Enhancing engagement, enjoyment and learning experiences through gamification on an English course for health care students


  • Kirsi Korkealehto University of Oulu
  • Pirkko Siklander Faculty of Education University of Oulu




gamification, language learning, student interest and engagement, higher education, blended learning


Student engagement in traditional learning environments is in decline resulting in decreased learning results and lack of engagement. Gamification is one option to trigger interest and enhance engagement in learning activities. Aim of this study was to investigate the potential of gamified course design in language learning from students’ perspective. Particularly, we explored students’ experiences of engagement, enjoyability and language learning. Theoretical framework consists of process of interest and engagement, and gamification in language learning. Language learning is understood through socio-cultural and ecological approaches.

The research was conducted and data were collected at a 3-credit field-specific English course. The participants (N = 23) were 1st-year healthcare students conducting their studies with a blended learning approach. The used applications were Seppo, Kahoot, Padlet and Quizlet. The data includes students’ learning diaries and a post-course on-line questionnaire. The diaries and the open questions of the questionnaire were analysed according to content analysis method.

The results suggest that gamified course design and related applications can enhance student engagement, foster language learning, and offer positive learning experiences.  However, there are differences between gamified applications. Supporting collaboration and creating positive atmosphere are important in gamified learning process. Implications for teachers are discussed.  

Author Biography

Kirsi Korkealehto, University of Oulu

Kirsi Korkealehto works as senior lecturer at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, Finland and is currently PhD candidate at University of Oulu. In addition to a Master’s degree in German and English Philology, she has a Master’s Degree in Education. Her current research focuses on multimodality,  gamification and student engagement.

The author talking about the article




How to Cite

Korkealehto, K., & Siklander, P. (2018). Enhancing engagement, enjoyment and learning experiences through gamification on an English course for health care students. Seminar.net, 14(1), 13–30. https://doi.org/10.7577/seminar.2579