An Evaluation of Gamified Training: Using Narrative to Improve Reactions and Learning

Michael B. Armstrong, Richard N. Landers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background and Aim. Gamification is growing in popularity in education and workplace training, but it is unclear which game elements are conducive to learning. The theory of gamified learning suggests that one type of gamification, the addition of game fiction/narrative, can be used to improve learning outcomes, and the Technology-Enhanced Training Effectiveness Model (TETEM) suggests individual differences impact the strength of this effect. From this theoretical basis, this study gamified a training module with game fiction in order to improve outcomes over the original training. Results and Conclusion. In a study of 273 learners, trainees were significantly more satisfied with training enhanced with game fiction over the control text (d = 0.65) but did not differ in declarative knowledge scores by condition. Further, trainees in the control condition scored higher on procedural knowledge than trainees in the game fiction condition, although the effect was smaller (d = −0.40). Thus, the use of narrative improved reactions to training but at some cost to training effectiveness. Attitudes toward game-based learning were also tested as a moderator of the condition-outcome relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-538
Number of pages26
JournalSimulation and Gaming
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • attitudes
  • game elements
  • game fiction
  • game-based learning
  • gamification
  • gamified learning
  • learning
  • narrative
  • psychology
  • training


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