Press Releases


Jun. 27, 2013

Principles of Gaming Theory and Badging Succeed in the Online Classroom Setting with Nearly
One-In-Five Students More Actively Engaged in Studies and Six-In-Ten Self-Selecting More
Difficult Assignments for Badges


DAVENPORT, Iowa July 27, 2013 – Kaplan University, a leader in higher education innovation, today announced that its School of Information Technology has expanded the use of gamification into the online classroom based on dramatic findings from a pilot program. Through a unique partnership with gamification platform Badgeville, Kaplan University is using gaming techniques and mechanics, and applying them in the academic environment to increase student engagement and motivation. This innovative approach is a milestone for the University’s School of Information Technology, making it one of the first online universities to incorporate this interactive platform into its instruction.

“Keeping students engaged is critical to a successful learning experience, and we found that the skills gamification promotes could easily enhance our curriculum by encouraging more quality participation,” says Dr. David DeHaven, dean of the School of Information Technology. “Our top priority is to provide students with the best learning experience using the latest tools. If the end result is more motivated students while achieving better outcomes, we say, ‘let the games begin.'”
Dean DeHaven presented early findings from the initial pilot project last November at the Techonomy conference, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of business and technology innovators. He authored the article “Why Gaming is Working in Higher Education” for Techonomy.com. From that initial pilot program, which started with about 30 students, the effort has been expanded to now include over 700 students.
Similar to video or computer games, gamification or game theory in the classroom has proven to help students meet their learning objectives, become more engaged, and have an overall rewarding experience at Kaplan University. An initial pilot program in the online classrooms of Kaplan University’s School of Information Technology indicated that students rewarded by badging—an aspect of gamification that uses visual representations to stand for an achievement or accomplishment—spent up to 17 percent more time actively engaged than their counterparts. Grades were higher (9%) in the gamified courses. Even when harder (optional) tasks were added to the courses, 60 percent of students self-elected to complete the more difficult assignment to earn the related badge. Additionally, increases were seen across the board in days attending classes and discussion board posts for students in gamified courses. As a result, the pilot program has now been expanded into Kaplan University’s School of Business.
“Gamification is revolutionizing modern user experiences, and is expanding into virtually every industry to help increase engagement,” says Ken Comée, president and CEO of Badgeville. “Digital learning programs for students and employees can achieve significant improvements in participation, program completion, and collaboration using well-designed game mechanics. Kaplan University is taking a leadership role in bringing this innovative technology to the education vertical to measure and impact student behavior.”
For more information on the integration of gamification by the Kaplan University School of Information Technology, visithttp://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/information-technology/articles-publications.aspx
About Kaplan University
Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher education. It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which has its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (www.ncahlc.org) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Kaplan University serves approximately 49,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 11 campuses in Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland and Maine, and Kaplan University Learning Centers in Maryland, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and Florida.
Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education Group and Kaplan, Inc., a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan, Inc. serves approximately 67,000 students online and through approximately 70 campus-based schools across the United States. Kaplan’s higher education schools offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from certificates and diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a juris doctor degree. Kaplan serves students of all ages through a wide array of offerings including higher education, test preparation, professional training and programs for kids in grades K-12. Kaplan, Inc., is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company and its largest division. For more information, visit www.kaplanuniversity.edu.

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