lee & Hammer, 2011). Again, with video games allowing players to gracefully fail, they are then more motivated to learn from the opportunity to continue in the game, and they are also learning that failure can be a crucial part of lea rning (Lee & Hammer, 2011). Not only do video games tap into emotions, but they also help to develop appropriate responses to negative emotions and show players that failure is sometimes needed to ultimately grow . Finally, video games also foster a crucia l social component which does not just come from playing against or with other players. Video games allow players to take on and act in a role that otherwise they would not have the opportunity to do so (Lee & Hammer, 2011). This role playing is important because it gives players a safe space to test out and experience a new identity, and in doing so, helps to explore and develop new aspects of themselves (Lee & Hammer, 2011). Of course, there are other social opportunities where players can interact with o ther players through cooperation or competition, but video games also help players get to know themselves better as well ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012). Clearly, video games have an impact on


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 35 motivation because they cater to the three main parts of motivation: t he cognitive, emotional, and the social. Gamification Studies Focusing on Motivation motivation and have had positive results. A qualitative study was done in two university level information technology classes in the Northern United States, where students were observed using the participant observation method, and then interviewed afterwards (Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014). In both classes, students were initially taught with traditional methods like lectures, and then changed over to a gamified activity to apply their knowledge (Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014). In one class, students were instructed to find clues to complete a task rela ted to the lesson while a leaderboard at the front of the classroom showed progress of individuals, and in the other class students were given a set of objectives to complete, also with a live leaderboard at the front of the class showing progress (Banfiel d & Wilkerson, 2014). As participants were being interviewed, their responses were coded into three main categories of research: IM for intrinsic motivation, EM for extrinsic motivation, and SE for self efficacy (Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014). 92.2% of parti cipants from the gamification activities responded to interview questions with intrinsic motivation themes (Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014). Many of the coded responses were related to monitoring their own progress, examining, and undertaking more challenging components of an activity, and organizing newer knowledge and relating it to previous knowledge (Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014). The tasks in the gamified context were primarily encouraging students to engage in their learning in a new way, and not only motiv ating students to do so, but also motivating them in a way that was more related to personal development rather than for an external reward.


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 36 In contrast, .078% of participants from the gamified experiences gave responses that had extrinsic motivation them es (Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014) . The coded responses in this case were related to competition or reinforcement for tangible rewards, such as honors, awards, extra credit, or bonus points . In both classes, students were initially taught with traditional methods like lectures, and then changed over to a gamified activity to apply their knowledge (Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014). It is interesting that these responses are so low, given the potent ial desired rewards , however researchers did not provide discussion on this point. When teachers were surveyed, the responses given indicated positive beliefs regarding gamification and its development of student motivation . Self motivation is one of the competencies that teachers believed gamification helped to develop and this skill development was categorized as one of the advantages of implementing gamification ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021). Specifically, teachers in this study believed that the entert aining nature of games was what helped to fuel the development of self motivation, when discussing the playful elements of gamification ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021). This is important because self motivation is one of the competencies that transcends the c ontent that is being taught using gamification. Self motivation is not just good for one subject, but also good for the general development of students into members of society , and teachers believe that gamification is a good way to foster its development in students. Teachers felt that the interest of students increases when gamification is used because it is a disruption of traditional lectures, and that gamification was a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021) . They felt that the intrinsic motivation was derived from the fun nature of games, and that the extrinsic motivation was derived from rewards gained because of participation in gamification ( Mart í Parreño et al., 2021). Th ese statements that were part of a survey help to show that teachers believe


