, , ,

Grounded Theory is a systematic generation of theory from systematic research (Padgett, 2004). The purpose of this Grounded Theory study is to develop a theory on gamification in introductory courses without being swayed by literature review or other factors (Creswell, 2008).  The product of the research would be a theory, which includes pedagogy and use of technology to boost student involvement and motivation.  The study will allow the concepts and the theory to emerge from the data collected (Green, Camilli, & Elmore, 2006).  Core variable will be identified to allow an interpretation of the main concern and recurrent solution.

The application of gamification in education is a challenging process for many reasons.  In the English language the word “game” has many negative connotations.  Expressions like “you’re just playing games”, “you are gaming the system” reveal a negative view of games in the Western culture.  Games are not considered serious and they belong to children.  At the same time, academic programs require rigor and seriousness, therefore an intellectual conflict exists when someone proposes games for teaching.

Grounded Theory approach would help to set strong opinions aside and develop new theories on the subject.  The behavior of students in the learning process and their level of academic accomplishment should be observed and reported on.  Many schools use this technique of classroom observation to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers.

Since the gamification strategies would be implemented by the instructor in the class, there is a possibility of being swayed by own opinions and views in producing other forms of qualitative studies.  Ground Theory provides some protections against that.  So, if the instructor should conduct research on their own class, Grounded Theory may be the best approach.

Grounded Theory would further provide data for future studies.  The notes and intermediate theories developed during the research would provide data.  In turn the data can be included as an appendix to the published research and fuel future research (Creswell, 2008).



Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Green, J., Camilli, G., & Elmore, P. (2006). Complementary methods in educational research. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Padgett, D. K. (2004) The qualitative research experience, Revised printing (1st ed.).

Seidman, I. E. (1991). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.