Using Gamification to Orient and Motivate Students to Contribute to OSS Projects

TitleUsing Gamification to Orient and Motivate Students to Contribute to OSS Projects
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDiniz, Guilherme C., Silva Marco Graciotto A., Gerosa Marco, and Steinmacher Igor
Secondary Title2017 IEEE/ACM 10th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE)
Date Published05/2017
Keywordsengagement, gamification, MOTIVATION, newcomers, students

Students can benefit from contributing to Open Source Software (OSS), since they can enrich their portfolio and learn with real world projects. However, sometimes students are demotivated to contribute due to entrance barriers. On the other hand, gamification is widely used to engage and motivate people to accomplish tasks and improve their performance. The goal of this work is to analyze the use of gamification to orient and motivate undergraduate students to overcome onboarding barriers and engage to OSS projects. To achieve this goal, we implemented four gaming elements (Quests, Points, Ranking, and Levels) in GitLab and assessed the environment by means of a study conducted with 17 students within a real OSS project (JabRed). At the end of the study, the students evaluated their experience through a questionnaire. We found that the Quest element helped to guide participants and keep them motivated and points helped by providing feedback on students' performed tasks. We conclude that the gamified environment oriented the students in an attempt to make a contribution and that gamification can motivate and orient newcomers' to engage to OSS projects.