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Making Gamification Easy for the Professor through "Lean Gamification": Theoretical Foundation and Empirical Evidence

Many university students struggle with motivational problems, and gamification has the potential to address these problems. However, using gamification currently is rather tedious and time-consuming for instructors because current approaches to gamification require instructors to engage in the time-consuming preparation of course contents (e.g., for quizzes or mini-games). In reply to this issue, we propose a “lean” approach to gamification, which relies on gamifying learning activities rather than learning contents. The learning activities that are gamified in the lean approach can typically be drawn from existing course syllabi (e.g., attend certain lectures, hand in assignments, read book chapters and articles). Hence, compared to existing approaches, lean gamification substantially lowers the time requirements posed on instructors for gamifying a given course. In this project, we seek to establish the theoretical foundation of the lean gamification approach and obtain empirical evidence for the potential merits of the approach.