Evidence of Engagement

Daniel Pink, the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, found that traditional rewards and punishments don't work. Not only do these methods fail to motivate students, but they can also act as deterrents. Pink found that motivation, particularly with respect to creative tasks, depends upon the provision of opportunities for mastery, a sense of purpose, and agency. When these conditions are in place, students are motivated to perform learning tasks for the mere pleasure of learning (Pink).

Sixth grade and graduate students surveyed after creating and playing Indy-inspired quests rated their experiences in terms designed to fall into Pink's three engagement categories:


  • 97% listed “choosing a topic that interested me” among their favorite features (2017)

  • 86% is the average ranking granted to “motivated by the feeling I had control over my own learning” (2019)


  • 83% listed “choosing my own level [of difficulty]” among their favorite features (2014 -16)

  • 82% listed “going at my own speed” among their favorite features (2014 -16)


  • 80% ranked “motivated by the freedom to find [relevant] information” 7 out of 7 (2018)


Indy-Inspired Student Games

*Blake C.