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 37 gamification can be fun for their students, which can be an important attribute for teachers who are considering gamification. These teacher perceptions also corroborate the intrinsic motivational responses fr gamified activities (2014). Additionally, t hese teacher beliefs are important because they not only discuss motivation in general, but rather each type of motivation: both intrinsic and e xtrinsic. Overall, teachers have positive beliefs regarding gamification and its effects on the motivation of students, whether it is self motivation, intrinsic, or extrinsic. One of the main elements of fostering motivation in students is to tap into the ir values and interests. This is because students are much more likely to participate in an activity if it is something that they are interested in, or if they perceive it as relevant to them (Plass et al., 2015). Interest is divided into two separate cate gories: situational, which is related to immediate interest in an activity, and individual, which is an intrinsic tendency to do an activity (Plass et al., 2015). Often, it is believed that when educational games are designed, situational interest in the g ame gradually gives way to individual interest in the content over time (Plass et al., 2015). The rationale is that first students will enjoy playing the game, and then over time, they will develop and inward interest in the educational materials that are a part of the game that they enjoy playing. Game design elements can help to tap into the situational interest of students, such as the kind of gameplay, the game mechanics, and other incentive structures like badges (Plass et al., 2015). This is important because these game design elements can be modified into a their motivation as well. For example, once situational interest in students has developed, these l earners do well with mastery badges (Plass et al., 2015). With this knowledge, badges can be included into gamification to appeal to students that have clearly demonstrated their interest in


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 38 gamified activities . Motivation is important because it is the id ea that students should have experiences that they enjoy, and that they want to continue (Plass et al., 2015). By considering motivation and gamification together, it is considering student interests, and how motivation can be enhanced (Plass et al., 2015) . Students also believe that gamification influences their motivation. After given the option of participating in gamified activities using a Blackboard plug in, student opinions were asked ten statements and the answers were given in the form of a five point scale ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012) ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012, p. 390). These three statements score d very well on the five point scale, with all of them averaging mean results that ranged from 3.63 to 3.76 ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012) . These results not only reflect a positive learning experience because of experiencing gamified activities, but also a desire or motivation to learn more. On a separate questionnaire, students were asked whether they found gamified or traditional activities more motivating, and 31.87% of students stated that they found the gamified activities more motivation ( Dom ínguez et al., 2 012) . This result is significantly lower than the 61.54% of students who found the traditional activities more motivating ( Dom ínguez et al., 2012) . Also interestingly, 6.59% stated that there was no difference in their motivation between either type ( Dom ín guez et al., 2012) . However, researchers stated that the lower number of students who found the gamified activities motivating was also consistent with the number of students who participated in the gamified activities, so it was not entirely unexpected ( D om ínguez et al., 2012) .


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 39 In another study, students were surveyed regarding their experiences with the gamification application Kahoot. In this study, 65 participants were studying Preschool Teaching as undergraduates, and as part of their instruction, us ed the gamification application Kahoot daily at the end of each lesson (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018). Kahoot is a web based application that users connect to and answer timed questions that contribute to their scores which are then displayed in a leaderboard ( Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018). In this study, Kahoot was used daily at the end of class as a means of summarizing class content (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018). Participants were s urveyed using a Likert type scale about statements in three main areas: perceptions about gamification, the effectiveness of Kahoot, and the evaluation of the Kahoot environment (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018). With a mean score of 4.25, participants believed that their interest in the course was increased beca use of including gamification in class (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018) Additionally, participants agreed that they studied more to prepare for the gamification element in class, with a mean s core of 4.33 (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018). Participants also believed that the competition in class fostered their motivation as well , that motivation levels were higher in crowded classes , and that the reward system in the application was motivating (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018) (Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2018 , p. 84 ). This perspective is important because in this case, teachers in training are reflect ing on their own experiences using a gamification application and then further applying it to what they believe would work in their future teaching situations , which aligns with other surveyed experienced teachers and their beliefs regarding how gamificati on helps students develop their self motivation ( Martí Parreño et


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 40 al., 2021 ). These views also align with the experiences of other students who found gaming elements motivating ( Domínguez et al., 2012 ). Video games are intentionally designed to be motivat ing, and as a result, the relationship between gamification and motivation is important. Incentive systems, design elements, graceful failure, and their ability to tap into our cognitive, emotional, and social areas are part of why video games keep players coming back to them (Plass et al., 2015; Lee & Hammer, 2011) . Studies have also shown that gamification does affect intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and self efficacy, and that teachers believe gamification is helpful in motivating learners. Ga mification can also take lessons from video games and help develop situational and individual interest in students, which can lead to higher motivation. Students and future teachers also believe that gamification influences motivation. Consequently, gamifi cation can help to develop a positive effect on the motivation of students. Gamification in Music Education Gamification clearly has a lot of benefits that may attract the attention of teachers, so for music teachers, it is important to examine how it can be used in conjunction with and for music education. First, two different recently developed applications are going to be examined that heavily used elements of gamification as part of their development process. One of these applications focuses on teachi ng and learning the piano, and the other focuses on reinforcing rhythmic dictation. Finally, the use of gamification in the music education classroom is going to be examined. Gamificatio n plays a large role in the tool HoloMusicXP. HoloMusicXP is a mixed reality software that employs the use of a headset with Microsoft Hololens to help students learn to read music and play the piano simultaneously (Molero et al., 2020). When developers began


