The Advantages and Limits of Gamification Mechanisms: A Duolingo Case Study

Myriam BADER, Maya CLOAREC, Marlène GOUMY, Diane HUSSEIN

Paris Cité University, July 13, 2022

Abstract

Gamification in e-learning has become more popular nowadays, especially with an increasing demand for digital learning during the pandemic. Indeed, the benefits are apparent. Gamification creates engaging and interactive ways of learning and practicing a skill, which contribute to learner motivation. This study aims to examine the limits of gamification in e-learning. If we look closer at its mechanisms, gamified learning is still a challenging method for learners. Too many gamification elements in e-learning could lead to addictive behavior and other psychological issues. So, in attempt to understand and discuss the impacts and limits of those mechanisms in e-learning, we interrogated Duolingo users on their learning experience in the application and their thoughts of in-app gamification elements. The results showed that overall, most of the interviewees felt they had a relatively positive learning experience with Duolingo but showed alternating periods of strong engagement and total disengagement. The Duolingo gamification mechanisms that seem to be the most effective are the progress bar system, the quizzes and the streak system.

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