Using Gamification to Motivate Reading
Lin Kui Fong, Pioneer Junior College (Singapore)
Su Lynn Tan, Pioneer Junior College, Ministry of Education (Singapore) (Singapore)
In Singapore’s junior college system, General Paper (GP) is an A-level subject that requires students to ‘explore a range of key issues of global and local significance’. It therefore follows that reading to keep up-to-date with current affairs is a necessity. Unfortunately, this is met with great difficulty because of the lack of interest and motivation to read. Coupled with the demands of other academic commitments, reading is often dismissed since it is not perceived as a priority. In coming up with a solution to help students cultivate reading for GP as part of their daily routine, we looked to a tried-and- tested method in the business world - gamification. Often touted as an effective motivator to change workers’ attitude, it has been known to deliver successful outcomes. Can gamification also prove to be effective in the classroom setting? This paper examines not only the effective implementation of gamification as a teaching tool but also as a pedagogical strategy that aligns itself with the outcome goal of the Ministry of Education’s ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Masterplan 4 – ‘for quality learning in the hands of every learner, empowered by the use of technology’. To this end, our objective is to set them up to be successful independent learners-cum-readers by equipping them with ICT tools. In designing the gamification of reading, much thought has gone into ensuring that students are given autonomy and therefore feel invested to take ownership of their learning. This ultimately lends itself well to self-motivation and the changing of their mindset towards reading.
Keywords: gamification, reading, motivating students, ICT, educational technology, effective teaching, games