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 41 working on this application, one of their primary goa ls was to find a way to develop motivation and achievement in students (Molero et al., 2020). Three primary layers were addressed in this (Molero et al., 2020). Importantly, t his tool allowed teachers to upload and develop their own music into lessons the system, as it read a variety of important musical information from MusicXML files, including the tempo, total number of measures, beats per measure, notes, pitch, measure numb er, beat, part of the beat (for tracking rhythm) and finger (to check correct fingerings) (Molero et al., 2020). Two main gamification elements were added to help generate a sense of competition and reward: points and stars (Molero et al., 2020). Players g enerate d points as they correctly hit the notes in a piece of music and accumulate a streak which contributes to a combo multiplier (Molero et al., 2020). Players view ed their scores in a display panel off to the side , and if they miss a note, the combo mu ltiplier returned to the beginning (Molero et al., 2020). Stars were rewarded at the end of the level, or piece, and reflect ed the number of points that were earned in the performance (Molero et al., 2020). The stars were designed to be used by teachers fo r evaluation of student mastery , and once the maximum number of stars (five) was earned, students were able to move on to the next level (Molero et al., 2020). Levels that had not yet been played had zero stars, and one star indicated that the student attempted the level but had more work to do (Molero et al., 2020). In addition to the visual elements associated with gamification, direct feedback occurred in the form of the colo r of the piano key being pressed (green as correct and red as incorrect), a positive message being shown when certain combo numbers are reached, and special effects of particles in the shape of stars that appear ed when the correct key is pressed (Molero et al., 2020).


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 42 This application was tested on both students and teachers in its perceived ease of use, and usefulness in general (Molero et al., 2020). Results indicated that students found it fun to play the piano with this tool, and that teachers in gener al found this tool easy to use and useful (Molero et al., 2020). Teachers also felt that beginning students would greatly benefit from this tool, but that more advanced level musicians may not (Molero et al., 2020). Researchers believed that they achieved their goal in this tool development, and that students felt motivated and satisfied after using the tool in class (Molero et al., 2020). This was made clearer when it was noticed that students and teachers were comparing point scores, and students were ask ing to repeat levels to earn more points (Molero et al., 2020). This application shows the importance of including gamification in the development of music based technologies. By purposefully designing and including gamification elements, competition and m otivation was developed in players , which aligns with other experiences of students with game design elements ( Domínguez et al., 2012 ) . Additionally, since students were asking to repeat levels to earn higher scores, this also shows a potential way to enco urage students to practice, since practicing will build their proficiency as they master the music. Gamification elements in applications can play a significant role in teaching music. Gamification elements have also specifically been used in the design o f an open source web based application for rhythm dictation. The Troubadour platform was designed specifically for students working on music theory (Pesek et al., 2020). A need was identified for this kind of application, since most music teaching and lear ning applications are targeted to adolescents and adults (Pesek et al., 2020). When designing this application, some of the primary concerns included developing an application that would work best on any orientation in a mobile phone, and increase student engagement (Pesek et al., 2020). The gamification elements that developers


