Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Cheryl Murphy

Committee Member

Barbara Gartin

Second Committee Member

Linda Jones

Third Committee Member

Felicia Lincoln


Education, Apa instruction, Gamification, Online instruction


This research examined the effects of simple gamification on the instructional skill outcome and level of engagement as measured by time, repetitions, and responses to the Cognitive Absorption, Perceived Ease of Use and Perceived Usefulness Scale (Saadé and Bahli, 2005). Participants were 70 graduate and undergraduate students randomly assigned to one of two instructional conditions: gamified or typical online instruction. Instruction consisted of three modules on the use of APA 6th ed. (American Psychological Association) citation and reference style in college level writing. Both groups received the same instruction but with different context and directions. Participants in the typical condition received instructions similar to what they would encounter in a typical online course where they have assignments and receive grades. Participants in the gamified condition were assigned an entry level “job” as a research assistant and encouraged to learn and practice to gain greater levels of achievement measured by quizzes presented as “challenges” which were required to “level up.” Statistical analyses did not show a difference in outcome skill levels or engagement between the conditions, but several variables did show significance that suggested that all students improved their understanding of APA citation style and students in the typical condition reported feeling higher levels of control and focus during their instructional experiences.