Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Gamification in education refers to the immersion of game elements and game mechanics to enhance student engagement. Elements of gamification include the use of reward systems, leader boards, social activities, badges, missions, challenges, and aspects of free choice in course design. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of applying a gamification model to a graduate level occupational therapy course in assistive technology (AT). This mixed methods study followed two consecutive cohorts of students (N=63 students, 55 females) in a graduate level occupational therapy program as they participated in a gamified course allowing the students to “choose their own adventure.” Data analysis included pre- and post-course questionnaires, in-course and post-course anonymous feedback, and voluntary post-course focus groups. Thematic analysis indicated a positive response between the gamified approach and student engagement. In addition, test and quiz scores were compared to student scores from a non-gamified version of this course. The test and quiz scores for each of the gamified cohorts were statistically significantly higher than the scores of the non-gamified cohort (1st gamified cohort p=0.012 and 2nd gamified cohort p=0.004). Students, however, felt that gamification should be limited to only one or two courses within an academic program to prevent “saturation” of this approach. This study indicates that an effectively designed gamification course may be a useful addition in an occupational therapy program to improve engagement in course content.


Edwin Myers, OTD, OTR/L, ATP is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Florida Gulf Coast University in the Marieb College of Health & Human Services’ Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. He is also the current RA (Representative Assembly) for the state of Florida for the AOTA.

Declaration of Interest

The author reports no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.