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 43 focused on included the creation of a profile (which included a username and avatar), badges to show achievements, levels to show progression, and a leaderboard (Pesek et al., 2020) . their avatar, username, level, points, a progress bar towards the next level, and the most recent leaderboar requirements for badges that had not yet been earned (Pesek et al., 2020). The content for the badges reflected the accuracy of completing an exercise with no mistakes, the en gagement of logging into and using the platform with consistency, and the speed that was needed to complete exercises, which ranged in five minute intervals (Pesek et al., 2020). Rhythm dictation exercises were automatically generated and played with an or gan sound (to assist with accurate duration of notes), and then given the time signature and a musical notation keyboard, students had to accurately write what they heard (Pesek et al., 2020). Students were given instant feedback (another gamification elem ent) by incorrect notes being marked red (Pesek et al., 2020). Over the course of one month , researchers met with and worked with students in five meetings to teach them how to use the application, and during the third week, ran a live challenge in class to encourage students to earn points and rank high on a live displayed leaderboard (Pesek et al., 2020). Questionnaires given to students in the third week of the study indicated that students found the application easy to use, although they did not seem t o like the sound of the organ (Pesek et al., 2020). When qu estionnaires were given in the fifth week, answers were very similar, and gave positive results, stating that many of the mechanics in the


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 44 application were not difficult to use, and that the level of the exercises was appropriate (Pesek et al., 2020). Students also remarked that they liked being able to use the application on either their computers or their phones, they found the badges motivating, and that they found the feature of stopping or paus ing playback very helpful (Pesek et al., 2020). Another interesting part of this study was comparing exam results between students who used the application and students who did not. In general, it was discovered that students who had used the application s cored better on their exam , with an average score of 4.5 (where 5 was the best grade) versus the control group students who scored a 4.3 (Pesek et al., 2020). Overall, researchers believed that their findings showed how students supported the use of the rh ythmic dictation application due to its ease of use and its modern take on ear training, and that the performance results on traditional exams helped to show its effectiveness (Pesek et al., 2020). This study also shows how powerful gamification elements c an be when incorporated into music education instruction. The live competition also helped strengthen this concept of gamified material to reinforce content , which has also been used other studies ( Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014; Bicen & Kocakoyun , 2018 ). Addi tionally, the exam results also showed the effects of students being encouraged to use gamified material to reinforce their learning. Consequently, using gamification elements, particularly in a modern way, can help encourage students to not only practice their content more outside of formal class but ultimately score higher on their exams. While the use of gamification elements in technological applications that can be used to teach and enhance music education is fascinating, it is also important to exami ne the use of gamification elements in a classroom setting. Peasant (2020) sought to determine whether using gamification through the online platform Classcraft might have an impact on the practice habits and motivation of middle school band students. A variety of activities were created for students


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 45 in Classcraft that centered on practice strategies and their applications, and practice charts (Peasant, 2020). St udents created their own avatars, and through completing activities that in turn completed quests, they gained experience points and in game currency that allowed them to customize their characters and endow them with different powers to take on enemies (P easant, 2020). Gamified elements included points, achievements or badges, levels, story, feedback, rewards, progress, and challenge (Peasant, 2020). Findings indicated that most participants had a positive attitude toward the digital gamification, and the band director believed that the use of significant improvement from the previous year (Peasant, 2020). Wong (202 1 ) sought to find out how gamification was being use d in special education music classes in Hong Kong. In this case study, nine teachers of students with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities were interview ed and observed to see how they taught musical creativity with their students (Wong, 202 1 ). Fin dings indicated that teachers frequently used technology (in the form of various music making applications a means of using gamification elements in musical creativity (Wong, 202 1 ). Some of the most significa nt elements here included giving students time to express themselves, explore different sounds on their own, and use technological aids to explore music (Wong, 202 1 ). Wong (202 1 ) mentioned that in interviews, none of the observed teachers mentioned the ter however, these strategies that encourage students to compete with themselves in the context of selecting sounds that they like best also help students to develop a sense of self achievement and fit within the realm of gamification. Particu larly, the concept of risk free experimentation and self development both fit within the realm of gamification (Wong, 202 1 ). This study is interesting because it examines gamification from a perspective that does not necessarily fit


