The need to ensure students’ enthusiasm in a subject has been one of the principal precedences of today’s educators. This means that continuous adaptation of teaching methods and tools are considered a priority.

Defined as an introduction of game elements into non-game contexts, gamification is recognized as a relatively new concept but an old practice. The World Government Summit stated that games share characteristics (i.e., rules, feedback, and goals) that are quite similar to what you’d find in class (2016). However, their main purpose is to trigger student engagement and stimulate learning.

But why do we need Gamification in the first place?

Research by Putz et al. (2020) stated that generation Y (i.e., those being born between 1980 and 2000) is moderately difficult to motivate. This statement is strengthened by other researchers who resonate at a similar level. Lee & Hammer (2011) believed that despite the educator’s efforts of applying innovative practices, students would perceive traditional schooling as boring and ineffective. And as times have changed, traditional teachings may be unable to foster students’ capabilities to solve problems in given situations (Grabinger & Dunlap, 1995).

Students prefer an interactive and engaging method of learning and statistically speaking, gamification can do just that. 67% of students reported that a gamified course was more motivating to them compared to a traditional course (Finances Online, 2020). On top of that, gamification is named one of the top 10 must-have features of a learning management system (ProProfs, 2020).

Gamification is recognized as a good way to build education which makes hated learning fun (Sandusky, 2015). Research has shown that gamification fosters intrinsic motivation (Hamari & Keronen, 2017) and creates a reasonably engaged learning (Gatti et al., 2019). Gatti et al. believe that using games educationally would trigger students’ active learning processes, improving their knowledge retention in return (2018).

Not only does it enhance persistence, but it also shortens the feedback cycle which offers students a chance to assess their ability (Lee & Hammer 2011). This is highly beneficial for students to be able to look back and assess where they might be lacking and how they can improve to be better.

And when it comes to the social context, Gamification enables players to pursue new tasks to make decisions and apply different perspectives into real-life situations (Lazzaro, 2004). The gamified settings allow students to give rewards to each other through feedback (Machová et al., 2020).

Successful example(s) in Finance Education

Gamification is a tool to be applied to different subjects and courses (Kenéz, 2016). For subjects with a higher complexity like Finance, Gamification enables students to learn by doing. Remnova & Shtyrkhun conducted a study that used educational games within economics and finance courses. They found that it had improved students’ motivation and engagement in the learning process, but they also increased students’ initial interest in the subject (2020).

These findings illustrated that gamification created a specialized class-setting for developing swift understandings and generating new ideas. At the same time, the study points out that the reward given to students (through the use of experience points) stimulates their motivation to be involved. Furthermore, they enunciated that educational games help students to become more sociable, creative, and persuasive. They also develop leadership and effective time management skills (Remnova & Shtyrkhun, 2020).

Jain et al. concluded that there is a positive relationship between motivation and the features of gamification (i.e. badges, rankings, progress bars, etc.) in their study. It stimulates motivation, collaboration, and increases students’ performance simultaneously (Machová et al., 2020). Whelan (2005), found that it is effective to learn through gaming rather than listening and reading because the students are actively participating. McFarlane et al. proved that games are vital in talent and skills development, including communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills (2002).

In addition to these findings, Zhang et al. (2015) found that gamification enhances the interconnection among diverse academic streams such as finance, which would result in an enhanced entrepreneurial self-efficacy. This is related to Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy. He illustrated that the higher someone’s self-efficacy is, the greater their educational preparation will be to obtain those goals (Bandura, 1994). According to this theory, self-efficacy will lead to a better determination coming for students, to achieve what they consider to be their goals.


Over the years, gamification has increased students’ motivation in Finance classes. Aside from being perceived as familiar by students, the method also addresses possibilities that may happen such as a declined students’ participation.

Cover photo by Adam Nowakowski on Unsplash

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