Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Gerry Swan


This study examines the impact of gamification elements, in particular leaderboards, badges, and eBucks, on the cognitive engagement (CE), intrinsic motivation (IM), and self-efficacy (SE) of English Language Learners (ELLs) at a high school in the Southeastern United States. The investigation, conducted during optional weekly readings, utilizes a mixed methods design to investigate the effects of gamification on ELLs' learning experiences. Through pre-post surveys and semi-structured interviews, data was collected to assess the gamified intervention's impact. Utilizing a one-way covariate analysis (ANCOVA) in IBM SPSS Statistics (version 29), the study evaluates the effect of gamification while controlling for grade, gender, academic performance, reading importance, and gaming importance. Results indicate that while gamification elements did not significantly enhance CE and IM, they did result in a meaningful increase in SE among ELL students. Specifically, the impact of leaderboards and rewards varied based on individual preferences and learning goals. This study underscores the necessity for a personalized approach to address the diverse needs of ELL students in K-12 settings in the United States, advocating for adaptive technology and tailored learning experiences to cater to their unique requirements.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)