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 46 within the common realm of what many perceive gamification to be. In this case, gamification was implemented not by using strict guides, but rather by using concepts of gamification such as a risk free environment to explore and self express, and inwardly weigh options and make decisions in a self competitive manner. This study helps to show that gamification can still be implemented in small ways, and in ways that do not demand great technical proficiencies. Additionally, this study also helps to show how gamification can help f oster and develop creative musical experiences for students. Gamification has great potential for its use in music education . Application and software development for both teaching the piano and reinforcing rhythm dictation included gamification elements as key components, and as such helped to create musical experiences for students that helped that learn theoretical and performance concepts for music. The use of software like these ce on traditional exams through its use. Additionally, the use of gamification concepts in the classroom can not only help students in their creative musical endeavors, but also provide a way for teachers to incorporate gamification elements that may seem less daunting than a more expansive inclusion of gamification in the classroom. Overall, gamification and music education work well together to provide positive experiences for students and teachers. Core Strategy for Implementing Gamification One of the most important elements for teachers to consider when implementing gamification is the mindset that is needed to encourage students to participate fully in gamification. Gamification is starkly different from traditional education in which a grade is earne d based upon a performance task that the student completes (Alsawaier, 2018). In contrast to this, the emphasis of gamification is not on the results of a performance task, but rather on


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 47 whether the student succeeded in what they personally set out to do (Alsawaier, 2018). In other words, students should be encouraged to develop and design their own pursuits, rather than attempting to strictly adhere to one set of standards and expectations for their learning set forth by someone else entirely. Additionall y, students will need to be able to self reflect and evaluate on their learning experience more than what may be required in more traditional performance tasks for grades. This notion is part of what sets gamification apart from other learning strategies, but it does require encouragement and guidance from the teacher , perhaps more than what is usually given . This great difference may be difficult for students to adjust to, so it is up to the teacher to help students engage in the process and develop their reasoning (Alsawaier, 2018). This encouragement for students to engage in these different learning tasks and processes are crucial to the implementation of gamification and will require a conscious effort on behalf of the teacher for both students and teac hers to have a successful experience. Core Components for Implementing Gamification Using gamification requires focusing on certain design principles to transform the classroom from a traditional setting to one that uses gamification. It is important to c onsider which design principles may work best for specific teaching settings, and not all design principles need to be utilized. The most used gamification design principles in studies that focus on education include visual status, social engagement, freed om of choice, freedom of failure, and rapid feedback ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019; Dicheva et al., 2015 ; Gee, 2003; Plass et al., 2015 ). Goals and personalization are not often found in studies related to gamification, which is believed to be because these are s tandard principles for instruction (Dicheva et al., 2015). However, personalization could inherently be incorporated into some of these game design elements, such as freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is simply the concept of giving students


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 48 the ability to choose in what way they demonstrate their learning (Dicheva et al., 2015). Freedom of failure is the concept of allowing students to pursue a task or assignment without the penalty of academic failure (Dicheva et al., 2015). Social engagement includes t eam and individual competitions, group learning activities and projects, and general cooperation and interactions with other students (Dicheva et al., 2015). No matter what specific game design elements are used in the classroom, these concepts lie at the core of gamification itself. There are quite a few specific game mechanics that can be used in gamification. However, the most popular mechanics among educational studies include badges, leaderboards, points, and levels (Dicheva et al., 2015). Badges show recognition or achievement for a variety of different circumstances, including task completion, participation, or other varied objectives (Dicheva et al., 2015). Leaderboards help to promote a social dynamic to class and encoura ge competition. Points can typically be used for assignment weighting or earned and used as an in class currency. Levels can be planned and developed as means of either a game level, playing level, or player level , and should gradually increase with diffic ulty to maintain interest and to act as a challenge to students (Dicheva et al., 2015). These mechanics are what help to make up and support game design elements and create gamified content. One game mechanic that can be used in gamification is the use of an avatar. An avatar is typically a graphic used to represent a person in a game and supports the gaming design principles of visual status and freedom of choice. Avatars are an important element of gamification because they allow the players (or students ) to project an identity that combines how the student feels the character or avatar should act, and how the student applies their knowledge of the game into the actions and decisions of the avatar or character (Gee, 2003 ; Plass et al., 2015; Simões et al., 2012 ). In this way, an avatar is much more than just a projection of


