Gamification: The Efects of the Game Element Countdown-timer on the Engagement of European Students

Markus Schneider

Student thesis: Master thesis


Gamification research to date often lacks a coherent research practice that measures the effectiveness of gamification in motivating and engaging individuals. The present thesis addressed this gap in gamification research and applied the person-focused construct proposed by Landers, with the goal to measure the effect of one single game element. Within a post-positivist epistemology, a true experiment was performed to investigate the cause-effect relationship between the game element countdown-timer and the level of engagement of over 800 European students on a gamified online questionnaire. Within the independent-measures design, the treatment group was exposed to the countdown-timer while the control group experienced the identical questionnaire without the game element. Using a level of engagement-scale, the behavior of participants was measured. The presence or absence of the countdown-timer did not reveal significant differences in the level of engagement between and within the participants of treatment and control group. While gender as moderator was found to be indifferent to the incorporation of the countdown-timer, significant results were shown with age as moderator. Thus, European students belonging to Generation Z (≤24 years old) appear to be significantly more disengaged when not being exposed to gamification.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages80