Supporting the value of teamwork in educational as well as professional settings, this study wonders if gamification of team allocation can make the process easier for instructors/facilitators and more fun for students. Drawing influence from the growing prominence of serious games, the game at the heart of this study measured cognitive characteristics of students to serve as a base for team allocation. As opposed to questionnaires where students’ answers would be based on knowledge about themselves, play masked the assessment in game form.
36 masters-level STEM students were randomized and split into two groups: one to be further divided by the instructor and one to be further divided by a machine. The game, however, was administered to all participants.
The study found game-allocated teams performed comparable to those that were instructor-selected. The significant difference was time saved and fun experience were both greater in the former. Further research should be done on this front, as teams were built holistically, rather than trying to stack the shared skills of certain individuals (a factor that often leads to a few broken hearts when picking teams).