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 49 what the student wants to be, but it is also a projection of the possibility of what the student could become (Alsawaier, 2018). Avatars allow students the freedom of choice in t heir expression for students. In a physical classroom setting, students can easily create physical avatars to be used on a class leaderboard. In an online learning enviro nment, the avatar can be as simple as the student customizing a profile picture in their user account in the learning management system being used . In a music classroom (performance based or otherwise) , students can customize their music folders for class, or create their own badge holders. No matter what setting used, avatars can easily be used as a means of representing students in a gamification setting. Another game mechanic that supports the gaming design principle of visual status is the use of badge s. Badges are one of the most popularly used game mechanics in gamification (Dicheva et al., 2015). Badges are often a way of rewarding a specific behavior, accomplishment, or competency (Brunvand & Hill, 2019 ; Kleinert, 2023 ). These badges can be displaye thus add to their visual status. In general, badges are used to celebrate student successes (Stephens, 2023). Badges can also signal what skills or competencies some stu dents have versus others, allowing students to see who may be masters of content that they may be struggling with (Stephens, 2023) . In a performance based classroom, badges can be used to demonstrate competencies of scales , techniques , or performance passa ges . In music classrooms, badges can be used to show completion of several types of assignments or to show knowledge in a specific area. Badges are easily customizable to the content of the classroom and can easily be determined by the teacher. In a digita l environment, badges can be presented in the form of a


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 50 format, badges can be presented in the form of stickers on student folders. The versatility and adaptabilit y of badges make them easy to implement in the classroom. In addition to showing what students know or have accomplished, badges can also serve as a means of unlocking assignments. For example, if a student has completed the criteria to earn a certain badg e, by earning the badge, the student has also unlocked the option of completing other assignments or activities that were previously unavailable to them (Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Badges can also be used as a means of motivating students. Once students have developed interest in the content, they are motivated to learn mastery badges regarding the content (Plass et al., 2015). However, it is also important to make sure that when badges are used, they are implemented carefully. When badges are used to highligh t the completion of some activities or assignments, they can detract from others, which may impact student decisions on what they decide to participate in (Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Badges can easily be tailored to a variety of different contents and created thoughtfully to help encourage students in their educational pursuits. They are an excellent low cost means of rewarding students for their skill mastery, achievements, and accomplishments, and a valuable part of gamification. Another important mechanic of gamification is competition. Competition contributes to both the visual status and social engagement design principles of gamification. As students experience competition in gamification, their self efficacy grows as well, and a score or leaderboard is part of what makes competition so effective in this endeavor (Banfield & (Banfield & Wilkerson, 2014 , p. 293 ). While competition is often thought of to be only against other players, it is also important to note that competition can also be against oneself and can serve as an encouragement for skill or knowledge improvement, again because of competition


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 51 generated f rom a score or leaderboard. It is important to note that the competition generated through leaderboards in gamified classrooms should be done so in such a way that constructive competition is created rather than destructive competition (F ) . The d esign of the leaderboard to generate competition should be carefully considered when choosing to implement it. Showing a leaderboard with student names, avatars, and scores can lead to an environment where students who are lower on the leaderboard feel tha t their goals are unattainable (Plass et al., 2015). However, if the leaderboard also shows information about growth over time, this can encourage students to interact in a way that not only shows personal progress but can also help develop a supportive co mmunity around the progress made (Plass et al., 2015). Leaderboards should not generate competition that isolates students, but rather helps students to see the growth process throughout their learning (Plass et al., 2015). This sense of community clearly supports the social engagement design principle of gamification. Competition is an important tool for gamification and is primarily generated with leader or scoreboards. Whether displayed online in a learning environment, or physically in a classroom throu gh progressive sticker charts , students should be able to use the competition that gamification brings to the classroom to their advantage in developing their own self efficacy, and in reflecting on their progress and self growth and building community wit h their classmates. As previously discussed, leaderboards and competition can be damaging to classroom environments and to students. However, by being aware of these issues, teachers can develop checks for students to prevent as many ill effects as possibl e. For instance, in terms of of students could be created within classrooms to keep any student from being singled out. In a performance based classroom, stude nts could be sorted into teams by sections, classes as a


