In Summary

  • Gamified mobile learning app boosts student performance and engagement
  • Performing well on the app may predict future academic success

A mobile learning app developed at Swinburne has shown positive effects on student academic performance, engagement and retention.

A new study has found that using a gamified mobile learning app influenced students’ academic performance and boosted their engagement in the subject.

A total of 394 Swinburne accounting and science students were recruited to test the app with content tailored to their specific course.

Beginning on the first day of the semester, one multiple-choice quiz question was delivered directly to the students’ mobile device daily. Students had between 20 and 60 seconds to answer the question, earning points for every question answered correctly. The more points they earned, the higher they climbed on the virtual leaderboard.

Researchers found that students who scored well on app tasks achieved higher academic grades than students who chose not to use the app, although the impact was lower for the science students.

“At a time when students’ demand for personalised education is growing, mobile apps could allow students to engage with course material whenever and wherever they choose,” says Swinburne’s Dr Ekaterina Pechenkina, who led the study.

“Taking advantage of mobile app technologies in this way could help lecturers reach out to their students and keep them interested in the course content, leading to improved outcomes.

“Our results imply that students are willing to use learning apps and that performing highly on the app may predict their future academic success.