Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Loren Naffziger


Recent studies have indicated that gamification, the process of using game-like elements in nongame situations, increases student engagement and comprehension. The problem was that little is known about the extent to which digital elements of gamification are being used to help engage students in high school classes in Alaska. The purpose of this multicase study was to examine the extent to which their teachers were using gamification. The research questions that guided this study addressed the extent to which the teachers used gamification, how the teachers perceived the usefulness of gamification, and how they perceived the ease of use of gamification with a specific focus on six elements of gamification. The conceptual framework for this study combined Landers’s theory of gamified learning and the technology acceptance model. A convenience sampling of 34 teachers was used, with all participants completing a specifically designed questionnaire and 14 taking part in individual interviews. The data analysis consisted of thematic analysis, which allowed for the identification of relevant commonalities. Results indicated that most of the participants used at least one gamification element at some point in their teaching, used some elements more than others depending on their familiarity with them, and perceived that different elements of gamification affected different students in different ways. The findings also suggest that researchers should analyze the elements of gamification individually rather than as a whole while focusing on the perceived usefulness and ease of use of each element. This study contributes to positive social change by providing information that could be used to create gamification systems and trainings that are targeted at meeting the needs of high school students and teachers to increase student engagement.