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 52 whole, or into higher or lower voices or sections. In a music content based classroom, students could be sorted with seating arrangements, by various classes, or even by common musical interests. Usi ng teams on a leaderboard relieves exposure of individual students, and can instead help to foster more constructive competition, since the competition is no longer individual in nature. Additionally, to decrease the unlimited social comparison aspect, tea chers may be able to restrict accessibility to a digital leaderboard by either only presenting the leaderboard during class time or placing the leaderboard on a restricted viewing page within their learning management system. While the competition and soci al comparison that leaderboards create can turn negative easily, there are ways to work around these negative effects to instead encourage more positive results. Student assignment choice is a major part of gamification that aligns with the design princip les of freedom of choice and freedom of failure. Student choice is providing students with a variety of assignments and allowing them to choose what they would like to complete ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019 ; Kleinert, 2023; Plass et al., 2015 ). This can be employ ed with a point system as well to allow students to accrue a certain number of points to earn their overall grade for the class as well ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Student assignment choice is important because it helps to individualize their learning. These assignments do need to be well thought out and designed because no matter the format of the assignment, students should be able to pursue a path where they can demonstrate mastery of the content ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). This concept of student choice in c ontent demonstration is perhaps one of the most difficult ideas of gamification to support when so many teachers need to follow school and division guidelines in curriculum. However, it should be noted that teachers can require certain assignments for stud ents to complete while still giving them freedom of choice over most


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 53 assignments in their class ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). By allowing some elements of student grade to be determined by choice, but still requiring other assignments, a balance can be struck t o allow for a smoother transition into gamification. In a music classroom, assignment choice can range from allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways, such as in the form of a presentation, report, or even a recorded video docum entary. In a performance based classroom, assignment choice can vary greatly depending upon the skill being demonstrated. For example, in an orchestra classroom if students need to show their knowledge of their notes on the G string, they could perform a m ini scale in class, play an excerpt of a passage from performance or solo music that primarily utilizes those notes, perform a short exercise emphasizing these notes from technical exercises, or even compose a short piece that shows these notes. While prov iding student choice does require some creative thinking, it does allow students to show what they know in a way that personally works best. In addition to student assignment choice, the concept of the freedom of failure also needs to be embraced with gamification . Freedom of failure is the concept of allowing students to pursue a task or assignment without the penalty of academic failure (Dicheva et al., 2015). The idea behind the freedom of failure is that like a game, where students are allowed multiple attempts to perhaps complete a level or advance their character without significant repercussions from a game setback , students are given the opportunity to self correct or re do assignments ( Alsawaier, 2018; Brunvand & Hill, 2019 ; Gee, 2003; Kle inert, 2023; Plass et al., 2015 ). In a traditional educational setting, students are often faced with an important assignment that can only be graded once, and then the teacher moves on to other content ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). However, with gamification, allowing students to resubmit assignments gives students the opportunity to move at their own pace ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). This concept is so important


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 54 because the focus behind the assignments shifts from compliance to mastery ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Gra ceful failure gives students an opportunity to learn from their mistakes without facing permanent consequences (Plass et al., 2015). Allowing students resubmission attempts helps to relieve pressure from students who may be anxious and fearful about meetin g a deadline and allows them to instead focus more on their own learning and development about the concepts ( Brunvand & Hill, 2019 ; Kleinert, 2023 ). Additionally, due to their previous failure, students may be encouraged to seek out additional learner supp orts on their own, such as tutorials, other students in class, older students, or other online resources for assistance ( Kleinert, 2023; Stephens, 2023). Overall, student assignment choice and the freedom of failure can both have positive impacts on studen ts in a gamified learning environment. In conjunction with student assignment choice, another crucial element of gamification is regular feedback. Regular feedback helps to support the game design principle of freedom of failure (Dicheva et al., 2015) . As students complete their assignments, teachers should be regularly assessing students and their work, and providing feedback (Brunvand & Hill, 2019). When playing a game, players are given regular feedback through the form of points awarded for actions, or consequences of certain choices and this helps them progress in the game (Brunvand & Hill, 2019). In a gamified classroom, regular feedback also needs to be provided to students to help them critically assess their learning (Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Regul ar feedback allows students to predict their grades more accurately and help s them to develop a plan for what they ultimately want their final grade to be (Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Regular feedback gives students the information they need to decide what ass ignments need to be resubmitted, or what other assignments should be completed to impact their final grades (Brunvand & Hill, 2019). Teachers


