Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Educational Technology (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Sean Lancaster

Academic Year



Gamification is defined as the use of game elements in non-game contexts. The gamified element explored in this thesis is a leaderboard with various forms of engagement being tabulated. This study investigates the impact a leaderboard has on the behavioral engagement of an online middle school classroom. Research has revealed that elements of gamification can increase engagement but there is a gap in research that focuses solely on a leaderboard as an intervention to increase engagement. Also missing from the literature were studies conducted in middle school settings. The study presented in this thesis addresses these limitations and provides value to the knowledge base. A quasi experimental study using classroom observations was conducted. During the study, a total of 8 classes (4 control and 4 intervention) of an online English Language Arts class were observed over the period of 5 weeks. During the intervention, a leaderboard was used to measure behavioral engagement.

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