The Bullish Game: The Role of Virtual Currency in Incentivizing Homework on the Skyeng Platform

Keywords: student engagement, adult learning, online learning, experiment, A/B testing


Even though online learning is an affordable way to gain new knowledge and skills, and millions of people use different platforms, there is a serious problem with students dropping out, as well as with their completion of assignments during training. One effective way to increase student engagement is to use gamification in teaching. In this study, we study the relationship between the introduction of such a gamification element as virtual currency with the results of learning English on the Skyeng platform. Using data from 2019 to 2020, we analyzed the relationship between the indicated intervention and the percentage of completion of homework, as well as the average homework score of platform users. 

The results of the experiment conducted in the A/B format showed that the introduction of virtual currency had a significant effect on the educational results of students. Thus, students from the experimental group showed an increase in involvement in doing homework on the platform compared to the control group. Moreover, various types of rewards work in general to increase student engagement in homework, including those that are not directly related to learning. At the same time, students who did not use the game currency available to them showed similar or even lower results than participants in the experiment from the control group. It can be assumed that in this case there is an effect of student motivation as a hidden factor, which explains the greater interest in the functionality and capabilities of the platform itself, and in the educational process as a whole.


Download data is not yet available.


Antonaci A., Klemke R., Specht M. (2019) The Effects of Gamification in Online Learning Environments: A Systematic Literature Review. Informatics, vol. 6, no 3, Article no 32.

Baptista G., Oliveira T. (2019) Gamification and Serious Games: A Literature Meta-Analysis and Integrative Model. Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 92, March, pp. 306–315.

De-Marcos L., Garcia-Lopez E., Garcia-Cabot A. (2016) On the Effectiveness of Game-Like and Social Approaches in Learning: Comparing Educational Gaming, Gamification & Social Networking. Computers & Education, vol. 95, April, pp. 99–113.

Dichev C., Dicheva D., Irwin K. (2020) Gamifying Learning for Learners. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, vol. 17, Article no 54.

Dicheva D., Guy B., Yorgov V., Dichev C., Irwin K., Mickle C. (2021a) A Study of Using Virtual Currency in a Discrete Mathematics Course. Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (Vienna, Austria, 2021, April, 21), pp. 567–576.

Dicheva D., Hsin W.J., Dichev C., Guy B., Cassel L., Irwin K. (2021b) Exploring the Effect of Virtual Currency on Learners Engagement. Proceedings of the 2021 International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (online, 2021, July, 12), pp. 83–87.

Dokuka S., Kapuza A., Sverdlov M., Yalov T. (2022) Women in Gig Economy Work Less in the Evenings. Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no 1, pp. 1–11.

Grant S., Betts B. (2013) Encouraging User Behaviour with Achievements: An Empirical Study. Proceeding of the 10th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories (San Francisco, CA, 2013, May 18–19), pp. 65–68.

Gené O.B., Núñez M.M., Blanco Á.F. (2014) Gamification in MOOC: Challenges, Opportunities and Proposals for Advancing MOOC Model. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality (Salamanca, Spain, 2014, October 1–3), pp. 215–220.

Hakulinen L., Auvinen T., Korhonen A. (2015) The Effect of Achievement Badges on Students' Behavior: An Empirical Study in a University-Level Computer Science Course. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, vol. 10, no 1, pp. 18–29.

Hamari J., Koivisto J., Sarsa H. (2014) Does Gamification Work? A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on Gamification. Proceedings of the 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (Waikoloa, HI, 2014, January, 06–09), pp. 3025–3034.

Kim S. (2013) Effects of the Gamified Class in Engineering Education Environments. Journal of Convergence Information Technology, vol. 8, no 13, pp. 253–260.

Kizilcec R.F., Pérez-Sanagustín M., Maldonado J.J. (2017) Self-Regulated Learning Strategies Predict Learner Behavior and Goal Attainment in Massive Open Online Courses. Computers & Education, vol. 104, January, pp. 18–33.

Kohavi R., Longbotham R. (2015) Online Controlled Experiments and A/B tests. Encyclopedia of Machine Learning and Data Mining (eds C. Sammut, G.I. Webb), Boston: Springer, pp. 922–929.

Oudeweetering van de K., Agirdag O. (2018) MOOCS as Accelerators of Social Mobility? A Systematic Review. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, vol. 21, no 1, pp. 1–11.

Richards C., Thompson C.W., Graham N. (2014) Beyond Designing for Motivation: The Importance of Context in Gamification. Proceedings of the First ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (Toronto, Canada, 2014, October 19–21), pp. 217–226.

Sailer M., Homner L. (2020) The Gamification of Learning: A Meta-Analysis. Educational Psychology Review, vol. 32, no 1, pp. 77–112.

Toda A.M., Valle P.H., Isotani S. (2017) The Dark Side of Gamification: An Overview of Negative Effects of Gamification in Education. Higher Education for All. From Challenges to Novel Technology-Enhanced Solutions. HEFA 2017. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol. 832 (eds A.Cristea, I. Bittencourt, F. Lima), Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 143–156.

How to Cite
AdamovichKseniia A., and ChirkinaTatyana A. 2023. “The Bullish Game: The Role of Virtual Currency in Incentivizing Homework on the Skyeng Platform”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (December).
Research Articles