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 55 are already monitoring the progress of their students, and regular feedback encourages students to take the initia tive and do some of their own. Regular feedback may be identified as a barrier to some teachers when evaluating gamification due to its perceived workload, however this kind of feedback can help students to develop self efficacy. It is also important to note that regular feedback does n ot need to be complicated. Regular feedback can be done in the form of an automatically graded checkpoint quiz through a learning management system, or even in giving a specifically directed feedback to students to focus on one particular aspect of their p erformance or playing. Ultimately, the information that regular feedback provides students with is invaluable, and crucial to their personal development. In addition to student choice, the concept of quests work s well in supporting the game design princip le of freedom of choice , and social engagement . Quests give students the ability to engage in a story lin e as they achieve objectives (Alsawaier, 2018). Different quests provide students with options regarding which paths or storylines they would like to p ursue as a part of their learning. completed their base requirements and need additional enrichment (Kleinert, 2023). The storyline element adds another factor to their learning that can help to motivate students as they pursue their different objectives. In addition to providing students with choices about their learning, quests can act as a way for students to create communities with each other , touching on the game design prin ciple of social engagement (Alsawaier, 2018). As students embark on the same journey in their quests, they begin to rely on each other and support each other as they complete their objectives, and rather than competing, students begin to collaborate (Alsaw aier, 2018). There is no denying that implementing a quest setting with student learning will take some creative thinking on the part of the teacher. In one study, students were given weekly


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 56 requirements framed as quests in the online application Classcraf t that involved submission of practice records and completing assignments to help develop practicing skills and strategies (Peasant, 2020). Completion of quests and events gave students more options to customize their avatars in the game (Peasant, 2020). H owever, q uests do not need to be complex with a lengthy storyline. Instead, they can be as simple as choosing a theme for a unit, quarter, or semester, and theming activities in a way that require completion of a certain amount in order to complete an obje ctive in alignment with the theme (Stephens, 2023). However, quests can help to provide an extra element of gamification to encourage students to work towards their goals and to work with each other in ways that previously may not have been considered. Con clusion Choosing to use gamification can seem daunting, however this challenge can be eased when referring to the game design principles and commonly used gaming mechanics. By examining how avatars, badges, competition, student assignment choice, freedom of failure, regular feedback, and quests are already being used , teachers can easily find ways to use these same mechanics in their own classrooms , regardless of what content is being taught . Gamification can also be used in music education classrooms, using both in person and online elements. It is important to note that not all mechanics need to be used at once, and gamification can be eased into by implementing some but not all elements int o even just one unit of study for classes to start (Stephens, 2023) . However, over time, and by using the experiences that students have with gamification, this method of instruction can be more fully embraced if desired. Overall, gamification has a great deal of potential in education, and particularly in music education despite its relatively new status. The application of gaming elements in business practices has proven successful, which is why it is currently gaining ground in the field of


GAMIFICATION IN MUSIC EDUCATION 57 education as well . Gamification , which has already been used multiple times in the higher education setting shows great potential and positive results (Dicheva et al., 2015) . However, there is very little application of gamification in a standard K 12 classroom, a set ting that could certainly benefit from more studies . There are a multitude of benefits that gamification offers, particularly in motivation, and just as video games are designed to motivate players, gamification can do the same for students in the classroo m. However, that is not to say that there are no risks to gamification. There can be some negative aspect s in its application as well, however with proper planning and consideration, these can be worked around. While elements of gamification have been used in music education settings, there simply has not been a lot of research done in the area. Music is an excellent content area to give gamification a try, due to its flexibility and versatility in curriculum. Implementing gamification in the classroom can seem overwhelming, however, with the right mindset, competencies, and knowledge, teachers can gradually work their way into gamified classrooms and experience the benefits of it along with their students.


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